Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Tree Peony of the Season

My wonderful old Tree Peony plant "Destiny" has given me its first flower for the season.

This is a large flower, larger than my hand.What a joy it is !

Here is the "eye" of the Tree Peony.
The red structure in the middle is the fused "Carpel" of the flower,
After pollination, the carpels diverge as they fatten up.
This apparent single unit splits into its component sections - usually 5.
The flower is dominated by a huge boss of stamens surrounding the carpel.

Tree Peonies are self-fertile.
If you look closely (click to enlarge the image) you will see the
raised edges of the female part of the flower (the stigmas) in the middle.
You can see the dusting of pollen already delivered by the bees.

Bees love Tree Peonies even more than I do.
It is the abundance of pollen which attracts them.


mick said...

Beautiful flowers. Do the flowers have any nectar for the bees?

Wilma said...

Just beautiful, Denis. I can see why you and the bees love them!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick and Wilma.
Mick the bees collect pollen and take it back to the hive. I don't believe there is any nectar involved in this flower-bee relationship.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
Further info.
I thought bees ate pollen to convert to honey, but no, they rely on nectar for that. But I was partly right.
"Honey bees also collect pollen which supplies protein and fat for bee brood to grow." (Wikipedia)
So bees use pollen to feed to their young (larvae) (or "brood" as Apiarists call them).

ValeriaVine said...

Hi Denis,
Just the man I wanted to see about a tree peonie! I want to grow one (some?) in my garden (probably too late this season).

Can you drop by and give me your learned opinion of where I might accommodate one of these beauties?

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Valeria Vine
I would be honoured to "consult" with you, re a location for a Tree Peony.
You can forget this year - they ought be moved only when going dormant - from Anzac Day onwards.
I have several "plain" ones (which are quite nice in their own way, but not quite as showy as yesterday's plant, but hardier and more likely to flower well for you.
They need protection from wind above all else. Your back yard would be OK for that.
I'll try to drop by on Wednesday or Thursday.
Pls email me if the day/time is critical. It should only take 5 minutes to find a spot.

ValeriaVine said...

Hi Denis,
Yes I realise I missed the boat on alot of Spring things, but that's what you get for being so damn busy,.... a garden full of cornflowers and not much else!

I have a landscaping project in mind, at least I know the dirt man will wait for me even if Spring won't.

I'll be in tomorrow morning but then I'll be off at midday. hope to see you!

Denis Wilson said...

OK I'll come down tomorrow morning.

Lynn said...

Wonderful pics (and flowers!) Denis