Saving My Ears

Elephant ears are mostly water.

Mojito Elephant Ears Colocasia

So if they freeze, they turn to mush.

I let the frost kill the leaves, then I cut off the droopy parts.

I dig them up and haul them inside my already crowded workshop.

There are too many plants in there to get much work done,

but it’s a great place to go think and breathe.

Black Beauty came inside in its pot.

My Mojitos are in a box.

The Frydeks are in a bucket.

And YES, I did bring in those trouble causing Coffee Cups.

They are reclining in my lawn cart.

Flower has more heart than sense.

I must not end this post without a photo of the cutest ears of all.

Bunny ears.

Barley and Charlotte, New Zealand Lop Rabbits

FLOWER

 

Cover Your Ears

Well actually, by now it is really cover your tubers.

Elephant ear leaves got bitten off by the first freeze.

Now, it is time to protect the mama tuber and her baby sidekicks(pups).

I sometimes dig some up to store inside my workshop, but since it is all ready full I am risking losing some of my Colocasia collection.

I did bring in some baby Coffee Cup /Colocasia escuelenta shoots earlier.

I only have one bunch of Mojitos now, so I covered them really well.

Be sure to not only mulch around the stems, but also between the stems.

There have been years when I did not mulch at all.

What usually happens is the big mama turns to pink mush, but some of the deeper baby tubers survive. These take years to get as big as they were previously.

Don’t forget your bananas. They should be in a ring of mulch also.

Cover your ears. Here comes winter.

FLOWER

 

Amazed by a Spadix

I had to divide and conquer some Mojito Elephant Ear plants/ Calocasia esculenta.

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They had grown so many roots that they filled up the filter basin for the Koi pond.

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Instead of water flowing back into the pond, it was flowing out onto the ground.

I am so glad I was outside working and heard the top pump sucking air.

When I arrived at the pond, it was half empty.

A massive fish kill was diverted.  Whew!

OK,  back to the Mojitos.

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The plants were as tall as I am, so to handle them for re-potting,

I had to remove some foliage and blooms.

I brought the blooms inside for a closer look.

This form of flower is referred to as a spathe and spadix.

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It has a male part at the apex and a female part at the base.

I peeled away the outer sheath/spathe to expose the floral parts.

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Then I sliced into the darkly spotted female part covered in florets/fruits.

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Under the microscope I smashed these little florets/fruits to release some seeds.

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I sliced off part of the yellow outer layer of the male floret part.

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The yellow powder/ pollen has an interesting shape.

I must say the spathe and spadix makes an ugly flower, but its components are beautiful under a microscope.

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FLORET