The genus Bucephalandra – Part 3 – How to recognize a Bucephalandra
In the last post I wrote about the habitat of Bucephalandra and his ecology in a very general way, this time i would see something about their morphology.
Some Aroids are similar looking, so how can I recognize a Bucephalandra?
Well, just look at the flower!
Yes, the main feature that make a plants be a Bucephlandra is hidden in his flower, in fact they can be distinguished from all other genera by the presence of motile shield shaped staminoids separating the staminate and pistillate flower zone.
Sorry, but what are you toking about??
Well, let me explain it in a more comprensible way.
If we look at a Bucephalandra flower (see image below) we will see a white/pinkish/yellowish bract (modified leaf that protect the inner part of the flower) known as a sphate.
If we remove part of the sphate with a cutter to reveal the hidden internal part, we will see a spadices wich is a type of spike looking infiorescence tipical of Araceae family.
For simplicity reason we will divide the spadices in three parts:
1 the male flowers or staminate flower
2 the staminoids
3 the female flowers or pistillate flower
The shield shaped staminoids are mobile and can block the access to the female flowers from the upper side during the pollination process, and as i said before they are absent in other Aroids.
So now you know how to recognize a Bucephalandra and you learned a few new word that I will use in the next articles, at least you know what I’ll be writing about 😉
Bucephalandra species, have many different leaves shapes, sizes and colors, but I think that is better to look at the feature of the singles species to avoid confusions, but this is an other article 😉