Monday, August 8, 2011

Random plant event: Breynia disticha 'Roseo-Picta' blooming

The one cutting of Breynia disticha 'Roseo-Picta' (also sometimes Breynia nivosa -- as goes Plant List, so goes my nation) that was under lights in the basement, and was producing variegated leaves there, has decided to bloom.

The trigger for blooming appears to have been that I moved it into a larger pot. (The trigger for moving it to a larger pot was that it was drying out faster than I could keep up with.)

The flowers aren't particularly pretty, but they are weird. I don't know what pollinates them in nature; Google was unhelpful. Does anybody know?


Jenn said...

Such cute liddle flowers!

CelticRose said...

Weird indeed. I don't think I've seen flowers that matched the color of the plant. Maybe they've got some patterning in UV light?

Tom said...

I'm not sure I'd ever even have noticed these flowers. They've got their own unique charm though.

Anonymous said...

Likely they're either wind pollinated since they're not very attractive and its small. or perhaps some small insect, if its rewarding, but it doesn't look rewarding.

Anonymous said...

Tiny little fish carried by fairies lay their eggs in the flowers, when they do this they pollinate it.

Thats what I believe....

Pat said...

Do the flowers smell at night? Epicephala moths are nocturnal.

"The genus Breynia is closely related to Glochidion and Gomphidium (a subgenus of Phyllanthus), in which pollination by species-specific, seed-parasitic Epicephala moths (Gracillariidae) have been previously reported."

"The overall similarity of the specialized floral structure among Breynia species may indicate that this pollination system is fairly widespread within the genus."

American Journal of Botany

"To date, it is estimated that 500 Phyllanthaceae species are each pollinated by a host-specific Epicephala pollinator, which in turn lays eggs in female flowers, from which develop larvae that consume a fraction of the seeds."

New Phytologist

"in Phyllantheae, specialization to pollination by Epicephala moths evolved at least five times, involving more than 500 Phyllantheae species in this obligate association."

Proceedings of the Royal Society

Getting your children fed is quite a reward.

Derek said...

Mine is blooming, too, which is funny because it looks so droopy and miserable most of the time.

Dan said...

Hello Mr Subjunctive,

I always followed your blog, but this is my first post. This is one of my favorite plants (although I don't have it in my garden). The flowers seem to naturally self-pollinate and tends to become slightly invasive, with seedlings popping up here and there (yes, they come true from seed). When planted in the ground, it reaches about 3' high.