Invisible Miracle - Aspidistra Flower

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For nearly a century, green aspidistra caps can be seen not only in the plant's homeland, in the east and southeast Asia, but in residential buildings and public buildingsall over the world. The plant is famous for its non-capricious temper, easy adaptability and vitality. It feels good in a shaded room, in a cool and in the wind. Even a forgetful owner, forgetting to water or, on the contrary, regularly plant a plant, an aspidistra will withstand all adversity and will grow as if nothing had happened.

It is said that aspidistra belongs to houseplants-long-livers, capable of growing for several decades.

At the same time, not all lovers and connoisseurs of pot cultures know what an aspidistra flower looks like. Nevertheless, the closest relative of the May lily of the valley blooms annually, and the corollas formed on the plant are much larger than the flowers of the Russian forest culture. Why do flower growers not see flowers, or at home the aspidistra for some reason refuses to bloom?

Peculiarities of Aspidistra

The peculiarity of an aspidistra plant is that, unlike many other indoor plants, it has almost no stem, and leathery obovate or lanceolate leaves and forming shoots depart from a branched rhizome lying directly below the ground surface or even protruding above it.

Flowers, like leaves, are formed at the root. And if the peduncle is long enough in the lily of the valley, and the flowers form an inflorescence towering above the foliage, the stem of the aspidistra does not exceed another centimeter in length. Corollas are single, and in case of mass flowering, buds are formed along the rhizome at some distance from each other.

The uniqueness of aspidistra flowering is not only in where the flower is formed, but also in the way it looks. In many ways, the flowers of the plant are peculiar champions in the Asparagus family.

This is the number of perianths, which, depending on the species, can vary from two to twelve, and the size and shape of the corolla. Moreover, it is the shape of the aspidistra flower that is used to determine whether a newly found plant belongs to one or another species, which is extremely important because of the abundance of aspidistra endemics with a very small region of habitat.

Read also: Transplant and reproduction of aspidistra at home

Aspidistra flowers are often painted in dark purple, brown, purple or other gloomy tones. At the same time, the shape of the corolla may resemble, like in lily of the valley, a classic bell, to be cup-shaped or almost round.

The number of petals forming a flower in the lower part varies from 6 to 14, and their shape may be rounded, pointed or hypertrophically elongated, as in the aspidistral granifolia flower. As seen in the photo, such a flower is very similar to a spider.

Purple flowers with six gracefully folded petals of the aspidistra flowers of zongbayi are often very closely arranged, and the fading corollas replace the newly opened buds.

The inside of the flower, or perigone, also changes dramatically from species to species. Most of the species of this plant form bisexual flowers in which pollen is formed, and fertilization takes place immediately. However, recent studies suggest that in some cases, aspidistra blooms occur through the formation of male and female flowers. An example of this is the aspidistra fungilliformis from Vietnam.

Read also: Can ivy wax ivy be kept at home?

Aspidistra flower puzzles

Today, when it would seem that there are almost no mysteries of nature left, a plant from the Asian forests tirelessly presents botanists with surprises and asks questions. Until now, very little studied the mechanism of pollination of aspidistra. You can often hear that pollen spread slugs, but scientists tend to believe that this is just a fairy tale.

However, in the nineteenth century, the botanist Frederico Delpino revealed the fact of cross-pollination of plants and nature. But who can help a plant with flowers barely visible above the forest floor or even hidden in it? At the same time, the peculiarity of aspidistra blooms is that plants practically do not form nectar, and the aroma spreads only in several species, for example, aspidistra campanulata and patentiloba.

In recent years, many studies and observations have been devoted to this issue. As a result, an international team of researchers was able to prove that aspidistra flowers located at ground level, as in the photo, in Vietnam pollinate mushroom mosquitoes and some species of flies, including flies.

But how is the situation in other regions still unknown, due to the low availability of places of growth of culture and low visibility of the colors of aspidistra. But the pollinators of the flower of the species Aspidistra xuansonensis do live and develop inside the corolla.

These are the larvae of a tiny fly for which ripening pollen is food. When an adult insect is formed from a larva, a fly emerges from the cavity inside the crown of the aspidistra flower, as in the photo, and takes out the pollen grains.

When pollination occurs, the formation of a dense fruit containing from one to several large seeds begins at the place of the flower.

There is another reason for a long unsolved mystery. Aspidistra blooms at the beginning of the rainy season in Asia. This feature prevents scientists, but it will help the indoor plant lover to intensify the formation of buds and admire the rare home bloom of aspidistra.

In order not to miss the appearance of buds, it is necessary to remove all the fallen or dried parts of the plant from the soil.

It will not be superfluous to remove some soil above the rhizome if it is excessively buried. Often, growers miss aspidistra blooms. Since the buds simply can not break through the compacted soil, or the length of the cutting is not enough to overcome the layer of substrate.

Read also: What is Aspidistra?

It is possible to stimulate the formation of flower buds, slightly reducing the intensity of watering, and then returning the previous schedule. At the same time aspidistra must be adult and well-formed. If the plant is weakened, wait for flowers is unlikely to succeed.

Flowering Aspidistra - Video

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