Monday, June 1, 2009

Welsh Poppy

Welsh poppy Meconopsis cambrica has spread all over my garden in recent years, seeding itself in all sorts of unlikely places, including the inside of my greenhouse. It’s a prolific seed producer. Its ring of stamens produces a large amount of pollen (top picture) which is a great attraction for the hoverflies that fed on this and transfer some pollen to the stigma, where it germinates. In the second and third pictures down you can see the glassy finger-like structures (papillae) that cover the stigma, where the pollen grains stick and germinate. The pollen tube that they produce penetrates these stigmatic papillae and grows downwards towards the ovules that you can see in the vertically sectioned flower in the fourth photograph. In the bottom photograph you can just make out the patterning on the glassy ovules which will develop on the seed coat, once the pollen tubes reach and fertilised them.


  1. Fascinating to look inside the seed pod and see what happens. Such lovely clear photos Phil.

  2. Hi John, These seed capsules are quite elegant when they ripen too - like elongated vases with openings at the top and very effective at shaking their seeds out as they bend in the winds.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.