Andy Schweiger
June 2, 2016 | Educational | Andy Schweiger

Flower Power

Far out's time to flower! Let's set the mood.

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
     -Age of Aquarius, 5Th Dimension

Today I am a flower! 

No, not your typical flower. Nobody ever goes to the florist and orders a bouquet of Vitis Vinifera for Mother's Day and there's probably a few good reasons why. First of all...I'm not that pretty of a flower. Compared to me a mixed brocolli and cauliflower arrangement is more pleasing to the eye, but to the man on the tractor, I'm plenty attractive. Ok, enough of being's how I look now.

As you can see, the cap (calyptra) has now popped off revealing my pistel and stamen. My flower has no petals and I also have no distinctive aroma.I'm all self contained; no bees required.Since I contain both the male and female flower parts, I can self polinate with the help of wind and gravity. In the coming weeks, the now unneeded male part of my anatomy falls off, leaving just the polinated pistil.

Sometimes, high winds can blow the pollen away, rain water can wash the pollen off, or excess heat can stress the pistil. When this happens, the pistil doesn't ripen. In most normal situations, the pistil will fall off the cluster. This is called shatter.

If you were to walk out into a vineyard in late June and tap a cluster, you would see a mixture of stamen and unpolinated pistils fall off in your hand.

For now, I just need to keep my fingers crossed that we don't have any unseasonal rains. Meanwhile, my caretakers will be keeping a careful eye out for mildew so I can grow nice, clean, and healthy.

That's all for now! I'll check in after my next growth spurt.


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