Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bat Lilies

This is a lifelong fascination with bat lilies. For as long as I get to see them I will never tire of using the camera to capture this unusual flower. The last time I put anything up on this blog and my website on Bat lilies was during the World Cup between 5 and 10 July. I have not been back to see these plants till today and I was pleasantly surprised to find that in the space of less than 2 months so many Bat Lily flowers have sprung up from these plants. There are 6 in this photo alone. Another one to the left of these plants that are not in the photo and two more on the other side of the path that are hidden from view by other plants. The flowers are at varying stages of development into fruits.

The photo below is a portrait of the freshest member of this Bat Lily community in Bukit Batok Nature Reserve. I also made a discovery that the Bat Lily is made up of bracts that are of two types - The showy bracts at the top and the whisker-like ones at the bottom - as well as an inflorescence comprising several flowers.Here's a close up of the flowers in the inflorescence:Each flower has 3 petals that are pulled back to reveal the stamens and style.

Here's a flower that looks more like a flower than a receptacle for seeds.As the flower matures this is what is looks like:

This time I noticed that there were holes in the leaves and bracts. Previously, the leaves were undamaged and the plant had always looked grand. I almost missed seeing these two bat lilies for they were hidden by some huge ferns. When I saw them, it brought back that joy of finding something wonderful when you least expect it.

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