Speaking of Flies and Plants

Discussion in 'Botany Photo of the Day Submissions' started by ChasMTx, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. ChasMTx

    ChasMTx Member

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    I had a picnic in my yard this weekend - celebrating my god daughter's baptism. We had a terrible problem with flies and I was puzzled, usually flies are not an issue. I soon realized the reason I had an excessively large fly population was that my carrion plant (Stapelia Gigantea) was in bloom. I've had this plant and its daughters for many years but this is the first year that I have noticed their blooms having such a strong smell. Some climate conditions must have (unfortunately for my guests) come together to make this year's blooms especially pungent.

    That said, I confess to being in awe of the blooms, they look flesh colored, have 'fur' on the edges of the petals and a network of dark red lines converging on the center. What an incredible adaptation.

    The photo of the fly agaric mushroom was too much of a coincedence to pass up, so I decided to share.

    The attached photo was taken September 19th, 2005.
     

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  2. Michael15r

    Michael15r Member

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    does it stink that bad? LOL
     
  3. ChasMTx

    ChasMTx Member

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    The smell is pretty bad, but I never noticed it being that aromatic before. If I pinched off the bloom with my fingers, the smell would be on my fingers but I didn't notice a strong odor in the air around the plant. In the past I've found fly eggs laid on the flower petals. But once again, I've never seen hordes of flies around it.
    This year I guess I hit the jackpot and I could smell it, and so could the flies. But then rotting things are their meat and potatoes, it makes sense they could detect it easier than a human could.
    I like the plant because the plant itself looks like a cactus but has no thorns. The flower is amazing because on the petals there are dark red lines that make me think of blood vessels, the petals are salmon orange/pink (flesh!) colored. And on the edges of the petals are long white hairs, that resemble fur.
     
  4. Michael15r

    Michael15r Member

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    Will you be showing us a picture of this years?.. I'm already dieing to see it from what you've said. Very interestin plant indeed. I like your style!
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Evergreen shrubs Eurya are pretty rank when in flower here. Grouping in Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle buzzes with flies at bloom time.
     
  6. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    We have a Stapelia as a houseplant, in a hanging pot over our kitchen sink. The first time it flowered, I threw away the sink sponge, thinking the odor was from that. Laughed to realize it was the flower that stank! Luckily, the odor lasts (on our plant) less than one day; the flower is so striking I'll put up with the stink.
     
  7. ChasMTx

    ChasMTx Member

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    I have another variety of carrion plant and if it blooms I will take a picture of that. I was hoping to capture some pictures of my Sanisveria Cylindrica blooming but I think I missed the opportunity.
    I have gotten into growing native / xeriscape plants. If I can get a good shot of my Anacacho Orchid Tree in bloom I'll post it. Thanks for the kind words.
     
  8. ChasMTx

    ChasMTx Member

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    That sounds interesting, I'll look them up. I didn't realize that fly pollination was used by a broader group of plants.
     

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