Pistils Up on the Passion

I know my garden like the back of my hand, so any little change is noticed.

On a misty, moisty morning last week, I was out with my camera and noticed the Passion flowers looked wrong.

They usually have the stamens and pistil parts in a whorl like a merry-go-round above the lovely corona.

On this morning however, the pistils were pulled up away from the stamens.

Were the pistils being prude for a particular reason?

I wish I could answer my question. I did do some research.

Some flowers are “male only” so that only the bisexual blooms set fruit to save plant resources.

All the blooms were pointing their pistils up, so I do not think this is the case here.

I checked today and all the pistil parts are down again, cozying up to the stamens and their pollen.

Ready for business with their styles spread wide.

Maybe some of you botany folks can shed light on this mystery.

Does the androgynophore  morph due to temperature, humidity, maturity…?



Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

make me some seeds


dust from my kind


you do the deed.


Matchmaker, Matchmaker

fly through the blooms


and make me a perfect match.


For pistil make it some pollen


For stamen we’ll need something with wings


Bee, well you bring the pollen


and I’ll give you nectar for every fling.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

make me some seeds


dust from my kind

you do the deed


Day after day I sit here all alone

find some pollen to fert. my ov’.


FLOWER on the Roof

Cut Flowers

Were you expecting an arrangement in a vase?

You forget.  I am a biologist.

So when I cut a flower, I cut up a flower.


I removed the two sets of 3 petals from the base.

Then, I cut longitudinally into the green calyx and ovary to expose the seed-forming tissues.

Here’s a little lesson in flower parts.

The long, single pistil is the female part.


The top end of the pistil is called the stigma. It is sticky to capture pollen that lands on it.


Cutting the ovary in half exposes the developing seeds.


The six stamen produce yellow pollen on the ends. Pollen acts like dust if you shake or touch it.


Pollen looks like rice on 40x.


Pollen is also sticky and sometimes stains clothing. That’s why some florists cut off the stamen. Ouch!

The petal coloring shows up in cells looking like pixels on 40x.


red and white petal on 10x

Don’t get mad at me for dissecting my Amaryllis flower.


Your Valentine’s bouquet will die, too.  Might as well learn something before you toss it out.

Happy Valentine’s Day.