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Thread: Phal. spikes - how do they not get infected?

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  1. #1
    Real Name
    My Grow Area
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    Vandas and Catts
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Phal. spikes - how do they not get infected?

    Unlike most orchids, where the spikes emerge from the base of the plant, from the top of a cane or from in between leaves, Phal. spikes literally split the plant open when they emerge, leaving a gaping wound. How do they prevent themselves from getting infected from such a traumatic seeming experience? Just a random thought that crossed my mind while studying a Phal. of mine today.

  2. #2
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
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    Cattleyas & Slippers
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    Mar 2003
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    Never really considered this, Kelly. Seems to me that the orchid simply evolved to protect itself naturally so that it could reproduce. The opening grows together as the spike pushes through-- much like our gums do when a new tooth grows I would guess. Maybe Amey will have an answer for you on this one. Good question!!


  3. #3
    Real Name
    My Grow Area
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    Mini Vanda, Schombs &Encyclia.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    West of Tampa, FL
    Member's Country Flag


    My question is how the tiny thing rips through that tough leaf? Plants and their growth have always made me curious about how things such as the spike breaking through the leaf, work.

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