Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Power of Three

Three: Female squash flower with three stigmata. (Macro)
(Click picture for larger view)
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"My whole outlook on life changed with those three little words, 'The rabbit died'." ~ Anonymous Mother
This year I tried to grow squash, little white pan squash, but it didn't work. At first the vines grew green and strong; large yellow flowers appeared and I kept waiting to see the squash, but the flowers simply wilted, no squash. More flowers bloomed and these looked promising with small bulges beneath the bloom. But these too dried up and turned brown; again no squash, no babies to pamper. Finally all the vines wilted and died. What happened? I discovered that squash and other plants in this family have separate male and female flowers on each plant. The males usually bloom first to attract the bees. Isn't that strange? Usually it's the female who has to be "attractive." Later, the female flowers bloom along with the male flowers and the bees do the pollination tango. Apparently this plant had MBD, or "Male Bloom Dysfunction." All the male flowers hit full bloom before this female flower opened. No pollination, no squash. Why did this happen? Who knows. Perhaps we'll have better luck next year.

Submission for MacroDay topic "three". (end of post)

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