DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flowering stems emerging from a bulb of a hybrid Hippeastrum, commonly known as Amaryllis, a popular winter-flowering houseplant. The picture looks across the the top of the bulb, and shows the (brown) edges of the leaves cut down from the previous year's growth. The bulb is producing two flowering stems; characterised, as here, by being thickened, green, and with two growing points visible. A new leaf, between them, appears as a blade with a single growing apex. Bulbs are large underground buds, consisting of a conical stem at the base to which are attached concentric rings of scale-like leaves containing stored food. During growth, roots appear from the stem, and the most central leaves ( and any flower stems ) expand. Large Amaryllis bulbs may produce multiple flowering stems. The bulb pictured here weighs 1.2Kg, and went on to produce three flower heads.
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