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Gymnocalycium Flowers Page 2

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Gymnocalycium baldianum

This was my first Gymnocalycium baldianum flower in a long time. The last was in 1996 or earlier, when my father bought the parent plant of this specimen in Bangsar (Malaysians will know where it is.) That plant has since succumbed to spider mites, but not before producing a number of offsets. This specimen is one of those offsets. Earlier pictures of this specimen can be found at Gymnocalycium baldianum Aquaculture Page.

Left: Six days before the flower first opens (25 March 2001.) Right: Just an hour or two before the flower first opens (31 March 2001.) My Gymnocalycium baldianum flowers invariably open in the afternoon, so this picture was probably taken around lunch time.

Gymnocalycium baldianum flowers opens from around 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and closes by 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Bright sunlight hastens the opening of the flower. On the other hand, the flower might not open at all in subdued sunlight. It is possible that the afternoon-opening behaviour of my specimen is due to its location, which is the side of a house facing West.

Left: A closeup of the flower. My observation data indicates that Gymnocalycium baldianum flowers open for three days. The flower grows continuously throughout the period, so you might notice that on the second day, the flower is larger than it was on the first day.

These shots show the relavite sizes of the flower and the plant. This specimen of Gymnocalycium baldianum is not a particularly big one (the holder cup is 2" in diameter.) Gymnocalycium baldianum can flower at two or three years of age (so says many books,) when they are still really seedlings.

It's really fortunate of me to have a specimen of Gymnocalycium baldianum, the one species in that genera that is the most free-flowering. Unfortunately, you won't find many examples in nurseries. Perhaps it's because they look rather 'generic', with unspectacular spination. A thoroughly unassuming species, until it blooms. You will get hooked.

Flowers that were not manually pollinated invariably fail to set seed pods, while flowers that were manually pollinated usually set seed pods. I don't know if that's considered self-fertile or not, because as of October 2002, I have another specimen which came from the same parent plant in bloom, and that plant has not set any seed pods yet, even though I did all the same moves with the same brush.

Still, seed pods had seeds which were viable, and I have now many new seedlings. Preliminary results can be found at Gymnocalycium Seeds Page.

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  Last modified: 2002-10-26  Copyright © 1997-2002.  Kein-Hong Man.  all rights reserved