Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the February 12, 2017 Newsletter issued from Rancho Regensis north of Valladolid, Yucatán, MÉXICO
Here at the rancho anytime someone buys a pineapple the tufted top is cut off and planted in the ground. Before long roots form and the tuft starts growing, eventually producing knee-high rosettes of stiff, yellowish-green blades reddish-tented at their tips, such as those shown below:
The plants in the picture haven't begun producing pineapples yet. A view into one of the plant's center showing nothing but a clutter of dried-up leaves where the future pineapple fruit will set is shown below:
Nowadays a few of our pineapple plants have their rosette centers occupied by apple-sized flowering heads perched atop thick, finger-long peduncles, like the one shown below:
In that picture, notice the violet-hued flower at the head's lower, left. The flower itself has no stem, or pedicel. The pinkish, triangular items bristling all around are spiny-toothed bracts, bracts being leaves modified to fulfill some purpose. In the pineapple's flowering head the purpose appears to be to dissuade herbivores from nibbling on the flowers and future fruit. A close-up showing a pineapple flower's cylinder-like corolla with three stuck-together petals is shown below:
The Maya workers tell me that in a couple of months we'll have pineapples to eat. It'll be interesting to watch how the flowering heads develop into syrupy pineapple fruit.