Victoria amazonica flowers with first and
second night characteristics the SAME night
by Kit & Ben Knotts - Click images
In our nine years of tracking every Victoria flower
in our ponds, we have never seen one with a split personality!
In October of 2006, we had three V. amazonicas that were
both male and female on the same night. One half of each had
the characteristics of a first night flower and the other half
those of a second night flower.
October 17: Even though our water temperature was 70F to 80F
(39C to 44C), we had several coolish cloudy days and V. amazonica
03A12 Knotts seemed to wait a day from
the bloom schedule it had been on. The afternoon of October 16,
it wasn't fragrant and its thorns were still in the water, both
signals it wouldn't open that night. The next morning it had
one sepal and three petals open, as if it couldn't decide whether
to open or not. They were on the side opposite the sunset, the
way V. amazonica typically opens the first night. By late
afternoon more petals on that side were opening and were a little
bit pink. The other side was still mostly closed and white. By
9 pm, it was evenly divided pink and white.
Because we were planning to send the pollen ring to Dave Brigante
in Oregon for use in his breeding program, we removed and brought
most of the ring in the house. Only a few anthers, those on the
pink side, were dehiscing pollen. We put the ring back outside
where it was warmer and ended up leaving it out overnight (sometimes
V. cruziana will ripen with more time). By the next morning,
only the side with the pink petals showed any pollen. The pod
did produce some seeds.
October 18: "The White One", V. amazonica 05A19 Presnell, didn't look as if it would
open. The next morning one sepal was open and it was fragrant
all day. At 10 pm it was open on one side, a second night flower
with pollen dehiscing from the anthers. The other side of the
flower was first night, pure white with no red on the inner petals,
no opening of the paracarpels, no anthers shedding pollen.
Nectar (stigmatic fluid), sometimes seen in V. cruziana,
was present, the
first time we've ever seen it in V. amazonica. It produced
a substantial number of seeds, surprising in that V. cruziana
flowers with nectar rarely produce seeds.
The next flower from the same plant, on 54F (30C) and 58F
(32C) nights, opened normally.
October 25: After those few cool nights, our temperature rebounded
and the water was about 70-80F (39C-44C). V. amazonica
04A21 Knotts opened
two sepals and a few petals by the morning after the first night,
was fragrant all day and split characteristics that night. The
pod produced seeds.
During this period, V. 'Adventure' and V. cruziana
produced flowers with normal opening patterns, as did V. amazonica
after these three.