Monday, April 30, 2007

Helleborus niger- no longer as white as the driven snow

After pollination the white sepals (flower protectors that look like petals but aren't) of the Christmas Rose start to change colour (no wonder: the flower is no longer a virgin! [one might say it has been deflowered?!]) In the first pic you can see that the anthers are lax and spent, the actual petals (small and not very noticeable) have fallen off, and the sepals have started to take on a pinkish-tan tinge.
In the second pic, a different flower which opened earlier, the sepals have become quite advanced in their colour shift (but they aren't finished: eventually they will become green) and the ovaries have begun to elongate and swell noticeably. If I had been able to contort my back lower for a face-on shot, you'd be able to see that the male parts of the flower are gone. But this is a family-rated blog so you'll have to take my word for it.

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