Oca: Flowering good fortune

Flowering OE Orange oca plant in an embarrassingly weedy patch

This has been a particularly exciting week for my little oca (Oxalis tuberosa) experiment, which is nice because I am working on a project that is burning out my brain.  Almost every time I head outside for a quick break, I am greeted with some new surprise.  This morning, it was an open flower on a plant of the OE Orange variety.  I spotted the bud yesterday, but thought it was too small to be opening any time soon.  As it turns out, it is just small compared to the flower that I took from a Hopin plant yesterday.

As with yesterday’s flower, I sacrificed this one to science, although I have additional plans for it, which I will describe below.  Unfortunately, this plant had only a single bud, so I need to make the most of this flower, in case I don’t get any more.

OE Orange oca flower

Now with some practice under my belt, identification of the flower type went quickly.  If you take a look at the picture of the denuded flower, you can see two tiers of stamens above the tier of styles, which makes this a short-styled flower.  That is great news, because it means that I now have two different flower types going simultaneously.

I have a candidate for my first cross, which is a flower on a Hopin plant.  It looks like it might open today, tomorrow in the worse case.  So, I will use this OE Orange flower to pollinate it when it opens.  If all goes well, that could be my first oca seed.  Cross your fingers while I cross pollinate!

Denuded flower, showing short-styled configuration

Oca seeds and tubers are sometimes available in our seed shop.

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