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Anatomy of a Cuckoo-pint (Dissection)

By SteveMackay  
Ever wondered what those weird stalks with bright red/orange berries on top are?, they are the last of the years growth of the Arum Maculatum (Wild Arum, Cuckoo pint, Lords and Ladies etc).
The small yellow berry looking things at the base (in the 2 left side images) are actually the Female flowers, the smaller darker rings above these are the male flowers and the hairs above these are sterile male florets which also act as an insect trap, the purple coloured Spadix gives of an odour to attract small insects.................this plant is not self pollinating, so it requires insects to become attracted to the Spadix, becoming trapped under the hairs, getting pollen on itself (from the male flowers).....and then escaping to other plants to complete the pollination of the female flowers..........pretty complicated and interesting if you ask me!Smile

Finally, at the end of Summer/start of Autumn, everything dies off except the female flowers, which swell into the (first) green, then red/orange berries (which are poisonous), the berries contain the seeds, the years cycle completed.

I created a composite (studio set up with artificial lighting and black background), I wanted to create an image that reminded me of the botany text books I read as a kid........these plants are extremely numerous, so I thought taking liberties with a few was OK.

Thanks for looking, cheers!Smile

Tags: Plant Plants Flowers and plants Arum maculatum Botany Cuckoo pint

Voters: Greyheron, Jon.H, woolybill1 and 34 more

Highly Commended Photos are given by the team to photos that were good but not quite an editors' choice award. Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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Greyheron 16 282 7 England
30 Oct 2013 6:35PM
Pure magic Steve Grin


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30 Oct 2013 6:44PM
Marvellous! The ones in my garden never look this good.

derekp Plus
7 1 4 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2013 7:17PM
excellent depictions of the plant.
Nigeve1 Plus
5 1.4k 101 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2013 7:24PM
Very impressive indeed.
Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
30 Oct 2013 7:48PM
How amazing and interesting what goes on in our gardens. Lovely image, very detailed for us to view.
bricurtis Plus
12 2.2k 49 England
30 Oct 2013 8:29PM
Great work Steve - super sequence.
30 Oct 2013 8:57PM
wonderful idea and superb execution!
Maiwand 11 3 73 England
30 Oct 2013 9:17PM
Great shots Steve. Some top class and imaginative images.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
richmowil Plus
9 352 2 England
30 Oct 2013 9:47PM

Quote:Very impressive indeed.

Agree with this whole heartedly!!
teocali Plus
10 441 18 England
30 Oct 2013 11:11PM
Sheer brilliance, Steve. Superb detail, textures, tones and presentation, accompanied by a fascinating write-up. Ideally suited for publication in an upmarket botany publication.
Greyheron 16 282 7 England
31 Oct 2013 3:57PM
Had to come back and give a UA to this Steve - superbly done Grin

31 Oct 2013 8:28PM
Thanks for comments and votes all, it's really appreciated!SmileSmile

With a special thanks to Sylvia and Mike for your user awards, that's made my day!, cheers!!SmileSmileSmile
viscostatic 11 36 5 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2013 5:14PM
Beautiful and fascinating.

1 Nov 2013 11:25PM
Thanks again for comments and votes and a special thanks to Brian for your award, cheers mate!SmileSmile

Extra special thanks to Pete for your HC, it's really appreciated, cheers!!!!SmileSmileSmile

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