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Dying flower petals improve fertility

by webdev

October 05, 2010

A researcher in Seville, Spain, has found that even after they've begun to wilt, flower petals still have a role beyond the blooming phase, ScienceDaily.com reports.

Dr Carlos Herrera, a professor of research at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, used lavender and viola plants to conduct his experiment. After removing the decaying petals, he discovered that the petals improved flower fertility.

It was previously thought that corollas, the collection of petals on a flower, did not have a function once the flower had bloomed. However, in the case of lavender, the petals prevented gnat larvae from eating the flower’s seeds.

Similarly, the petals increased the number of seeds per fruit in violas by 40 percent.

The professor says that though research is still in its early stages, his experiment “shows there is a major role for petals to play on a plant, even after the bloom of youth has gone.”

The results of the professor’s study will published in the October 2010 issue of Annals of Botany.

Lavender is a popular flower to add to a dried flower arrangement, as the unique shape can enhance a unique design, according to MercuryNews.com

 

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