Anthers opening up (dehiscence) on Amaryllis

Posted by @cwhitt on
For an amaryllis flower to release pollen, the anther that holds the pollen must first mature and open. This splitting open of the anthers is called dehiscence.

For an amaryllis flower to release pollen, the anther that holds the pollen must first mature and open. This splitting open of the anther is called dehiscence. It is very important for dehiscence to occur at the proper time, so that mature pollen can disperse and pollinate the stigma. The pore opening (stomium) on the amaryllis anther is longitudinal. It looks like a line, up and down, on the anther.
The stomium splits open due to the swelling pollen and anther dehydration. At first the stomium remains closed, due to adherence of the walls on each side of the stomium. But then as dehydration occurs, the outward walls start to bend outward, so the anther turns "inside out." The pollen that was once contained inside is now on the outside and free to disperse. As this happens, the walls also shrink and the anther shortens considerably. All of this, amazingly, takes place in a matter of hours.

One anther starting to split open and another anther fully closed.
The up & down line on the closed anther is the stomium - it remains closed due to adherence of the walls on each side.
Thumb of 2019-03-13/cwhitt/ba721e

Two anthers opening, a third anther fully closed.
Thumb of 2019-03-13/cwhitt/9db497

Top left anther fully opened and walls bent "inside out." Now open, this anther has shortened considerably.
Top right anther almost open, but not bent "inside out" yet.
Bottom anther just starting to split open.
Thumb of 2019-03-13/cwhitt/0489ce

Closeup of anther splitting open.
Anther in background fully opened.
Thumb of 2019-03-13/cwhitt/0855b3

Four anthers fully opened, 2 anthers left to go.
All of this happened over the course of 4 hours -- AMAZING!
Thumb of 2019-03-13/cwhitt/476b3a

 
Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Great descriptions and photos! by plantladylin Feb 8, 2020 9:46 AM 5
Amarylis by willy123 Feb 3, 2020 10:29 AM 1
Great article! by ZPlanted1 Feb 1, 2020 10:11 AM 1
Dehiscence by Baja_Costero Jan 29, 2020 9:14 AM 2



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