Sunday, May 25, 2014

Arbutus Seed Clusters

To say that our arbutus plants are closely watched would be a gross understatement.  Still, these are busy days in the garden and what we found today came as a complete surprise.  This recently transplanted from the wild arbutus has turned two of its three flowers in this cluster into developing seed containers.  What is disturbing is that the rod like structure in the center of each seed pod looks very much like what we previously identified as the male pollen producing organ.  We will have to look again closely next year and get our male and female parts properly identified.

This is the status of recently transplanted arbutus patch.  The two plants showing seed clusters are the right most plants in the middle and at the bottom.  We will identify them as three o clock and five o clock.  Also notice how the color of these plants has darkened since they have been moved out of full unrelenting sunlight and placed in the partial shade of a white pine tree.

This seed cluster is on a plant that was moved here several years ago.  Its pale green color may redden as it matures.  This rather small plant was deeply tucked into a moss patch and flowered for the first time this year.  I made no record about my gender speculations of this plant and it is the only plant in the collection to show developing seed this year.  A closer look will be made next year.

A single clump of soil containing at least three small  separate plants was planted near the house.  Three white fuzzy stems of new growth are growing out of this tiny plant.  Its appearance this Fall should impress anyone.  The various more primitive life forms are interesting to look at but will likely not survive in their new location.

We need to reread William Cullina's description of gathering and processing arbutus seed so that we are ready when the seeds are mature.  Plans are to simply scatter some seeds under different white pines and start some of the seeds in a flat.  We shall see how we do.

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