Monday, May 20, 2013
Mayflower Working In May
With the appearance of the trailing arbutus flowers this spring, daily visits were made to enjoy both the sight and the scent of these blossoms. As the flowers began to fade and other garden tasks demanded attention several days passed between visits here. The appearance of new stems this soon was totally unexpected. It seems that arbutus plants waste no time to continue their growth cycle. With the flowers past it is time to grow more stems and new leaves.
The first picture shows the current status of the plant that was eaten to its crown by a passing woodchuck early last spring. In due time it grew a cluster of new leaves from the crown. No flowers appeared on this plant but now it is sending out stems with a vengeance. Eleven separate new stems are visible in the photo. New leaves will soon follow as this plant works to regain its status as our best plant.
Our much celebrated new plant from seed shocked me with its two new stems. How can a small new plant with only three not so big leaves make the energy to send out this growth spurt? I am really looking forward to watching this plant grow in its first year.
This cluster of spent female flowers has a new stem passing above them. Note the shape of what was the base of each flower. If fertilization occurred, then seeds will begin to show here. These plants are truly exciting to watch.
Here are the remains of male flowers. The upper spent blossom has been pushed along the remains of the anther. The base of these male flowers is markedly different from what is left of the female flowers. Their work is finished but it appears that something will grow from the base of these flowers. We expect to see many new leaves soon but will watch to see what develops where the flowers grew.
This picture was added three days after the original post. New olive green leaves are now present. Three years ago I was totally unsuccessful with stem cuttings. Only new growth was taken for cuttings but it had all turned dark green by the time it was cut. This year cuttings will again be tried. New growth at this stage will be cut. Time will be given to let this new growth get well under way before some of it is taken to try and make new plants. For some reason I feel compelled to learn how to correctly interact with this plant.