Stapeliopsis pillansii - flowering under ground

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Martin_Heigan
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Stapeliopsis pillansii - flowering under ground

Post by Martin_Heigan »

As if Stapeliads weren't fascinating enough, Stapeliopsis pillansii (from the Eastern Cape, South Africa) raises the bar by flowering under the ground. I had to pull the plant out of the ground to expose the flower bud. The brown section of the plant was under the ground, and the green part was exposed to the sun. I have no idea what the pollinator could be.

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Martin
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GeneS
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Post by GeneS »

Really strange and neat !!!

The sectioned view is a nice touch!

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tvaughan
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Post by tvaughan »

Great info. I imagine there're all sorts of gogas that like eating dead, smelly stuff. I wonder what percentage of flowers open up underground? I've got three clones, but none flowering size.
Mark
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Post by Mark »

That's a cool one Martin. Also new to me. Thanks for sharing!




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Tony
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Post by Tony »

Remarkable :o
How can that possably work! :?
termites maybe?
Thanks Martin :thumbright:
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Martin_Heigan
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Post by Martin_Heigan »

To the best of my knowledge, they always flower under ground. You can actually see that the flower makes no attempt to turn upwards, and grows directly down like roots. It will be very interesting to know how it is pollinated, but I am sure that smell also plays a role. From the size of the flower, one can deduct that the pollinator must be tiny.
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cactuspolecat
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Post by cactuspolecat »

Wow, quite intriguing Martin, I had no idea that a plant could flower beneath the surface of the soil.

CP
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G'day from down under in Devonport, Taz, the HEART of Oz.
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