Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Admiral Butterfly and Collard Flower

A Red Admiral Butterfly visits a Collard Flower for a sip of spring nectar.

Red Admiral Butterfly pollinates Collard Flower.
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In return, the butterfly deposits pollen, that was collected on its body, from another plant and pollinates the collard flower.

Collard Greens in Flower-4/15/02

Collard Flower
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Left collards, cabbage, and turnips in the ground last fall. They not only survived the mild winter but they grew during the warm spells. We had fresh greens all winter.  Now, they have spiked and gone to the flowering stage. Very soon, the flowers will become seed pods. Then they'll die, when the pods dry, I'll collect the seeds for future plantings.   

Flower Spike, CollardClick on pic to make bigger.

The collard flower spikes may grow up to five feet tall.   Leaves grow on the lower half of the spike, flower buds on the upper half.  The leaves are edible. If we want a healthy serving of greens, we'll pick one or two leaves from each plant. You see, the leaves make the sugars that the plant uses to produce the flowers and seeds, so you want the plant to have a health growth of leaves so the plant will make healthy seeds.