Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Avonia flowering (22 pics)

It's that time of the year again! No, not the cherry blossoms time. It's Avonia quinaria time!

But before we get to that, there's more Avonia news I'm probably even more excited about. This year, for the first time, I was able to catch the worm-like Avonias flowering, too. I was convinced they would never open their flowers under my growing conditions, producing seed pods out of flower buds directly. I don't know what happened but this year I could witness the actual flowers. Maybe I was not paying enough attention before (I thought I did!) or maybe this time the heat wave was bringing my windowsill closer to the growing conditions of a greenhouse. Or maybe now that I have more Avonia plants the chances of catching one blooming are higher. Also, while Avonia quinaria open their flowers around 6pm, other Avonias seem to open them around 2pm or 3pm, reducing my chances of seeing them further. Luckily I was on holidays :)

My old Avonia albissima ssp. multiramosa apparently has small, greenish flowers. Good to know. In all those years I'm seeing them for the first time.

This other Avonia albissima has rather large and showy flowers. The fact that the sun is shining on these flowers means they opened before 2pm. 

Avonia grisea (Av133). Very delicate.

Avonia papyracea. The round white petals look like scales. No wonder the flowers are difficult to spot. Especially if they are facing the light source and not the beholder.

Now to the quinarias. Their flowering is always an event! 

The two of the pink-flowering Avonia quinaria ssp. quinaria plants have flowered a while ago, of course not at the same time, that would be too nice of them. And even now I have one pink plant growing flowers. So much for synchronized flowering.

One of them is producing flower with different number of petals within the same flowering season. It's been doing that last year as well. But hey, I've had Avonia quinaria flowers with 4 petals before, too. The regular number is 5. 

I could still get some seeds out of them. While passive self-pollination is very unlikely, I find that brush-assisted self-pollination leads to seed pods more often than you'd think. I even have one seedling to show for it. It's not the only one that germinated but the only one left. I'm not that good at this yet. But seeds produced by selfing are definitely viable.

Speaking of abnormalities. I have this really strong and healthy white-flowering Avonia quinaria ssp. alstonii. It has grown all those branches and I was expecting it to flower nicely. Weeks go by - nothing happens, no buds. You see, normally, the buds would grow from the tips of the branches and then those branches would fall off. Just when I thought there will not be any white flowers this year, the plant started growing buds from its stem! Well, not  from the stem, but from the new and very short branches it grew just so that it can grow flowers. For some reason it wanted to keep all the long branches and that's kinda clever. Why grow long branches for flowers just to drop them off afterwards? That would be wasteful. Better to quickly grow something short instead. Well, it grew 11 flowers in the end and I got my white flowers after all.

And here's another strange thing - one flower opened completely without anthers.

I tried to take some artistic photos, with a proper background. Too bad I didn't have anything black :)