I’ve been busy and didn’t garden the past week. But, as always, Mother Nature moves on without me. The Tiger Lillies are in full bloom. Quite spectacular aren’t they?
The white ones may be my favorite. Something about the barely there lemon yellow tinting and fleshy-ness of the petals, the soft brown freckles.
But then again, the yellow ones are like fireworks and never fail to catch my eye in the garden when they’re blooming.
The shot below is the perfect way to study plant parts, should you be so inclined. The long yellow stem-like things with the fuzzy brown package at the end are the stamens which are made up of the filament (the little yellow stem-type part) and the anther (the fuzzy brown package). The anther is in the business of manufacturing pollen, which is what the fuzzy brown stuff is. The stamens, including the filament, anther and pollen, are the male part of the flower.
The yellow stem-like structure with the brown ring around the end hanging down in the center is the female part of the flower, or pistil. It’s made up of a stem-like tube called a style and the little brown ring at the end is called a stigma. At the base of the style, deep inside the flower, are the eggs and ovaries. Sperm cells from a grain of pollen left on the stigma (little brown ring) will germinate and grow its own delivery system, called a pollen tube, that extends down the style to get to the ovules at the base of the pistil in order to impregnate the eggs – and that’s basic plant sex. Woo! This complicated process is aided by all the spots and stripes and contrasting colors, which are actually road maps to let pollinators (bees and birds and such) know where all the action is, like Mother Nature’s version of flashing neon signs in the Red Light District. Didn’t know you were going to have a brief sex-ed class today, did you!? Happy Monday!