Thursday, November 22, 2007

Random plant event: ambitious Schlumbergera

I was going to skip posting today, on the grounds that it's Thanksgiving and all, but then I remembered the Canadians, for whom today is just another Thursday, so I changed my mind.

So. When I got into work yesterday, I saw that they'd gotten in new Schlumbergera on Tuesday while I was home, and I went around looking at what we'd gotten, when I saw this guy. Every other segment with buds has one bud, or maybe two, but that's it -- I don't think I've even seen any with three buds at the same time. And then there's this fella.

That's nine buds, on the same segment. Possibly this is not that unusual to serious Schlumbergera growers, and I'm being impressed over nothing, but on the off chance that this might actually be cool, I posted it. If anybody would like to give me some indication of how unusual this is, I'd appreciate it. Also feel free to leave comments accusing me of coddling the Canadians. Or whatever.

UPDATED: Changed "Zygocactus" to "Schlumbergera" throughout, as I'm told Zygocactus is no longer officially correct.
UPDATED AGAIN: I have a good theory now for what was going on here; I suspect this plant got an excessive dose of the hormone benzylaminopurine (BA). BA is used by growers to boost the number of blooms per stem segment, but in cases like this, most of the buds are just going to push each other off the plant as they develop; there simply isn't room for nine flowers on the same segment like this. More at the Schlumbergera truncata cvv. profile.


Bleimanimal said...

Zooillogix can haz 9 bud zygocactus?

Anonymous said...

I Love it when you coddle us Canadians!

Anonymous said...

I have a schlumbergera that I just bought 3 days ago, and out of 12 flowering growth tips, 10 had more than 3 flower buds. Out of these ten pads, 6 had over seven buds in a row. One had 9! This, just as in your picture, distorted the pads, giving them a "crested" look. Which begs the question: Is this a rare mutation which causes the flowering tip to elongate and produce multiple buds, sort of like a crested cactus? If so, I find it odd that some buds didn't do that, so it must be a local mutation; either that or it was just grown really well.

Also, several of the flowering pads had flowers that sprouted on the pad beneath them, or the flowering pad sprouted another pad while setting buds; this new pad then sprouted a flower as well! Odd. I guess my cactus has a genetic code which makes it unusually vigorous, because the pads are HUGE! (2.5 in. long) I don't know if this phenomenon is rare or not, but it's cool.