Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,575
Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds

It is a great time of year in southern California, with many new flowers appearing every day as the Spring season continues.

"Baby Blue Eyes," one of several "annuals" that I planted from seeds this year. They will bloom through mid summer, then the plants die back. It's interesting to keep track of flowers' different shapes of the anthers, where the pollen is held. Here, they are curved.

Another annual, "Arroyo Lupine." This one is getting ready to form a seed pod. The "wings" which protect the flower's reproductive parts have spread open, waiting for the seed pod to emerge from the flower's ovary.

"Tidy Tips." This annual is a member of the Sunflower family, many of which have two sets of flowers: one set inside (disk) and another outside (rays). Here, the disk flowers are still closed, and the ray flowers are just beginning to form.

"Tidy Tips" fully formed. Pollinators are attracted to the disk flowers, where the anthers holding pollen have opened. They are cup-shaped. Zoom in to see the bits of pollen.

"Pelargonium" is a member of the geranium family. Here, the anthers are like little baskets which hold the tiny pollen grains.. This is a Perennial plant. When blooming season is over at the end of summer, the flowers and stems fall away, but the plant remains to produce flowers in the next year.

Seeds (fruits) of a "Common Dandelion," another annual. Each of the brown fruits (cypsela) protrude from the disk and are attached to a feathery stalk (pappus). Wind will disperse these using the white tufts as a "parachute."

Lots of interesting things going on out in nature when you look closely!

- Richard

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