Posted by: HortAlaska | June 10, 2017

It’s nectar time!


The nectar began to ooze from buds, even the tiny side buds, this week when the temperature soared into the 80s and 90s. The nectar oozes from the edges of the sepals not from any specialized nectary. Even though they are called extra-floral nectaries, meaning outside the flower, there are no real specialized cells you could call a nectary. The turgor pressure inside the plant gets so great, the sweet stuff bursts in tiny bubbles all around the edges of the sepals and collects in the bracts and leaves below. A menagerie of insects cannot be far behind. The nectar is very sweet but has a tinny aftertaste. Ken H, peony grower in Homer, has bee hives in his field, and the bees do a good job cleaning up the nectar (and thus helping control sooty mold on the flowers). The honey from his hives was light, sweet, nothing to brag about in the beginning. But after a few seconds, an amazing aroma/flavor bursts inside your mouth for an extraordinary treat.

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