A. acuminatus flowers in winter or early spring. In this February, I took a hike in the Tai Mo Shan area and met a colony of the plant. Unfortunately, the flowers are half-withered but I still managed to take a few pictures of them. After some comparison with the photos on the internet, I made some interesting observations and hypotheses.
- The flowers have a quite peculiar shape with didynamous stamens extending way out of the corolla tube.
- The female reproductive structures mature after the stamens wither.
- The drawing and description in Flora of Hong Kong suggests that the stamens are longer than the pistil. In reality, the pistil will elongate after the stamens wither to the original position of the anthers.
- The withered stamens seem to contain some kind of viscous liquid after it withers; I suspect that the liquid is some kind of nectar, but I'm not sure whether it is secreted by the stamens or did it simply flow out from the flower.
- The flowers should be insect pollinated
- The anthers stick the pollen on the abdomen of the pollinator. After the stamens wither, the stigma elongates to collect the pollen from the same position of the pollinator.
- Guaranteed cross pollination by different maturation periods of male and female reproductive structures
- Judging by the position of the stamens and the elongated pistil, the pollinator should have a fairly large body size. The winter flowering time and its mature forest habitat limits the choice, probably bees in the genus Bombus?
|Pistil elongated flower|
|Cropped image showing possible nectar secretion|
|Front view of flower|