Saturday, August 2, 2014

Burned-up flower stalks

I've been quite busy lately, and haven't had much time to spend with my carnivores. Unfortunately, when you are forced to neglect your plants for a week or two, sometimes things go wrong.

This is the Drosera madagascariensis which started blooming recently. I was really excited, but today I noticed something disappointing.

Droopy Drosera madagascariensis.
D. madagascariensis overestimated its own strength.
It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but the plant is drooping under the weight of the flower stalk, in part because of how long the stem is. The single cocktail straw I was using wasn't enough, and I didn't notice it soon enough to add other support. As a result of the drooping, the flower stalk grew right up into my lights and got burnt.

Burnt up Drosera madagascariensis flower stalk.
Poor little flower stalk.
I use T-8 lights, which operate much cooler than T-5s, but the flower stalk still didn't like being pressed up against the bulbs for who knows how long. I cut off the stalk so it won't keep stressing the plant. Maybe next time I'll be able to manage a D. madagascariensis flower stalk better. Oh well.

I've also had this happen with one of my Drosera burmannii. Remember my competition pot has been blooming like crazy. One of the stalks grew up into the lights and died.

Burnt up Drosera burmannii flower stalk.
It still looks like it wants to grow, but no dice.
This wasn't nearly as big a blow though, since my D. burmannii are so prolific. In fact, I decided to harvest my biggest stalk today, along with 2 others.

Drosera burmannnii flower stalk leaning over.
This was seriously getting bumped all the time.
As you can see, it had started leaning over my lights, which meant that every time I reached into my trays to do something and knocked the lights a bit of seed spilled out. I hope I didn't get seed everywhere, but it's totally possible I did. I figured I didn't need to wait for everything to be fully ripe to get enough seed. And I was right! I got way, way more seed then I could ever do anything with.

I tapped out the seeds that were fully ripe, and set the stalks aside to dry for later. However, I think I'm gonna keep the fully ripe seeds separate, since I suspect they'll be more viable in the long term. There are so many seeds. This is what a functionally infinite amount of D. burmannii seed looks like.

Piles of Drosera burmannii seed.
I had to be careful not to sneeze.
Probably...10,000 seeds? 100,000? I have no idea. It's a lot.

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