Sunday, September 02, 2007

Organic oozings occult orchid origins...

Pollination (MBG) Nature magazine reports that amber has preserved rare orchid pollen, found on an entombed bee.
"It's absolutely fantastic," says Kenneth Cameron, an orchid specialist at the New York Botanical Garden "It's what the orchid community has been waiting for, for a long time."
Orchids are the most rapidly (genetically) changing group of plants on earth and more new species have been discovered over the last few thousand years than any other plant group known....[they] are also one of the most adaptable plant groups on earth. Some Australian orchids grow entirely underground, and many tropical jungle orchids grow in the upper branches of trees.

Orchids produce seed pods with literally hundreds of thousands of seed that are released and scattered by the wind. Orchid seeds must establish a symbiotic relationship with a special fungus to survive its first year of life. The fungi gathers water and minerals for itself and the seedling, and the seedling shares its sugars from photosynthesis with the fungus.

Despite all this they spook me...I'm convinced they're evil, just look at the image above...they're watching you, planning their take-over, waiting for the opportune moment; no doubt John Wyndham had this in mind when he wrote Day of the Triffids..."Whatever their origin, when Triffids began sprouting all over the world, their extracts proved to be radically superior to existing vegetable and animal oils. Along with the resulting world-wide slew of Triffid farms, many households kept them as a curiosity..." Beware! Some of you may recall my feeling about certain plants, emotions that include jealousy!


missbonnielass said...

My first sci-fi book that put me off looking at meteor showers. Can't say I look at Orchids in that way, they seem rather beautiful. Perhaps a case of the more beautiful the more dangerous.

Span Ows said...

You may be right: bright colours are at least one way Nature warns us of danger...just look at strawberries and raspberries...DOH!


Day of tjhe Triffids is a really good read, so is 'The Kracken Wakes' and I recently reread the Chrysalids (my eldest leant me the book!).

missbonnielass said...

ok, strawberries, chocolate and cream ;), raspberries, on their own or in Cranachan..mmmmm , but if you were the first person to be offered them would you be concerned they were safe to eat. Plenty in nature that is appealing but dangerous.
I'm sure I have read the Kracken Wakes and Chrysalids.

Span Ows said...

You're right and I was jesting of course, nature does use those colours and only last weekend (can't remember where) I read re the thanks we should owe the first person to taste tomatoes for example. There are dozens of brightly coloured flowers, fruits, toadstools, frogs, snakes etc taht 'warn us off'.

P.S. I had to look-up cranachan!...hmmmmmmmmmmm

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