About time I made a post of flowers and plant photos, there’s been a lot of vehicle and work posts lately. The middle of summer isn’t a great time for photos of plants and flowers, things are dry and most plants are not exactly at their peak, so this has a bit of a summery dry feel to most of it.
This is a dandelion, we all know them, most of us as weeds in the garden. The name dandelion comes from the french “dent-de-lion” meaning “lions tooth” referring to the coarsely toothed leaves. Every part of the plant is edible leaves, stems, flowers and roots and it’s been eaten since prehistory.
Hard to believe that the three pictures above are all essentially the same species of plant, all dandelions but they all look so different. The flowers and growth habits of the plants are very different too, some very flat leaves on the ground with single flowers on long tall spikes. Others growing more like small herbaceous shrubs with multiple stems and flowers.
I quite liked this variation, not your standard round fluffy ball, this plant was particularly sticky. Another little known fact about the dandelion, most may know they have a milky sap when you break the plant, but did you know that this milky sap can also be used to make rubber? In fact there have been trials in recent years growing and harvesting them for rubber production to make car tires. How cool, using an easy quick growing weed to make tires.
The flowers also vary incredibly from flat spread wide open to tall thin flowers.
Crazy flower, like a completely different species.
Still this isn’t meant to be a post just on Dandelions.
Continuing the summery feel. Summer means many plants are flowering and going to seed, spreading their seeds ready for the autumn/winter rains.
Grass flowers and seeds are always unusual when you look closely.
Speaking of unusual, hows this?
It’s the back of a fern frond with spore being released. The fern lifecycle is rather crazy, it requires two distinct generations or phases to reproduce, called diploid sporophytic and haploid gametophytic phases. Huh? Right this is where it gets really confusing and I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. The spores are produced and then drop from the plant and grow into these very small plants called gametophytes, these tiny gametophyte plants produce the sperm and eggs which are released and can then fertilize, once pertilized it moves into the next phase and grows into the normal fern you see, a sporophytic plant.
Yeah, OK enough of that..
Simple single generation sexual reproduction of flowering plants are easier.
Sorry to those with arachnophobia.