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I'm a Daddy!

Posted by randyscott77092 Texas (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 14, 09 at 19:32

I've got Philo blooms!

My first philodendron bloom opened Mar 10 & closed the next day

second one opened Mar 12

by Mar 14 it had fuzzy texture & caramel-colored sap

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RE: I'm a Daddy!

Randy, the reddish material is a resin produced by the male flowers. The purpose is to cause the pollen which you saw to stick to the body and legs of the pollinating beetle which is almost always from the genus Cyclocephala. A male beetle is attracted to the spathe once it opens by a pheromone (perfume) that is produced by the sterile male flowers which are in a zone just above the hidden female flowers and brings along his mate. The temperature of the spadix can rise as much as 15 to 20 degrees due to both thermogenesis and infrared heat during sexual anthesis. The beetles are drawn to the inflorescence as a source of food in the form of protein from the pollen on the male flowers plus the sterile male flowers themselves. The inflorescence offers both warmth and a source of food plus a sort of beetle "motel" during the cool nights in the rain forest. The beetles are filled with food, their metabolism is increased due tot he heat and as a result they mate during the time they spend inside the inflorescence. Normally the spathe will close once the male flowers produce the pollen but he beetles may stay a bit longer and have to force their way out of the closed tube. But as they leave they are covered with pollen which they will carry to another Philodendron of the same species.

The female flowers are produced first and are hidden inside the female floral chamber at the bottom of the spadix. The sterile male flowers are located just above the female flowers while the sexually active male flowers are located higher on the spadix. Female flowers are normally only sexually active in the first 24 hours and the male flowers produce pollen immediately after the female flowers complete anthesis.

I'm not certain your plant is fertile since it produced a very small amount of pollen and in the forest the entire spadix would have covered with a fluffy "cotton candy" like substance. it isn't uncommon for plants in captive growth not to be fully fertile. I've got a couple of detailed articles on the ExoticRainforest website about aroid pollination with one dedicated to Philodendron species. One was written largely by aroid expert Julius Boos. There are links inside the article below which will direct you to others on the site that may better answer questions regarding how these genera reproduce. Those articles will also tell you how to collect and freeze pollen which you may be able to use on the next fertile female flowers.

Steve and artificial pollination in aroids.html

Here is a link that might be useful: The ExoticRainforest

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