A botany question.....

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

I perchance noticed that some of the plants in my garden first opened the flower at the top of the inflorescence and then subsequently the 'lower' or branched flowers (sorry that my technical vocab is so limited). Other plants, however, first opened the flowers closest to the ground.

A quick survey revealed that it seems to go in families... Asteraceae and Solanaceae, in the former group, with Liliaceae and Plantaginaceae in the latter (to take four common families). I could be wrong in that, but that's the way it seems from my plants - in any event the effect is there in some plants, but not in others.

Why is this, anyone? To be clear, I know that a reason why is, for example that the lower flowers of the second group are mature before the upper flowers... that's obvious, but why these two different 'flowering strategies'???

Don't know if this is the right forum, but couldn't see a better one (I'm a perennials nut anyway!)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Really interesting question -- but I don't have a clue! I hope someone else will chime in!

Florissant, MO

Well, I don't know why that happens but I do know that when flowers start to mature from the bottom it's called "acropetal maturation". When they start to mature from the top it's called "basipetal maturation".


CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Well thanks for expanding my vocabulary, anyway :O)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Mine, too!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)


It doesn't answer the question "why" a plant family would "choose" one method over another, but there are a lot more vocabulary words!

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Thanks.... i am increasingly coming to the conclusion that us humans know an awful lot of 'whats', but many fewer 'whys'.

I guess that my real question was 'what is it that determines the order of maturation of flowers' but the poet in my soul was impelled to ask 'why'.

I have been doing a lot more web-rooting but without success. I find it bizarre that there doesn't seem to be anything on this in major science sites.

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