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Pogostemon yatabeanus Flowers

September 29th, 2012

It’s autumn and with the cooler temperatures some of the plants out in my pond are going to flower. The most striking one is a field of Pogostemon yatabeanus that I have out there.

Pogostemon yatabeanus with Inflorescence

This Asian native has grown wonderfully all summer for me, but has started producing terminal flower spikes on most of the stems.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flower Spike

The spikes themselves are quite pubescent (hairy), and are made up of hundreds of individual flower buds.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Buds

Up close, the flower buds look more like an insect than a flower, but you can see that they gradually begin to open up, with each bud producing a viable flower.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Buds

The flowers themselves are a brilliant purple and very feathery. Each flower has a single stamen protruding outward.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Inflorescence

The immature flower doesn’t appear to have pollen (below), but over a day or two each stamen is filled with it.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flowers

In this 5X magnification (below), you can see the tiny pollen particles clustered on the stamen. I’m not sure if a single flower spike can fertilize itself, or whether multiple plants are required.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flowers

Eventually, the individual flowers detach from the spike, with the wind carrying them away.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Inflorescence

Below is a close-up of what’s left once a flower detaches.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Inflorescence Bare Spot

Eventually, all that’s left is a bare terminal spike that looks similar to how it all started.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Fading Inflorescence

I really love seeing how our aquarium plants grow and flower outside of the aquarium. Submersed, Pogostemon yatabeanus has growth that’s similar to its terrestrial form, but it’s more delicate with narrower leaves.

Pogostemon yatabeanus

By trimming more frequently, you can encourage the plant to produce smaller leaves, which is really necessary for most aquascapes. It also has a unique feature of sometimes sending out creeping runners that then popup new stems a few inches away. Overall, it’s a great aquarium plant, and it converts pretty easily from emersed form.

2 Responses to “Pogostemon yatabeanus Flowers”

  1. Scott Says:

    This is my first time on this blog and I must say that your photography is stunning! It’s also made me realise that I’ve been paying absolutely no attention to the plants in my aquarium – my thought process was focused all on fish selection with plant selection as an afterthought consisting of ‘I’ll have a few thick ones and a few grassy ones’.

  2. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Scott! There are many ways to setup and enjoy this hobby, whether you’re focused on the plant side, fish side, or somewhere in the middle. Depending on what you get the most enjoyment out of, you’ll let the plants or fish influence the decisions of the other accordingly. For example, I enjoy my breeding colony of plain bristlenosed plecos, but know that they’ll dig if I don’t give them lots of hollow wood pieces. So, any aquascape in my BN tank has lots of wood and open areas for the plecos to feed on algae wafers, pellets, etc. When I use foreground plants, I only use fast growers, or the plecos will pull them up inadvertently. For an iwagumi aquascape with mostly carpeting plants, I wouldn’t use BN plecos, but small colorful schooling fish, so the plants take priority. Thanks again for your comment!

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