|from the January 24, 2010 Newsletter issued from
Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
MOTHER-IN-LAW TONGUES FLOWERING
Above most Northerners will recognize Mother-in-law Tongues, SANSEVIERIA THYRSIFLORA, commonly grown indoors as potted plants up North. The ones in the picture, though, are definitely doing well living outside here, and they're doing two things most of you may have never seen potted ones do: They're growing much taller than potted ones up North, and; two plants are flowering, which they seldom do up North.
Mother-in-law Tongues, native of southern Africa, down here regularly grow four and five feet tall. Often they "go wild," forming thickets as large as a house and with blades so packed together that a rabbit would have to work hard to get through them.
Above you can see that Mother-in-law flowers bear six pollen- producing stamens and six perianth lobes. "Perianth" is the term used for the segments of the corolla-like part of a flower when the calyx and corolla are indistinguishable. In the picture the items looking like frankfurters split about half their lengths with the parts diverging are anthers. Anthers are the baglike part of the stamen in which pollen is produced.
A flower's female part, or pistil, consists of the stigma, style and ovary. In the picture the spherical, translucent item at the picture's extreme top, right corner is the stigma, which is where pollen grains land and germinate. The long, slender, white thing below it is the style, which is the ovary's "neck." The ovary itself, which later will mature into a fruit, lies at the bottom of the perianth tube.