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Anthurium regale Linden
 Growth of an inflorescence   
Please note:  This page contains numerous photographic images. 
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                       Photos 2006/2007 Steve Lucas

Anthurium regale Linden
Growth of an inflorescence
 
Page 6 of 6
Includes Day 56 through the latest images

See Page 2 for the definitions of botanical terms used in this description.

This is Page 6.  Page one contains our observations regarding this species.  This is the fifth page showing photos of the growth of our Anthurium regale spathe and spadix along with the growth of a new Anthurium regale leaf.  The large number of photographs has made it almost impossible for those with a dial-up connection to from a single page.  If you found yourself on this page without reading the first five pages click below to go to either Page 1, Page 2,  Page 3, Page 4 or Page 5:
 
Anthurium regale Page 1  To read our observations regarding this species click on this link
 
 
 
 
The new leaf is beginning to grow quickly.  In 12 days it has extended to 22 1/2cm (8 3/4 inches) and is now completely visible above the cataphylls.  The new leaf blade is approximately 11.5cm long (4 3/8 inch) and will soon unfurl.
 
Day 56:  WE HAVE STAMENS  AND POLLEN!
 
 
 
Day 56: For 56 days I have gazed at this spathe and spadix daily hoping to see stamens and pollen.  Today I almost missed them, this one almost fooled me.  I fully expected the stamens and pollen to begin at the bottom and work their way slowly up the spadix, they didn't.  If you look at the Day 56 lower spadix extreme photo (second row, first image) you'll see very little evidence of stamens and/or pollen.  I've stared at this spot so long I was about to give up.  But while making my daily inspection, and testing for a fragrance, I noticed what appeared to be powder.  Not only on the lower portion, but all over the entire spadix to the apex!  The second extreme photo is approximately the mid section of the spadix and far more activity is visible in the center than at the bottom.  As you continue up the length toward the apex you can see the anticipated stamens all the way to the top.  The last image was taken approximately half way up the spadix in the mid portion. My best guess is the enlargement is approximately 15X lifesize and is the maximum I dare enlarge the image lest it falls apart!
 
Today we again have heavy overcast skies and rain.  For several days the overcast conditions has appears to have impeded the production and/or shortened the duration of the pharamones.  The scent was strongly evident by 10:45AM and by 11:00AM as strong as I have witnessed since it was first noticed less than one week ago.  By 2:00PM it was again completely gone.  The pheromones persisted approximately 3 hours, unfortunately there are no beetles to be attracted.  Shortly after the photos were taken I began checking to see if the pollen could be harvested so it can be frozen for use with a future spadix.  I then notified Dr. Croat, Julius, and LariAnn.  Both Julius and LariAnn were quick to respond.  Julius excitedly responded, "FINALLY!   From what I have seen so far in the photos, not only do you have pollen, but the male stamens are very obvious, exactly as is illustrated in the photocopy I sent you out of TGOA, pg. 108, "B", where they are drawn in A. regale sticking out of the sides from under the 'scales' of the perigones,  four per flower!   It obviously is maturing from the top of the spadix downwards, as in the 'extreme' shot of the middle of the spadix, only two of the four stamens have emerged so far, but nearer the top all four are out and visible!  Julius then went on to ask that I have Dr. Croat comment on this "reverse" stamen process.  I did! 
 
LariAnn appeared equally excited about what the photographs seemed to be indicating, "Yep, that's the real McCoy; you have anthers there.  Pollen may already be present (i.e. the anthers having opened) but I can tell that many of the anthers are not yet open.  This will happen fast now, and you should have the brush and vials close at hand to collect the pollen."  I had already checked with a brush to see if pollen could actually be seen when the bristles were run across the spadix.  They could!  Now I'm grabbing for the material Julius sent almost 2 months ago to sort out what I am observing. 
 
Shortly after Julius and LariAnn made their comments Dr. Croat forwarded this message, "This is one of those species that puts out its stamens quickly throughout the entire length of the spadix, a feature typical to other members of section Cardiolonchium like Anthurium ravenii Croat & Baker.  It is  a fairly rare phenomenon because most species present their pollen over a much longer period of time, starting at the base and slowly working toward the apex.  I notice that only the lateral stamens have emerged, either 1 or 2 per flower. It would be nice to know if the 3rd (anterior) and 4th (posterior) stamens emerge equally as fast and also throughout the entire spadix.  The laterals invariably emerge first but sometimes the third and fourth stamens are not emerging together.  You will shortly have the most detailed history of flowering behavior of a species of Anthurium that has ever been recorded.  You could, of course do this sort of thing for all the species and publish a comparative study of flowering behavior like that one I published, but by concentrating on specific species in more detail than I did."    Later, Dr. Croat added this comment regarding the unusual progression of the stamens,  "The staminal progression is said to be basioscopic rather than acroscopic in this case. It is rare but happens in some Lasioideae, I believe.  I also happens in Anthurium when the spadix is obconic or thumb shaped."
 
I am excited to have been able to help document something apparently not previously observed regarding Anthurium regale!  I have already begun plans to follow the process on other species, but we still have more to observe on this one.  Hopefully other growers will want to do the same.

New Leaf Development, February 13, 2007
 
On February 13, 2007 the new leaf petiole has extended to 23cm (9 inches) above the base opening of the catayaphylls.  The new leaf development can be seen in relationship to the spathe and spadix in the first photo.  The blade has not increased substantially in size, is approximately 11.5cm (4.5 inches), and has yet to completely unfurl after 15 days.
 
 
Day 57:  At 11:15AM, 11:30AM, 12:00 noon and 12:15PM no noticeable scent could be detected.  It was 12:30PM before any could be noticed and 1:00PM before it again became strong.  By 2:30PM the scent was no longer evident.  I have elected to give the total photo space available today to extreme enlargements of the apex, mid-section and base of the spadix.  Far more stamens are visible at the base.  However, the additional stamen pairs (anterior and posterior) Dr. Croat anticipates will develop soon have not yet emerged.  Julius explains with an illustration that describes each tiny flower like the face of a clock, "IIonly see stamens (two/paired) which have emerged from under the two horizontal scales of the perigones.  To better explain, I see a total of four perigonal scales per flower,  they are at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o`clock.  The paired stamens have emerged only from under two of the perigonal scales, those at 3 and 9 o`clock, those at 12 and 6 o`clock are not visible as yet."   But then I examined the apex photo again I wondered.  Look at some of the perigone's 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions.  We will continue to observe.  Dr, Croat again commented, "It looks to me like there are a few other stamens out but I am not sure. I thought I saw one flower with one of the third stamen out and another with the 4th stamen out.  I am not certain though because those were not in full focus and I may have just been seeing the sides of one of the lateral stamens.  It would be surprising to see just the odd 3rd or 4th stamen out without any perceived ."
 
 
 
Day 58:  Today the day began sunny but shortly turned heavily overcast with blowing snow.  Despite checking frequently between 11:00AM and 2:00PM no scent could be ever be detected.  However,  it appeared to me the anterior stamens may have begun to appear on several perigones in the mid spadix photograph.  It also appeared I could see them on at least one perigone the posterior stamens are just beginning to emerge.  But my eyes don't have the training of Dr. Croat's eyes!  He soon pointed out, "I seen no evidence you have any of the 3 or 4 sets out yet.  They will be obvious when they begin. Just keep track of the number of days of delay between the laterals and the alternates.  You may even get a delay between the 3rd and 4th sets."
 
Just a note about the photographs.  Please forgive these and other images are not tack sharp.  I have to deal with glaucoma in both eyes and as a result must rely on the autofocus function of the camera.  I have yet to find a camera with perfect autofocus, especially for close focus situations.  The extreme magnification also makes it difficult to capture perfectly focused images as does the limited depth of field of the camera lens at extreme enlargements.  Hopefully we can still observe the important factors.  Please keep in mind the actual spadix is only 1.5cm (5/8) inch wide!
 

Day 59:  It is again extremely overcast today.  We had snow part of the night, however, don't think A. regale will tolerate the cold!  It is warm in the atrium.  The scent did not become evident until almost 1:00PM and by 1:30PM was quite strong.  Yesterday there were no discernable pheromones at any time during the day.  My eyes may be deceiving me but I believe I can see a few stamens in the 12 o'clock position on some perigones as described earlier by Julius.  But I will wait for Dr. Croat's more experienced eyes to make the final determination.  The base of the spadix again appears to be turning slightly green.

 
 
Day 60:  Today we have bright sunshine after more than a week of dreary overcast skies.  I had hoped to learn if the bright light could possibly affect or increase production of pheromones.  Early in this event the daily scent lasted approximately 3 hours.  Two days ago it could not be noticed.  Yesterday the duration was short, perhaps one hour, and today it again was extremely faint.  I am uncertain if the sun has little affect or the process is nearing its end.   Regardless, it appears more stamens are present, especially the anterior stamens on the center photograph.  But I will yield to Dr. Croat's opinion on what can actually be seen.  Strings of pollen appear to be visible at numerous places.
 
After reviewing today's photographs Julius had these comments, "This really is all new to me, the actual sequence in which the stamens are emerging!   Yes, several anterior stamens are clearly visible, and I saw a combination of at least one anterior and a left lateral in one of the photos.  I have no idea on the 'why' of this sequence on emergence!"  All I can say is, neither do I.  Dr. Croat then responded, "You are certainly right. Now, do they extend throughout the spadix like the laterals did?  Now try to figure out how much delay there is before the 4th stamens (posterior) come out."  It appears some anterior stamens can be observed in the lower base section (right photo) but they do not extend throughout the spadix thus far.  Obviously, there is much more to learn regarding this species.  But I'm trying to learn what I can every day!
 
 
Day 61:  I wanted to allow you to see more of the spadix in a magnified form.  The only solution was to make the photo panel as close as possible to the full size of the computer screen.  You are seeing almost of the entire spadix.  The day is bright and sunny and it appears the spadix is reacting to the additional sunlight.  Yesterday the scent could barely be detected but today the pheromones appeared at 10:30AM and persisted until approximately 2:00PM.  We again had approximately 3 hours of pollinator attractant available.  It appears both the anterior and posterior stamens are visible on the spadix apex.  One place on the mid photo appears to show the first stages of posterior stamen.  The anterior stamens are visible on a substantial number of the base perigones, but I cannot find a trace of the posterior stamens nearer the base.  It appears the "delay time" Dr. Croat asked about may be only a 24 hour period for at least portions of the spadix but it appears it can be established the pattern of emergence is lateral followed by anterior stamens with the posterior stamens emerging last. 
 
I have been trying to learn about the production of anthers for this species during this process.  Today Dr. Croat offered this explanation, "There are always 4 stamens in each bisexual flower, one on each of the four sides. Usually the lateral stamens emerge first, then the anterior stamen, later the 4th or posterior stamen.  The filament is essentially flattened but often emerges quite fleshy and the anther may
be initially pushed out beyond the end of the tepals but usually quickly withdraws to the level of the tepals.  The Anthers consist of two thecae and split longitudinally."
 
Pollen is clearly visible so we began the effort to collect as much as possible.  Janice did the work since her eyes are far better than mine.   Even though she worked slowly using a very fine brush she felt more pollen was flying away than was being transferred to the collecting tube using a very small funnel.  At the end we had collected a small amount of very fine pollen dust and placed it safely in the refrigerator.  The tubes, provided by LariAnn Garner, contained moisture absorbing material to keep the pollen as dry as possible.  Once the collection is completed in the next week the collected pollen will be frozen for future use on another spadix with a portion sent to LariAnn.
 
 
Day 62:  Today the sun has been bright all day.  I expected the pheromones to be more intense but again I was surprised!  The scent became apparent shortly after 11:00AM but never became intense.  By 2:00PM it had again vanished.  The duration was approximately the same length, but the intensity appeared decreased.  Lateral, posterior and anterior stamens can be seen on all three sections of the spadix but are not fully extended on any.  The posterior stamens are more visible near the right edge of the base section (right photo) and are as frequent on the mid section as the apex.  None appear to be in full extension.  I find it interesting that on at least one perigone on the far right photograph in the lower right corner there appears to be only posterior stamens visible.  Neither lateral nor anterior stamens appear to be extended on that perigone.  Although some pollen can be observed, there is less visible since we harvested all possible yesterday.
 
 
On February 19, the new leaf has extended to 35cm (13 3/4 inches) above the base of the catayaphylls.  Today it was fully unfurled for the first time.  The blade now measures 14.5cm (5 3/4 inches) in length.  In 6 days the petiole has extended an additional 23cm (9 inches).
 
 
Day 63:  Again, the day is bright and sunny.  The pheromones were faintly evident by 11:30AM and had again vanished by 1:30PM.  At no time during the 2 hour period was the scent strong.  On the apex of the spadix more anterior and posterior stamens are now evident than lateral stamens.  Although some lateral stamens are evident on the mid section, the anterior and lateral stamens appear to be more common.  Near the base more lateral, anterior and posterior stamens are evident, however some perigones appear to present only anterior and posterior stamens.  In very few places are lateral, anterior and posterior stamens visible. 
 
Julius and I have commented about the slow rate of progress of the spadix development.  Today he commented, "It certainly is taking its time to get through its cycle!   It will be interesting to see how long the leaf blade takes to develop to its full
size, and at what point the next bloom begins to emerge from the sheath at this new leafs base!"  
Sure will Julius.  Sure will!
 
 
Day 64: Today is again bright and sunny, however, the scent was again quite subdued.  It did not become apparent until after 12:00 noon.  The duration appears to be shorter each day and the pheromones were again gone sometime between 1:00PM and 1:30PM.  I checked the rigidity of the spadix and it appears to still be quite rigid.  Both anterior and posterior stamens are apparent all over the spadix and appear equally evident on all sections.  Lateral stamens appear less evident near the apex but are still very evident in the mid section.  Over the entire spadix both anterior, posterior and lateral stamens are most evident nearer the base.  We have not collected pollen for 2 days but little appears to be apparent.
 
 
Day 65: Today is again bright with sun.  At no time were the pheromones evident.  It appears lateral, anterior and posterior stamens are approximately equal in evidence on all sections of the spadix.  Pollen is not readily visible on any section, however with a magnifying glass "strings" can still be seen near the apex.
 
 
Day 66: Today it is still bright and sunny.  Both day and night temperatures in the atrium have risen dramatically and as a result the humidity is near 95%.  At no time could a scent be detected, at least by my human nose!  But look at the spadix.  Pollen is more evident today than in the past several days.  Strings can be seen on all three segments.  Lateral, anterior, and posterior stamens can be observed on all sections as well but appear more obvious on the mid and base sections.  The question comes to mind, it the spadix is producing more pollen, what attracts are being used?
 
Day 67 and Day 68:  Due to one of my grandchildren's birthday party in a city some hours away there won't be a photo on either Day 67 and 68.  I will resume the photos on Sunday, February, 25.
 
 
 
Day 69:  Upon our return it appears the spadix has dramatically changed.  Between Day 67 and 68 the entirety turned from near ivory to purple. Near the apex the perigones have also begun to change color as well.  Lateral, anterior, and posterior stamens still appear to be visible but absolutely no pollen can be observed.  Obviously, the reproduction cycle has reached a climax.
 
 
Day 70: The entire reproduction process has come near the end.  All that remains to be seen is if the spadix has, by any strange chance, been pollinated.  If so, berries will begin to form.  If not, the entire inflorescence will soon drop from the plant.  Regardless, the sudden change in color has been dramatic to observe.  All the stamens appear to be shrinking away.
 
 
In just over four weeks of growth, the new leaf petiole has extended to 58.5cm (23 inches) and the leaf blade is now approximately 23cm in length (9 inches).  The new leaf is showing the extreme velvet appearance common to the species.
 
 
Day 71 to Day 78:  No noticeable changed in the spadix from Day 70 to Day 71.  The spadix may be slightly less rigid than one week earlier.  One grower informed me the seed berries, should they form, should also be purple but it appears unlikely berries will form in the absence of pre-collected pollen.  Between Day 71 and Day 73 the spadix appears to have bent just slightly, yet no difference in rigidity can be detected.  I have been examining the apex closely with a good magnifying glass but there is no evidence of seed berry development.  With the absence of pollinators none is expected.  Dr. Croat made this comment earlier on Day 73,  "I would be surprised if your spadix produces seeds without being pollinated but sometimes old collections never pollinated do surprisingly set fruit, though they are usually sterile."  And as usual, Tom is quite right.  By Day 76 the spadix has lost a considerable amount of rigidity and is beginning to lay downwards.  The spadix itself is now very flexible.  It appears it is now just a matter of days until it falls from the plant.  The purple color has noticeable dulled.  And on Day 78 the spadix fell from the plant thus ending the cycle of the spathe and spadix.
 
 
 
By March 4, 2207 the new leaf petiole has extended to over 60cm (24 inches) and the blade has dramatically enlarged from the previous measured size of 23cm (9 inches) to 36cm (14 inches).  The leaf beneath it was previously the second largest.  The new leaf has grown almost 13cm (5 inches) in just over one week! The largest leaf is out of sight to the right.  The new blade is still a juvenile but has made incredible growth in just over one month!
 
 
After 51 days of growth the new leaf has now reached a blade length of 53.5cm (21 inches).  Measured again in mid April, that has turned out to be the maximum size of the new blade, a full 20cm (8 inches) short of the size of the previous blade.  The petiole has extended to 71cm (almost 28 inches).  The largest previous 73cm (almost 29 inches) leaf is not visible.  In the past 17 days the new blade has grown 16.5cm (10 1/4 inches).  The leaf shown beneath the new blade was produced just before the previous larger leaf.  During the past 17 days it has grown at a rate of approximately 1cm per day!
 
An interesting observation was observed on April 17, 2007.  Normally in anthurium species a new leaf blade is followed by a new spathe and spadix.  In the case of this plant, the specimen is now producing another new leaf.
 
 
 


 

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