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Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Sandra75, Feb 13, 2008.
I have this plant that started having something growing. What is it?
Your plant is a Philodendron, very probably a hybrid. The growth is an inflorescence which is the reproductive organ of the plant and is common to all aroids. It is composed of two major parts. The external part is the spathe and the portion at the center is the spadix.
The spathe is often called a "flower" by collectors but is truly a modified leaf. The spathe is designed to protect the spadix during pollination and subsequent growth of berries. If pollinated berries will grow and will contain seeds.
Pollination is a fairly complex situation and in nature is often done by a beetle or other suitable insect. Nature literally assigns an insect species to do the task and the male of the species is drawn to the plant by a very specific pheromone. That pheromone, or perfume, is often not detectable by the human nose. But to the male of the insect species even a few molecules smells exactly like a female of his species who is ready to reproduce. A male insect can detect a tiny amount quite literally from as far as one mile away!
Once pollinated the berries take approximately 2 months to develop. Were you to become fortunate enough to get berries you can crush them when ripe and plant the tiny seeds contained inside in a thin layer of well drained soil. The new plants can take two or more years to fully develop. In nature the berries are often eaten by a bird and as a result many Philodendron species grow up on the brances of trees rather than in soil. The seeds are left on the branch of a tree in the bird's droppings with just enough "fertilizer" to allow the seed to germinate. Species that grow attached to another plant are known as being epiphytic.
You can observe the spadix and determine when it is ready to be pollinated. Watch for a liquid to form. Likely it will form at the bottom of the spadix first. When that happens the plant has entered female anthesis. If the male flowers begin to produce pollen you can take a very light camel hair brush and spread the pollen over the female flowers. With any luck you may grow some seeds. The seeds are viable for a very short time and should be planted quickly once the berry fully reaches color. Since your plant is almost certainly a hybrid I have no idea what the color should be.
This link will give you more information:
http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Grow or Growing Philodendrons.html
Again Sandra, you have an aroid, a Philodendron by the looks. What you have there is the "flower" of this plant. It is not actually a "flower" but a spadix and a spathe. The spadix is the upright thing (technical term LOL) and the spathe is like the sheath surrounding the spadix. If pollenated correctly the spadix will produce berries with seeds in it. Steve will be able to expand on what I just said....
Steve you must of hit enter just before me....
Cool, thanks for the info!! :D
I was probably trying to figure out how to explain what the inflorecence was while you were writing!
Well you did a better job than me mate!!!
Sandra, you must have quite a few aroids, judging from your recent posts. Do you have many more???
I'll keep an eye on it and see 'if' anything come out of it. If it does, I'll post a pic !
Ed, I have what I posted on a few threads. But I'm not familiar with their names. Often, I have no name tag when I buy them. I usually know I have a aroid only after you guys help me out! ;)
Well you better go and buy some more ; )
I am always interested seeing what other plants there are around the world...
For sure Ed, I will :)
Sandra, watch the spadix each and every day. Use a magnifying glass. You will be looking for a liquid to form and it will likely form in the morning. Most likely it will first be visible near the bottom. Over the next few days it will spread upwards (in most cases). A very few species do this backwards. Next begin looking for what may appear to be cotton fibers. Those tiny fibers are the pollen. The liquid is a signal the female flowers are ready to be pollinated and the cotton looking fibers are what you will need to pollinate them. Just use a clean very fine camel hair brush and sweep them over the female portions of the spadix. If you are lucky, in a few weeks you'll begin to seed the berries develop. If not, the spadix will simply wilt and fall off.
I think you will have to wait for the next inflorescence as this one is past its prime, by the looks...
cool! Am curious to see if I'll get anything out of that ...
I doubt you will get anything out of the one in the photo, but a new one should be on its way soon...
Ed, how you can tell if I'll get anything out of it or not? And that I'll probably get another one?
Sandra, it is pretty late in Australia so I'll take a shot at this. It isn't uncommon for Philodendron species to produce multiple inflorescences. Sometimes there will be a new leaf formed first and the second spathe will follow. When the spathe first formed it was likely green and then began to take on the color. The same with the spadix. Shortly after the spadix begins to color is when anthesis often begins. Since I don't believe this is a species I can't give you any specific information. In the meantime, just check the spadix for any sign of either liquid being formed or that "cotton" appearing pollen. Dr. Tom Croat of the Missouri Botanical Garden used to tell me all the time to "smell it"! So try. Sometimes you can smell the "perfume" but sometimes not. If you notice a scent it is very likely the spadix is entering female anthesis. Male anthesis will follow shortly.
Thanks for explaining that to me. Am trying to understand this better. Will read that link you sent me on your first post. Thanks :D
It is late in the morning over here, nearly lunchtime...
To me, it looks like that spadix has gone through both stages of anthesis and is on its way "out". Thats why I said a new one should form soon. But that is only my observations judging by the second photo. That is what mine look like sometimes when they have passed their "use by" date. I am talking about the spadix, not the plant.
Of course I could be totally wrong!!!
Weather must be great in Australia?! We got some more snow today and now at 8:25pm its -11C. bbrrrr .... Back to the topic, now that its 'out' what do I do? Do I cut it out? Or i let it be?
I would just let it die off naturally....that is assuming I am right. I would be interested what Steve and others think. Just wait and see what happens.
Weather is good over here though a bit humid. 31 degrees celcius and overcast. Humidity 92%
Just allow it to wither. Who knows, you may get it pollinated.
K, I'll let it be. I think there is another one growing. Still all closed
It appears you are growing a new one. However, that could be a cataphylls. Look at the adjacent leaf with the red material on each side. That is the cataphylls which form around any newly formed leaf as it develops. But often a new spathe and spadix look very similar. Just watch it and you'll soon know if you've got a new leaf or another inflorescence.
yeah, I see it...You might be right. I got so much to learn! Lol.