This is number fourteen in my series looking at the life cycle of flowers. The original bulbs came from my old mate who used to live down the road. He was a wonderful gardener and was always giving me plants. He had a raised garden which was quite large full of Golden Lycras. When they bloomed it did look a treat. I scattered the bulb around my garden in around five or six garden beds instead of a mass planting. Now I have splashes of gold throughout my gardens in Autumn.
I’ll spoil you right at the start with one of the clumps of gold shining in the sun.
Before the plants get to that stage, the bulb sends a spear from the ground to greet the morning sun. Can you see the little one just poking its head out?
These have pushed out with one beginning flowering, while the other spear, the buds are starting to open. The ones from the above photo are in the lower right hand corner with the buds just forming
Each spear bursts open with several buds forming and soon all of these will be flowers
The buds push out and away from each other to give room for the flowers to get full advantage for growth.
Even before the flowers are fully open, the Stingless Native Bees start to gather pollen in their pollen sacs. These bees make a spiral shaped hive in the hollows of trees
The flowers open one by one so it seems that there is always a flower open while the other buds wait their turn
The gradual opening of the cluster of flowers
One flower opens while the others wait
I spent a bit of time seeing there were any other pollinators. I didn’t see any honey bees but a few Gold Bum Ants were inspecting the petals.
I am not sure about this fly. He seemed more intent on watching me than examining the flowers
Once most of the flowers have opened the Stingless Native Bees seemed to come from everywhere.
I am glad I was looking for insects on the flowers when I spotted a Jumping Ant whose bite is most painful. They may be small but it feels like a hot needle has been inserted into your skin and it stings for quite a while. To get around they jump as well as walk and are not just on the ground. I have been face to face with one so it was quite a way from the ground. They are also fearless and can summon a gang if needed
OK back to the Golden Lycra flowers
It is quite difficult to get a good macro. This is one of many attempts
After a while, the older flowers start to die, but there is always more to take their place
This cluster is one of the first to open and most of the flowers are starting to wilt while a new lot of flowers below are just starting to open. There is even a new bud in the background.
All but one flower have finally withered
In their finality the stalks with their bulbous seed heads carry the end of the flowers. I let these go to their end so they can put their stored energy back into the bulbs, ready to flower next year.
I hope you enjoyed the Life of a Golden Lycra flower. I don’t have anything planned for the next flower in the series as yet. Let’s see what pops up in the next few months.