Thursday, March 28, 2013
Botany picture #52: Spathicarpa sagittifolia
Spathicarpa sagittifolia (Araceae) from the Botanic Garden of Göttingen, 2008. The predominantly tropical Araceae are a group of monocots with strongly reduced flowers arranged in a spike. This spike is then usually subtended by a large bract called a spathe which often serves to attract pollinators as a pseudo-petal. Just like most people think that the daisy head is a flower so they also would usually call this complex Araceae-inflorescence of many flowers a flower. Many Araceae look pretty bizarre and alien, and this is one of the strangest I have seen so far. The spike is here fused to the spathe.