Monday, July 22, 2013

Missed Arbutus Seeds

I have been watching this cluster of spent Arbutus flower parts for weeks.  These flowers displayed female parts so seed was expected.  Seed is formed in what is described as a raspberry like structure.  It seemed likely that the seed cluster would be exposed as it ripened.  Excessive time has passed.  One of these spent flowers was carefully cut free with nail clippers.  It is time to see what is happening.

The center and right most structures proved empty when opened.  Perhaps no pollination occurred.  Carefully watched all summer, nothing was ever going to happen here.

This was found in the litter under the Arbutus plants.  Since it was not attached to any plant, no certain claim can be made that it is in fact an Arbutus seed cluster.  In any event, it is empty the seeds having been shaken loose or carried off.  This year has passed the point of seed collection and I came up empty.  All I have learned for certain is that the seed forms earlier in the year.  Another attempt will be made next year to try and record the actual sequence of seed formation.

If you disregard the leaves pointing into the picture from the edges, you can see the current state of our naturally occurring baby plant growing from seed set last year.  Left to their own devices, our four plants managed to set viable seed and one new plant grew.  Our goal is to continue to fool with mother nature and spread seed in new locations.  We would like to help this native plant return with some force to our small piece of ground.

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