Small but perfectly formed

The last week has been an emotional rollercoaster so I’m going to play it safe with a geeky plant post today. I’m OK but need to chill out a bit. Off out for lunch with a friend later 🙂

This may be the first in a series of posts about flowers which are understated and might be overlooked, but which reward closer inspection. It doesn’t take a psychologist to work out why these appeal to my introverted self… 🙂

First up is Gilliesia montana. I grew this from seed sown several years ago and it has just reached flowering size. (Growing most bulb plants from seed requires great patience – three years is normal, ten years from sowing to flowering is not unusual and I have some species still unflowered and tiny after nearly twice this time)

Gilliesia montana is found growing wild in the Andean foothills in central Chile. It is related distantly to onions and more distantly to daffodils and, like those, it forms a bulb which survives the dry season in a resting state without leaves or roots. In cultivation in the Northern hemisphere it has a dry summer and gets a first watering in early autumn. Leaves start to appear around Christmas time and the flowers in early spring. In May it dies back to the bulb and rests until the next season.

As you can see. The flower is very intricate, beautiful, orchid-like and, unusually, held upside down. Despite the beauty, you would struggle to notice it in the wild as the flower is tiny – here you can see it with my index-finger for scale! Speculation is that, like some Orchids, the flowers are visually attractive to pollinating insects as they lack nectar or scent.

gilliesia2resize

 

We are off to the printers tomorrow to see how he has managed with reproducing the Indian spices picture.

 

Mental Health Update: Still good despite a rollercoaster week (not going into detail as it involves family). A little physically tired, I think because of work, and because the mornings are getting darker, making it harder to get out of bed. Psychologically I’m doing OK though. And I have a massage booked for the weekend which I’m really looking forward too.

Connecting with some lovely, thoughtful, philosophical and delightfully diverse people in the WordPress community recently has kept my spirits up too – thanks to all of you.

3 Comments

  1. Take care of yourself Darren. I do not have a green thum so I am amaze by those who do. Love your photos and art work. BTW, I’ve got the link to your recent study on effects of neonicotinoid on Bees. Just read the abstract yet but I will try to get access to the full study sometime this week. It has been such a crazy week at work!

    Liked by 1 person

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