Vriesea flower spike maturation
This is the first time that I've paid close attention to a Vriesea flower spike that has looked like it might produce a few mature pods, so I'm not really sure of exactly what to expect and since it carries a couple of crosses that I really want, I'm more than just a bit anxious!
The plant in question is a Vriesea 'Uluru Sunset' with a couple of pods that are x self and a couple that are x 'Emerald Meadows'. The pollinations started in mid November last year so now it's around 8 months down the track. The bracts have been going brown and papery for quite some time, but up until a couple of weeks ago the pods and the stem have been firm and green. Since then they have started going brown and yesterday I noticed that the stem had started to shrivel, but still with no sign of the pods splitting. Here it is.
Vriesea 'Uluru Sunset', 8 months after pollination.
So, to the questions! Is this browning and shrivelling of the stem part of the normal maturation process and I should just wait until the pods split before I harvest the seed? Or, does the shrivelling indicate something sinister and I should remove the pods and try to rescue the seed (if any) as soon as I can?
All thoughts will be very welcome! (NB apart from the shrivelling flower spike, the plant looks nice and healthy).