Thursday, August 4, 2011

The desert blooms

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.
Swedish Proverb

You might be inclined to think that the Desert Roses (Adenium obesum) pictured below were store-bought, that one crazy day my mother went on a shopping spree and bought nothing but these plants alone. The truth is these plants came from just one source. And they are not from cuttings either, they were all grown from seeds.

The second generation of locally grown Desert Roses around the Cardboard Palm.

I know, some big trees come from teeny-weeny seeds so it should not be surprising to see where a Desert Rose begins. But I had no idea what the seed of a Desert Rose looks like. Heck, I didn't even know that it develops inside a seedpod and that there's plenty of seeds in one pod alone. So when Mom sent pictures of the seedpod and the seeds inside the pods I was amazed.

The seeds of a Desert Rose.

From the picture above, one can deduce that the seeds of this plant are dispersed by the wind. The light and delicate strands of silky hair attached on one end of the seed allows the seed to be picked up by even a slight breeze. This type of wind dispersal is called "parachute." For other ways on how seeds are dispersed by the wind, click here.

These are two of our Desert Roses with pods. On the left the pods are encased in plastic bags so that the seeds would not scatter when the pods burst open. The pods on the right are still immature.

In my older post A rose is a rose is a rose I mentioned that our first batch of baby Desert Roses came from a seedpod that was already developing in a plant when it was bought from a plant store. The second batch also came from one of the bought plants but the pods came months after it was bought, enough to say that they're already farm-grown just like the pods shown above.

These will be the next generation of Desert Roses in the garden, safely bagged for future use.

As long as our Desert Roses continue to produce fertile seeds it is safe to assume they won't go extinct in the garden. I can say the next generation of Desert Roses are "in the bag" ... literally.
tropical garden Tropical Garden tropical garden Tropical Garden