May. 16, 2017

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I'm stumped by pickerelweed.  If I was a pollinator, I'd find something else.  Plants with two different lengths of pistils and stamens are not unusual.  That keeps them from fertilizing themselves.  But pickerelweed has three forms, reportedly on seperate plants.  But in this image, we can see different lenghts of pistils on the same plant.  The ones on the left are almost as long as the petals.  In the center flowers they're much shorter.  On the right they're more intermediate.  Nothing I've found in the literature has described such a feature, in fact they specifically say there is only one pistil length per plant.  It seems that there would be little utility in having different pollination syndromes on the same plant.  If anyone knows what's going on here . . .

Whatever it is, pickerelweed does produce seeds.  You could say they're nature's granola.  They can be eaten raw or cooked.  The trick is to find them.  After fertilization, the flower stems curl downward, and the seeds develop underwater.  Sorry Jo, but you have to get very wet to enjoy both the flowers and the seeds.