Friday, May 15, 2009

Christmas in May?

Our "Christmas" amaryllis is blooming for a second year in a row in ... May.
I remember last year having to cut it back and force the blooms but this year it has bloomed without any coaxing. I think I brought it up from the basement fairly late - maybe January or February - and again it has paid us with a May bloom (two actually).

The picture (above) is a close-up of the anthers where the pollen is formed. They are held by the slender filaments. Together the two flower parts make up the stamen. Do you remember high school biology?

A little closer look at the same structures shows the powdery yellow pollen beginning to form.

A wider view shows the trumpet-like single flower which is open. The other is still an almost-open bud.

And a wider view still. We are truly celebrating Christmas in May.

Finally, I wanted to get in very close for a macro shot to detail just two anthers, each beginning to form pollen. It is a delicate structure, held by the thread-like wisps of filaments, and they bob in the wind. That is the idea after all ... make the pollen enticing and available.
Yesterday, a "horny toad" and today a "horny amaryllis".
If you want to have a look at last year's bloom and compare them, go back in this blog to the entry for May 22, 2008 or simply search at the top of the page for "amaryllis".