Jun. 10, 2017

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Tuckahoe is a member of the arum family, in company with jack-in-the-pulpit and calla lilies.  They have a bract that surrounds the actual inflorescence.  The visible part of the inflorescence in this species are the stamens.  The pistils are inside the bract at the base.  The stamens are fused together into the neatly arranged structures we can see.  After pollination, the flower stem curves down, and the fruit develops underwater.  The seeds are then dispersed by currents.  Tuckahoe is pollinated by a species of fly.  The flies also lay their eggs inside the bract.  The larvae eat the deteriorating bract, and are apparently at home underwater.  The plant is edible by us too, but only after long slow roasting.  It contains iritating or even poisonous chrystals that only slowly break down.