Pregnant Onion Spreads Its Seed

I kind of love my Ornithogalum caudatum. It has been with me for more than a year, and it has grown huge. The bulb is several inches across, the leaves are feet long and almost two inches wide, and the root system is crazy-well-developed. It's in a 10-inch pot already, because I was having to water it every three or four days when it was in the six-inch pot.

And, yes, it sent out yet another inflorescence. It hasn't been much time since I last blogged about this plant, but it already has some seedpods on the inflorescence. I saved seed from the last one, but I haven't sown any yet. I didn't vibrate, paintbrush, or otherwise encourage sexual propagation of this inflorescence; it just happened, at a higher success rate than has previously been the case. I wonder why that is?

Maybe here's your answer--the inflorescence is rubbing pollen all over my window and whipping back and forth, getting all pollinated! I have previously noticed the slow, snakelike wriggling that the inflorescence does, but when it's smushed up against a surface, it has the opportunity to sprinkle its seed (in this case, the euphemism for male reproductive swimmy bits, not the actual fully developed seed) all over and then whip back so its female bits can roll around in the male bits' off-rubbings. The previous two inflorescences didn't have the advantage of frottage.

I wonder whether these plants breed true from seed?

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3 Responses to Pregnant Onion Spreads Its Seed

  1. I always love the descriptions LOL! Very illicit plant talk :)

  2. I think you and your pregnant onion have discovered on vitro fertilization.

  3. Hah! Thomas, that makes me chuckle every time I see your comment.

    And Erin, part of the excitement of gardening is all the sex that goes on. I can't deny it; plants are naughty creatures!



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