Green mystery disk identified!

Initially I was disappointed that no one answered the question…then Paul W. emailed to say that the post wasn’t accepting comments.  We’re not sure why that happened, but Paul and perhaps many of you knew this was part of the flower of Sarracenia flava – the yellow pitcher plant:

I think this is a stunning flower whose floral structure promotes cross-pollination.  Insects crawl in between the long yellow petals and the green "umbrella" to enter the flower and reach the pollen:

Before they reach the anthers, however, their backs rub up against the stigma, which are five tiny points at the "spokes" of the umbrella.  Pollen already on their backs will be transferred to the stigma before new pollen is gathered, so that the chances of selfing are reduced:

So thanks, Paul, for being so persistant that you emailed me to supply the answer and alert me to the comment fail!

Published by

Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

2 thoughts on “Green mystery disk identified!”

  1. has very good information on pitcher plants and other carnivorous plants. He did all the plantings at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. Having visited his operation several times, I’m quite surprised by the variety of species and cultivars in existence. He has a little greenhouse full of Nepenthes and tropical sundews and even a few orchids.

  2. My pleasure! I loved my own GPs and now I thoroughly enjoy y’all – especially the one that overlaps. Thanks for the info too. I’m going to dissect one to see all the naughty bits when I get home.

Leave a Reply