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The start | by Ido Kron
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The start

This is the early bud of Urginea maritima. It is a very interesting plant, flowering in the early autumn in Israel.

 

Its big tuber rests for sure underneath the ground all year. When winter comes, it grows a set of big, green leaves. Both the leaves and the tuber are highly poisonous for mammals, containing glycosides that are dangerous to the heart. This is why it is also, a medicinal plant…

 

In the early summer, the leaves wilt and the plant “goes to sleep” until the early autumn. Then, the flowering bolt emerges out of the ground. Therefore, this year’s flowers actually belong to the last year’s leaves :-)

 

Since Urginea maritima is one of the only flowers in the area this season, many pollinators visit its flowers. However, some other animals, not pollinators, participate in the party…

 

I have followed a group of Urginea maritima flowers and took some pictures of them in different developmental stages. During the next few days, I will put here some of them, with explanations, and show you parts of the wonderful ecology of these beautiful and interesting flowers.

 

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Taken on August 20, 2008