Thursday, May 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-May, 2014

Seriously? I haven't done one of these since November?? I was thinking February, at worst January. Sheesh. Well, happy GBBD, everyone! I am doing a super abbreviated tour of my yard today, but first, here's what's blooming in my house!

I'm not sure what kind of orchid these are, but they are part of a bouquet that hubs brought home about a week ago. 

I love that they look like somebody cartoon painted them and then sprinkled them with gold and silver fairy dust.

OK, let's go outside because one of my favorite flowers is blooming today! It's a daylily, and that's about all I can tell you. That, and it smells fabulous. Here you go:

When I went outside at 6:11 this morning, she was just thinking about waking up to greet the day. Looks like she got a little fairy dust on her as well. 

An hour later she was pretty much wide awake...

and just needed that extra half hour for the sun to warm her up and make her shine. Did I mention she smells fabulous?

You know what doesn't smell fabulous? A corpse flower, Amorphophallus titanum. No, I don't have one of these in my yard, but Foster Botanical Garden has three, that's right, three, that are blooming right now, so I'm going to cheat a little bit and show you what's blooming in their gardens today (well, OK, yesterday, but still).
Corpse flower inflorescence-if you zoom in on the diagram (or click on the "corpse flower" link above), you can see that the plant goes from a tuber into either a reproductive (flowering) stage or a vegetative stage. On the right-hand side of my photo, you can see the leaf (which looks like a tree) of one of the plants in the vegetative stage. The crazy thing is (like there’s only one crazy thing), this growth cycle, into miniature tree or giant flower, only takes about 2 weeks (talk about progression obsession-you know I'd be all over documenting that)! 

This flower has just bloomed and is already starting to close back up. OK, technically, the spathe (the pretty petaly-looking part) has just unfurled. The actual flowers are all on the inside at the base of the spadix (the tall part in the middle...for which the flower is Latinately named). The pot on the left has an Amorphophallus konjac (voodoo lily) that has put out a leaf instead of an inflorescence.

Side view: In the background, you can see another plant that bloomed a few days ago, and the spadix has already started to collapse.

Collapsing spadix, spathe falling off, flowers, both male and female, on display for all the world to see. It’s hell gettin' old.

Flowers at the base of the spadix-male (top, yellow) and female (bottom).

The actual flower parts of a corpse flower. Also, kind of stinky when you start getting this close. Or downwind. I would recommend staying upwind-they don't call them corpse flowers for nothing!

I went back a little bit later and caught some afternoon light coming through the spathe. Obviously, I played around with some of the light and color balances-it didn't look this dramatic in person, but the drama was definitely there, just waiting to make an appearance.

Since I don't have one of these in my yard to obsessively photograph, you can check out some time-lapse videos that other people have made of corpse flowers blooming.

To check out what else is blooming today, or to show off your garden blooms, please visit our hostess, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens and enjoy today's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts!

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