Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Not So Mysterious Afterall...
I'm always so grateful for having a wide circle of friends who are also experts in related fields. Virginia Hayes is the Curator of the Living Collection at Ganna Walska's Lotusland. If you're not familiar with this astounding horticultural collection in Montecito, CA. click on this link for more. It is perhaps one of the greatest gardens in the world, the vision of a most wonderful and unusual lady.
Anyway, as soon as I had the photo of Sunday's strange cactus uploaded to my Flickr site I wrote to Virginia and Randy Baldwin - my "know every plant in the world" experts. Randy is the general manager of San Marcos Growers, one of the top nurseries on the west coast specializing in Mediterranean-climate plants.
Randy was unfamiliar with the strange manifestion that I interpreted as either a French braid or the neck and head of a buzzard, awaiting a tasty meal of carrion. Turns out the explanation from Virginia was a bit more simple and makes perfect sense...
This is just how those large cactus flowers curl up after being open. If you want physiological reasons, I'd guess loss of turgor pressure in both the petals (pale color) and the sepals (greenish, narrow structures) and probably lost unevenly so that the infolding and twisting happens.
Have a great day,
So, no need to call out Sherlock and Watson. Just nature doing it's usual thing.