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Thread: Flower facepalm

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    jonnyq's Avatar
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    Flower facepalm

    Hi all,

    So far, two of my sarracenias decided to flower...

    The Sarracenia purpurea ssp venosa had a nice, large flower.



    (That was taken yesterday.)

    I decided to try at honing my hand at basic pollination technique this year, so I've been diligently taking a paintbrush to the pollen and dabbing it on the receptors twice a day for the past three days. The most recent attempt was this morning at about 6AM, on my way to work...

    When I came home, this is what I saw...



    I have no idea what caused this, and I'd like to prevent it from happening to my remaining flower as well... (S. purpurea ssp. purpurea)

    This definitely wasn't a mechanical issue, i.e. I didn't accidentally snap the flower... There's definitely a chunk missing from the stem...

    There are "bird spikes" all along the edge of that pedestal pot... And nothing was dug up, so it's not squirrels... A bird that tried to land on that stem, perhaps?

    Opinions? Advice?

    *sigh* Well, I still have a shot with the second flower... After this it's a wait until my leucophyllas bloom...

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    Getting There...
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    Leave it on? Maybe it is can be supplied with enough nutrient through the remaining portion to complete development?

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Yeah, it won't hurt to leave it on. If it doesn't start dying/drying in a couple of days, you could you some coated floral/plant wire to help support it and keep it in place.
    -Joel from Southern California


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    I have no idea what caused this damage, but in the wild I have seen damage done by moths to pitcher plants. There are 3 types of moths that damage Sarracenia,

    Exyra fax, who destroy the inner leaves of pitchers, Papaipema appassionata, whose catepillars eat the roots (and thus kill the plant) and Endothenia hebesana, whose caterpillars feed on the flower and seed capsules.

    None of these are what you have, but just something to look out for...
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    I would guess some critter took a bite out of the stalk.

    I can't tell you the number of times I've broken or bent flower stalks and pitchers. From snags on clothing or other plants and pots while moving plants, weeding or trimming dead material. Or wind damage.

    I haven't tried it but another LACPS member said from a class project he found that using white school glue to coat wounds on plants helps healing. Sort of a liquid bandage.

    If you act quickly masking tape wrapped around the bend/break and a bit of a plastic drinking straw - make a length-wise cut so you can slip it over the stalk - held in place with more masking tape makes an effective splint. It may not look pretty but I've saved quite a few flower and seed sets that way. You can always try green floral tape and different colored straws for a more esthetically pleasing result.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    If you look closely, it seems something also munched along the edge of a couple of the flower petals. I have seen bug damage this way too, so it may be difficult to say exactly what (or who) is the culprit.

    You may indeed be able to salvage it, & NaN's description of using a straw is ideal.
    Just be sure to support the weight of the flower with a stake & some ties.
    The less moving it around in the process, the better.
    Time will tell if it has enough stem left to allow for circulation.

    If nothing else, you can collect the pollen from the flower, to use to cross with another flower/plant. The pollen can be stored dry, in the refrigerator & can remain viable for a period of time.

    Good luck.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    twigs's Avatar
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    Either birds or squirrels ate my only flower bud this year so I feel your pain

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    jonnyq's Avatar
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    Hi all, thanks for the advice and perspectives... I do appreciate it!

    As soon as I read the post yesterday afternoon, I immediately set forth to see what I had on hand... No drinking straws, sadly, so I used a folded-back twist-tie for support instead...



    This was taken yesterday afternoon... The glue has since set, so my fingers are crossed... The way I see it, if I were to do nothing, I'd lose the flower anyway, so at least now there's a chance... All but one petal have since dropped, either due to fertilization or lack of water, or both, so time will tell...

    (In the meantime, the purp ssp. purp flower seems to be fine... So this is all good practice for potential leuco flowers in the fall...)

    Thanks again, all!

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