Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wednesday wildflower: German ivy, Delairea odorata

It's Thursday evening in New Zealand, but it's still Wednesday on the west coast of North America and the eastern Pacific, so if I'm quick I can post a Wednesday Wildflower on time.  I haven't posted here much lately, but I'm working enthusiastically on a new project that I'll write about soon.
German ivy on a bank in Karori, Wellington, with broom, Cytisus scoparius.
Delairea odorata is a climbing senecioid weed that's native to southern Africa and common around Wellington and tends to flower in the winter.  It sprawls over banks and other plants.
Some of the flower heads of a panicle of German ivy (iPhone with Ōlloclip macro)
The flowers are in small heads and there are no ray florets, only disc florets (compare with my post on the distantly related Roldana).  The small heads are arranged into larger panicles that are quite showy and rather unpleasantly scented (in my opinion; it's very subjective).
A single capitulum (head) of German ivy.  Note the absence of petal-like ray florets and the evident filaments at lower right.
Under the microscope, you can see how the anthers are joined together in a tube that surrounds the style, but the filaments (anther stalks) are separate.  That's a characteristic of the whole family.  The senecioids (Tribe Senecioneae) are characterised by having their involucral bracts (the sepal-like leaves that surround the base of the head) all in a single row.

1 comment:

  1. As seen on NatureWatch NZ. Thanks for adding the observations and photos there too.