Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Another Wildflower Wednesday!!

Springtime is such a happy season!!  These are two Jacks-in-the-Pulpit that I began from seed about three years ago.  The plain green one is one from our "farm" from which I obtained seeds.  I was given the seeds for the striped one from ION Exchange in N.E. Iowa.  Both sets of seeds were scarified and stratified in my "Milkjug Greenhouses" over the winter.

Both plants are natives.  It seems most people "in the know" consider all variations to be the same plant.  I did learn that the male plant is usually larger.  The female is smaller in size. Here's an interesting fact:  Jacks-in-the-pulpit bloom in April or May with an unusual flowering structure that gives it its name. The visible parts of the flowering structure are the club-like spadix (“Jack”) that rises within and above the edge of a leaf-like spathe (“the pulpit”). The upper part of the spathe curves forward and downward, acting as an umbrella to prevent water from flooding the 30 to 60 tiny flowers that are hidden at the base of the spadix. Individual plants have either male or female flowers—botanists call this dioecy.

The Male plant has a hole in the base of the pulpit which allows insects to get out.  The female does not have this exit, which means that the insect is trapped and, hopefully, given the opportunity to do a better job of pollination.

Other interesting facts include that the plant lives about 20 years and can change sex from one year to another.  This depends upon the size of the corm and its stored resources.  If the plant has adequate resource for blooming and producing seeds, it will be female.  If it does not, it will be male.

Pretty Interesting, yes??
Happy Spring!!  SG

4 comments:

sue catmint said...

very interesting, SG, happy spring gardening.

Rose said...

Hmm, a transgender plant:) Sorry, I just couldn't resist making a bad joke. But I do think these Jacks are so interesting; I need to add some to my garden.

Shady Gardener said...

Rose, (hahaha) They Are interestingly! I do a happy dance every Spring when they appear! And that means I am dancing at three different times during the spring, because they don't all show themselves at the same time! And they are slow to appear (except for the exotic one I have, courtesy of a fellow garden blogger from years ago!). We really should work out a visit! We are not that far away from each other! SG on Another Wildflower Wednesday!!

Shady Gardener said...

Sue, thank you for your recent visit! Happy Spring gardening to you, as well! Can't think of a better thing to do these days!! SG