A flower tail
No, not a tale. Not even a tall tale. This is not the retelling of a ludicrous memory of the happening of a flower.
Instead, one of my flowers, well two now, has a tail!
I needed to research this!
So, what’s with that tail thing??
I googled ‘Impatiens walleriana flower hanging‘ (after several other failed searches) and found them to be great plants for hanging baskets. Great, just what I wanted to know… (just a little lace decoration of sarcasm, there.)
I will confess to you (and think of me what you will) that I pride myself in my research ability. So, when I tell you this is the most frustrating search for me thus far – well, you know that’s saying a lot.
Turns out I need a botany book.
I did finally find a book – an expensive book – Impatiens of Africa with a diagram (see below).
Ahha, I’ve been looking for you Mr. Impatiens!
from above link:
All Impatiens have five petals and three or five sepals, with the lower sepal elongated into a spur in most species.
The number of sepals in most species has been very reduced and typically are only three although some of the genetically older species still retain the five. The lower most sepal has been greatly modified and elongated into a nectar filled spur.
The nectar filled spur is the food source for many, including hummingbirds. Maybe that hanging basket idea is actualy coming in handy.
The basic structure of Impatiens is similar in all species. All have the same type of reproductive column that changes from male to female, and is stationed at the top opening to the lower sepal and spur. When an Impatiens flower first opens, the stamens are visible. The pollen can be very colorful with shades of white, red, or purple and has a fluffy, cottony look that easily flakes off. Within a few days on opening, the cap releases its grip and falls off to reveal the pistils and ovary beneath. Within a few hours, the pistils are receptive to pollen from another flower. In theory, this reproductive habit is to prevent or reduce self-pollination but, this is not always the case. For example there is the ever-popular Impatiens walleriana, that self sows very easily […].
It’s an indicator of where the reproductive column is located.