Friday, June 27, 2008

Yucca inflorescence 6/26....last post, I swear, I think

There she is in all her glory! Cool effect, the milky sky blending into the white background of this page. I planned that....of course I didn't. But I'm not a guy to look a serendipitous horse in the mouth. The inflorescence ended up approaching 4' in height. I photographed an individual floret and posted it somewhere in the column of pictures to the right. The stalk has achieved a nice fat diameter (>1.5") and I look forward to its bleak silhouette in the winter.

When I'm writing, or reading, or watching television...when I'm home, I walk through the garden at least 2 times an hour. I have been watching for pollinators. Yuccas are pollinated exclusively, or nearly exclusively, by moths of the family Prodoxidae, the Yucca-moth family. It is a case of very specific co-evolution; see this cool page for pictures and specifics, The Yucca and Its Moth. Since moths are nocturnal I have been looking at night, but nothing so far.

Actually, I haven't discovered yet if the resident yucca months that pollinate our local Yucca filamentosa will pollinate Y. rostrata. There have been existing Y. filamentosa in the bed under this plant for at least 15 years and they set seed so we shall see. I will attempt a little manual pollination in any case.

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