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  • plantcam team

Caly’s flowering and fruiting is over...

Check the animation below for the entire time lapse of this year's flowering and fruiting! Overall, it was not a great fruiting year, but still better than expected given months ago we were uncertain Caly would even be able to flower at all. On October 1st, most of Caly’s developing fruits aborted and fell to the ground. Caly’s last remaining fruit was almost entirely ripe when it fell last week, near the end of October.

Aborted fruit is unfortunately common for many species of Cyanea where there are so few individuals of each species and not enough pollinators to spread the limited amount pollen around. If a flower does not get enough pollen, the plant may decide to abort the fruits early instead of allocating more resources (such as water, sunlight, nutrients) to fruit that will only contain a limited number of seeds. Additionally, self-pollination in Cyanea calycina may be limited because female and male parts of the flower mature at different times (i.e., protandrous), however most Cyanea species seem to be capable of producing fruit from their own pollen. Another cause for aborted fruits is when a plant’s resources are too limiting and must be reallocated. For this fruiting season for Caly, it is likely that both contributed to the aborted fruits: Caly was still recovering from damage following the nearby tree fall in February, and she is pretty lonely up there…

Luckily we visited Caly shortly after her first set of fruits aborted and rescued the fruits. These should still yield viable seeds. Since past work on Caly shows each of Caly’s fruit can potentially produce 600 seeds, even if only a small percentage of the seeds are viable that still translates into a lot of potential keiki!

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