Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"I'm a doctor, not a horticulturist, Jim!"

For all those Star Trek fans out there.... What? Am I the only one who watched? This is a question of diagnosis. Just what is going on in this photo?

There are a few things to notice in the picture. First, what are the enlarged green objects in the middle of the flower?

These are pollinated blossoms that are making seeds for this plant. The green pod starts swelling and getting large. These will get just a bit larger and turn a nice shade of tan. The bloom stem won't wither and die back like it usually would after the flowers fade. It will continue to remain upright and not shriveled even though all that's left is a stem with little brown pods.

A violet keeps it's seed head ON the plant and continues ripening for as much as 6 months till the seed is mature and viable. Sometimes it's hard to not accidentally groom off the seed pods, or knock into them when watering or caring for the plant. But, if you want to try to plant the seed it has to be ripened on the mother plant.

Another thing you'll notice about the photo is the damage to the petals of the flower. What's all this about??  It's thrip damage and perhaps a bit of a watering issue with the plant. Thrips are hard to see on light colored blossoms when they are moving about but the damage that they do shows up more readily on the light blossoms. Disbudding and continuing to keep the plant flower-free for a period of months will take care of the problem, as well as the use of some pesticides.

The flowers on this plant were likely pollinated by the insects. Usually a violet doesn't self pollinate. One more interesting thing about this particular plant is that it's a chimera. Will chimera seeds produce baby chimeras???? WHAT DO YOU THINK??? Leave a comment please.

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