If you are a beginning plant grower and are only going to learn the basics of breeding home crops, you have to go through a difficult, sometimes thorny, but certainly very exciting way. And for starters, you should familiarize yourself with at least the general, elementary characteristics of flowers, learn about the simplest techniques of agricultural engineering. It is not necessary to study the thorough classification and systematics of colors, to begin with, the information provided in this material will be quite enough.
On Earth, there are over 250 000 different types of flowers with very different characteristics. These include many of those indoor species that we consider to be ornamental-leaved: they bloom very rarely in rooms. Flowering plants originated around 100 a million years ago after more primitive algae, mosses and ferns. The pioneers of flowering plants were magnolias, water lilies and lotuses. According to paleontologists, willow also belongs to the oldest flowering plants. The evolution of the flower began when around the ovule, bare and open, a protective shell-ovary was formed.
Therefore, in the language of specialists, flowering plants are called angiosperms (Angiospermae), as opposed to gymnosperms (Gymnospermae), which include, for example, coniferous plants. At the same time, insects began to "serve" the plants as carriers of male germ cells - pollen. In an endless variety of flowers, plants have created refined attractants of light, color and aroma, against which insects and, in some cases, birds, bats and snails still cannot stand. As a reward for pollination of flowers, animals receive pollen and nectar.
Wind-pollinated plants, such as cereals, remain simple and modest in appearance.
With photos of some colors and their characteristics can be found in this material.
The structure and sex of colors: general characteristics
The meaning of the life of the plant is to grow, bloom and give fruit for procreation. Flowers - the goal of all cares of florists - serve for plants as an intermediate stage on the way to seed formation. Speaking about the characteristics of colors, it is impossible not to tell about their structure.
The classic flower consists of the following elements:
- A cup, most often with green sepals,
- Corolla with white or colored petals,
- Stamens with anthers and staminate filaments (male organs),
- Female organ, pistil consisting of stigma, post and ovary.
One of the main characteristics of colors - their gender. In the overwhelming majority of plants, gender cannot be strictly defined, as they are bisexual: they have both male and female genital organs simultaneously.
Another interesting fact: flowers often self-pollinate. To avoid it, plants have various cunning ways. One of them is that its own pollen does not fit the chemical composition of the egg, and fertilization with its own pollen is therefore impossible.
However, there are plants only with male or only female flowers. They can grow on the same plant, and on different specimens.
- Most plants with heterosexual flowers are monoecious, that is, both male and female flowers are on the same plant (for example, in begonias).
- In dioecious plants (for example, kiwi, hops, room akalifa), male and female flowers form on different specimens of these crops.
Botanical color classification
Flowers allowed science to clean up the botany. Oddly enough, their role in plant breeding became known and was experimentally proven only in the 1694 year. Swedish botanist Linnaeus (1707-1778) made the number of stamens in a flower and their distribution the basis of its botanical classification of plants. Such a systematics lasted a long time.
The modern classification of plants is focused not only on signs of flowers, but also on the history of plant development. It starts from primitive flowering plants and ends with highly developed orchids. Between them there are many classes, orders and families; This includes indoor plants.
When reading articles on the characteristics of certain types of flowers, you can find out that each plant belongs not only to a certain genus, but also to a family. For example, Uzambarsky violets (genus Saintpaulia), Eschaninthus (Aeschynanthus) и Gloxinia (Sinningia) belong to the same family Gesnerievye (Gesneriaceae). Their flowers are characterized by common features, although at first glance they are not very noticeable. Have Room Calla (Zantedeschia) и Anthurium (Anthurium) family affiliation Aroid (Agaseae) visible at first sight, because their flowers are very similar.
Next, you will learn about the shape of the inflorescences of flowers, their color and flavor.
The main forms of inflorescences, different colors and fragrance of flowers
Important characteristics of the flowers of plants is their shape, color and flavor.
In order to attract pollinators in the course of evolution, various forms of flowers, single or collected in bright inflorescences, often possessing a seductive scent, have developed.
Among the forms of flowers of plants can be noted bell-shaped (Campanula), funnel-shaped (Streptocarpus) и tubular (Aeschynanthus). Many flowers have a shape that matches the insects or other animals that pollinate them.
A special form - flowers with bracts (bracts). Here, flowers or inflorescences are not striking, but there are luxuriously painted, catchy bracts.
examples: Anthurium, Euphorbia pulcherrima, Zantedeschia.
An incredibly vast variety of forms of flowers and inflorescences, but all this wealth of options can be reduced to several basic forms. Some of them are characteristic of certain families, such as orchid flowers, which are found only in the Orchid family (Orchidaceae). Representatives of the Kutrovye family (Arosupaseae) are also distinguished by flowers that cannot be confused with others. An example is Adenium. Other forms, such as bell-shaped, are found in many families. In flowers of various shapes are simple and terry beaters.
Different flowers have different forms of inflorescences:
Spikes (Acalypha, Crossandra, Pachystachys, Vriesea)
Cobs (Anthurium, Spatiphyllum, Zantedeschia)
Panicles (Medinilla, Phalaenopsis)
Shin Guards (Clivia, Ixora, Pelargonium grandiflorum, Pentas)
The main forms of flowers:
Simple flowers: Camellia, Begonia elatior, Hibiscus.
Terry flowers: Camellia, Begonia elatior, Hibiscus.
Flowers in the shape of a bell: Campanula, Sinningia, Eustoma.
Voronkovye flowers: Hibiscus.
Tubular flowers: Aeschynanthus, Columnea, Scutellaria.
Along with the shape, the coloring of the flowers of the plants serves as an attractive signal for pollinators. The coloring of the petals is due to the solid particles of the coloring matter contained in the thin plasma layer of the plant or dissolved in the cell sap. The color from red to blue is given to plants by anthocyanins, pigments from the group of flavonoids. These colored compounds are most commonly found in plants. Yellow, orange and yellow-red color give carotenoids and other flavonoids to plants, which are included in chromoplasts.
Green color is very rare in flowers, as it cannot stand out against the background of green foliage and attract pollinators.
White color is actually not a coloring. Just in the tissues of the petals between the cells there are tiny voids filled with air, which cause the rays of the sun to refract, and we perceive them as a bright white color. Soft velvety, sparkling color (Saintpaulia) due to the presence of tight-fitting, uniform projections on the surface of the petals.
Patterns and patterns result from uneven distribution of coloring matter. There are characteristic patterns that serve as a signal for pollinators.
Silky Surface (Cyclamen, Hippeastrum) due to long, narrow, parallel spaced tissue cells.
Giving a brief description of flowers, it is impossible not to mention their aroma, because this is the “soul of the plant”, a sophisticated attractant. From the point of view of chemists, these are essential oils that are easily volatile and disappear at low temperatures. The aromatic substances of flowers and insects are similar in composition. The most famous example: geraniol contained in rose flowers has the same structural formula as the attractant of the male Bumblebee. Therefore, the female Bumblebee flies on a rose and pollinates its flowers.
Almost all the smells of flowers are pleasant for the human sense of smell, with the exception of some flowers of the Aroid and Lastovnev families with a disgusting smell that attracts the fallen flies.
As a rule, white flowers (Stephanotis, Jasminum, Gardenia, Noua), which attract night insects, smell stronger than the painted ones. The look and intensity of the fragrance have many options and depend on the time of day. After fertilization of the flower, the fragrance no longer matters and disappears.
The following section of the article gives a brief description of the fertilization of indoor plants.
Brief information about the fertilization of indoor plants
After pollination, pollen grains reach the oocytes and mix with them. If the process is completed successfully, the fetus is formed from the ovary, and the eggs that are contained in it become grains, seeds or stones. External signs of successful fertilization are fading staminate filaments, discoloration of the flower and the disappearance of the fragrance. Of course, unfertilized flowers also fade with time. For the formation of fruits and seeds, the plant needs a lot of strength and energy. Therefore, if you are cultivating plants not for seed propagation, immediately remove the withered flowers.
The fruits of flowering plants have a different shape and color. They serve as bait for animals that carry their seeds everywhere.
Seeds are the ultimate goal of each flowering cycle in the life of flowering plants. The seed makes them independent of time and space: it contains the life of a new individual, who will appear elsewhere and will also be able to multiply. Saving and reproduction are thus guaranteed. The circle is closed.
Below is a summary of the flowers growing over one, two or many years.
The frequency of flowering of domestic plants
No less interesting, and such a characteristic home colorsas the frequency and duration of their flowering, depending on the type of plant, these figures are different.
Annuals and biennials (for example, Browallia or Affine affine) go through the whole development cycle germination, growth, flowering, fruit formation and seed ripening in one or two years. After reaching the ultimate goal of their life, they die. These plants can be grown as indoor, but not longer than the allotted time, so take care in advance about the purchase or reproduction of new copies.
Decorative perennial flowers (Anthurium, Campanula) or bulbous plants (Hippeastrum) form long-lived roots, tubers or bulbs, which in each new growing season produce new shoots. With optimal care, these plants live for years in the rooms and bloom every year.
Interesting Facts about Recorder Colors
Some facts about flowers are so unique that they deserve a special mention.
Here is some interesting information about record colors:
Wolffia arrhiza (wolfia) - the smallest known flowering plant, reaching 0,5 mm, without roots and leaves, with a single stamen and a tiny ovary, in which one egg is enclosed. It blooms extremely rarely microscopically small flowers.
The largest single flower belongs Rafftesia arnoldii (rafflesia). This fact about the flower is witnessed in many references. It develops without leaves, directly on the soil, like a mushroom, and reaches a diameter of 1 m. The fleshy, pinkish-white or purple corolla of a flower has a disgusting smell.
The flower is the largest in the plant world - Amorphophallus titanum (amorphofallus), which is a relative of anthurium and calla (they all belong to the family Aroid). Information about this flower has been known since 1878, when it was discovered in the mountains of Sumatra. It is as tall as a person and produces a single giant leaf a year and a disgusting-smelling flower that grows out of a wrapper a few days before 1-2 m.
The largest inflorescence has South American bromelia. Puya raimondii. An interesting fact: in this flower, a five-meter thick inflorescence in the form of a cob rises from the middle of a bunch of leaves, on which thousands of yellowish-white flowers pollinated by birds sit.
The most multi-flowered inflorescence is palm Corypha umbracuLifera - It contains about 100 000 individual flowers.
Cocoa Tree (Theobroma cacao) and Goethea cauliflora, named after Goethe, is interesting for flowers that make their way from a woody trunk through the bark.
Hidden flowers bears figs (Ficus sapsa). They are tiny, numerous, of simple form and cover the inner walls of the “vessel” that we eat as a fruit.
Still remains a mystery information about the flowers of bamboo. Botanists to this day do not know what contributes to its flowering, and why some species suddenly bloom in different places of the globe through 10, 20, 80, or only 100 in years.
The world champion for the duration of flowering is the Malay perennial shrub Wormia suffruticosa. As soon as it grows, it immediately begins to bloom and blooms continuously for 50 years.
The most beautiful flower everywhere is the Rose, which is not without reason called the Queen of Flowers.
The strongest fragrance in the volume of 1 ml for each flower produce Orchid species Stanhopea и Catasetum. Aromatic substances are the day in the form of droplets on the surface of the petals.
Many flowers serve as a source of aromatic raw materials for the perfume industry. Examples are Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) and roses.
Home flower selection
Without a doubt, the breeders can share the most interesting information about flowers. Nature is a talented designer, artist and perfumer when it comes to creating new flowers. However, people have long been trying to outdo it by selecting the most beautiful and powerful plants.
Understanding that flowering plants are characterized by sexuality, as well as knowledge of the laws of heredity, will allow non-ambient gardeners to purposefully create new plants by crossing carefully selected parent pairs.
From these attempts, which began in the 19th century, a selection emerged that has grown today to the level of genetic engineering.
The objectives of the breeding work remained essentially the same. When breeding ornamental plants, plant breeders pay less attention to the endurance and vitality of plants in natural conditions, and try to please the wishes of plant lovers in their quest to get even more luxurious flowers with bright, intense color, long blooming and persistent aroma.
An important goal of breeding work is also to obtain healthy plants.
Very interesting colors, favorites of breeders of the whole world are various:
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
Uzambarsky violets (Saintpaulia ionantha, hybrids)
Numerous variants were obtained from them with simple or terry, miniature or gigantic flowers (hibiscus), as well as specimens with fringed, corrugated, edged leaves (begonias, hippeastrum, cyclamen) and with multicolor flowers (Barbados and cineraria).
Hybrids, or hybrids, are the result of crossing between different varieties, species and genera. Sometimes they arise not only thanks to the art of breeders, but also by chance, in natural conditions. Most often this phenomenon can be observed among young families in historical terms, such as orchid and begonias.