|Orchid seed pod maturing.|
Orchid seeds are notoriously slow-growing. With so many other lovely spring and summer flowers and gardening chores, photographing the developing seed pod had fallen off my radar since last March. By August when I took this photo, the pod was noticeably longer and fuller. Surprisingly, bits of the tepals (petals and sepals together) and column structure are still hanging on. Herb asked me how much longer it would be before it opened, and I had no idea, it could be a month or several, or even a year?
About two weeks ago the seed pod began to turn yellow and shrivel. A few days later I noticed a crack along the side, and some hairy stuff inside became visible.
I presume the tiny seeds are somewhere in there. A week later the pod has continued to open more by twisting itself so that the opening in now facing downwards--to facilitate the seeds dropping?
And here's what the inside looks like. I don't know what function the hairy fluff serves--does it protect the seeds, does it help propel them like parachutes? I don't have the ability to grow orchid seedlings, as they need a very particular sterile environment and mycorrhizal fungi from the plant's roots, but observing the whole process from fertilization to seed has been a fascinating study.
|Looking inside the seed pod.|