Sun, 07 Oct 2007 06:42:34 PDT
Just a follow-up.  I have now seen first hand, bracteoles in an allium inflorescence.  The structure is so minuscule, that they are only really evident when dissecting or pulling apart a fresh (in bud) inflorescence, then using a strong magnifying lens under bright light.

Allium thunbergii is described as a bracteolate species, and my plants are in prolific bud at the moment.  The bracteole is best describes as a little receptacle or "shoe" for the base of the pedicel where is attaches to the stem... and these little "sockets" have a tiny (< 1 mm long) upfacing appendage or bract.  Looking at more mature flower heads indicates that the minuscule wispy bract dries up, thus not easily observed or apparent on inflorescences as they mature.

For casual observation with the naked eye, it would be difficult indeed when observing Alliums in bloom, to determine if they are bracteolate or not.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5

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