Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Golden Ray Lilies in their full splendour.

These Golden Ray Lilies (Lilium auratum) are wonderful. Their sweet perfume is quite powerful in the fresh garden air. It could possibly be overpowering if picked and brought inside. But I love to have these sweetly perfumed flowers, outside my front door, especially at night.
Lilium auratum - the Golden Ray Lily of Japan

 Here is the clump of Lilies (including the Pink Stargazer I showed last week) as seen from my front porch. I believe that perfumed flowers ought be planted where you cannot help but be surrounded by their sweet scent.
A clump of Lilies outside my front door
I spoke about the anthers of Liliums last week. Here I had a fresh flower (at 8:30AM) just opening, and I realised I could monitor the opening (dehiscing) of the pollen grains on the anthers.
Lilium anthers just opening (dehiscing) to release pollen
The fresh anthers are flat, as the flower opens. Then they themselves open to make their pollen grains available to insects (to achieve their purpose of pollinating a flower).

Top Anther is seen to be still flat;  Lower anther just popping open, along its side joint.
Here is the same flower seen at3:11PM on the same afternoon.
Anthers now fully matured.
Knowing how the dark orange stamens can stain clothing and fabric, florists usually snip off the anthers, to prevent clients complaining about the stains from the pollen.

On the third day of opening, the clump of Liliums looks much more impressive. The largest plant is carrying six opened flowers, and has a number yet to open. The pink Lilium in the background is the Pink Stargazer.
Lilium clump on 3rd day of flowering
 I mentioned the sweet perfume of this Lilium. It attracts lots of tiny insect (midge-like creatures). Of course, it also attracts some larger insects, such as this "Common Garden Katydid". (Caedicia simplex)

My Katydid appears to be a juvenile (a "nymph") as it has not yet developed wings. But what a fine set of antennae it has. (Click to enlarge image)
Common Garden Katydid on Lilium bud.

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