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Thread: Mutant carnivorous flowers

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    fatboy's Avatar
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    Mutant carnivorous flowers

    While photographing Drosera petiolaris last week I found a couple of plants with some seriously mutated flowers with a mess of tentacles all mixed in with the other flower parts.
    Some weren't too bad but have a look at this one in particular:



    I noticed a post in the VFT forum about a mutant plant - I love looking at this kind of thing. These plants are the oddities of the plant world so any mutation makes them (somehow) even stranger. Does anyone else have plants that produce regular mutations?

    Cheers, Troy

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I've seen false vivipary in Dionaea, Heliamphora and occasionally in Drosera, never to this extent though. Great pic, thanks for sharing.

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    Wow, that's quite something! Thanks for sharing!

    Is it known whether this is genetic or epigenetic / environmental?
    If genetic, please start taking cuttings!

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    It's generally environmental. D. intermedia is one species that rather commonly makes little plantlets instead of flowers (flowers are after all modified leaves), and I've seen it happen several times. Sometimes the whole flower turns into a new plant (which can be rooted), and other times it happens like as shown.
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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Most of the cases of false vivipary that I have seen involve old flower stalks and plantlets which form after the flowers are gone. This photo seems to show carnivorous, tentacle-bearing bracts surrounding unopened flowers. That's really different, in my experience. Thanks for posting!

    You have a cool blog, by the way. It is fun to see the photos of petiolaris sundews in situ.
    Last edited by bluemax; 01-06-2016 at 06:40 AM.
    - Mark

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    False vivapary is the development of fully formed plantlets from the flowers. In this case it appears the sepals and bracts have characteristics of the trap leaves. That's no surprise since flowers are just modified leaves to begin with. There are photos of a similar development like this on the ICPS forums. I may be wrong but I recall the plant being Drosera capensis in that instance.

    The bracts on some Heliamphora flower stalks often develop as "proto-pitchers".
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    Interesting plant. Perhaps it may increase chance to catch more preys and benefit to the plant.

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