Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, February 01, 2013

Oriental Liliums in flower (between the storms)

I have written about these Liliums previously - (at about the same dates) - so they are quite consistent in their flowering times, regardless of drought, heat waves or rain.

The local native Orchids are smarter. They are simply not flowering at present. Their strategy makes sense to me, to protect one's precious flowers, energy and genetic material, rather than risk exhausting the plant, or wasting one's seed (unlike Onan who famously "spilled his seed on the ground").

Back to the Liliums. *** I planted the large bulbs of these lovely plants outside my front door so that I would have to walk past them, in order to get in and out of the house. That is because they are gloriously perfumed, and I am a sucker for plants with perfumes, smells, and odours. My sense of smell is not very good (Violets for example simply do not mean much to me, whereas some people, especially ladies, melt at the scent of Violets). Give me a strongly odoriforous Prostanthera ("Mint Bush") or wild and sour Boronia microphylla leaves any time.
But I do love these Liliums.

A small clump of Liliums

From memory, this was an Oriental Lilium,
but looking at the Bryan H Tonkin catalogue
it is most likely to be a Lilium auratum x speciosum hybrid.

The orange-red "Anthers" are just maturing.

This anther has not yet matured.
It still has a hard coating
and you can clearly see
the depression (fold) around which
the anther opens,
as the pollen grains prepare to "dehisce"
This process is called
"longitudinal dehiscence" - see image.

Here you can see some anthers splitting
and hence revealing the mature pollen grains.
My mother would always
cut the anthers from any
Lilium flowers
she had picked for the house,
because the pollen
would stain her table cloths.

This is Lilium "Stargazer" I believe
I mentioned the storms in the heading of this post.
We had a 'significant rainfall event" over the last weekend. 177 mm over three days.
But today we had thunder and heavy rain after lunchtime. 17 mm of rain, so far.
Robertson farmers are saying they are pleased that the weather has returned to how it "ought to be".

*** For the benefit of my blogging colleague and well-known linguistic pedant, Martin, I cannot bring myself to use the plural Latin form  "Lilia" and so I stick with the anglicised plural "liliums".


Flabmeister said...

Sir, I have been misrepresented! I have no problem with saying Liliums. Some years ago I agreed with Gareth Evans when he enquired if the members sitting opposite him should be referred to as a pack of ba.

I am only a linguistic peasant - sorry, pedant - when trying to educate taxonomists. And I confess that your opening comments about the adherents of Onan already had me thinking in their direction.


Denis Wilson said...

Well, we agree on Taxonomists.
I am afraid your Evans quote is lost on me.
Perhaps best not to explain here, though.
Sorry it has taken so long to raise to your Beans/Peas bait.