Senescence no. 6 - Bloom
by Bruce Davis
Senescence no. 6 - Bloom
Photograph - Digital
The Amaryllis petals have long spines & ridges full of texture & detail that support the blossom as it explodes outwards.
'Senescence' as a photographic series explores the life cycle of an Amaryllis (Hippeastrum), from bloom, to reproduction, wilting & finally death. 'Senescence' captures in 25 photographs, the process of life, reproduction, death & decay before new growth & is told through expressive, abstract photography that chronicles the life & death of an Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) in an intimate & poetic study. These descriptions are based on my own observations & mixed with personal, armchair research I have done on the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) & senescence. I accept that my information may be off or misguided. Please feel free to add to or correct any of this information. Senescence as a scientific term describes biological aging, the deterioration of functional characteristics & the cessation of cellular division & growth. In short, senescence is the process of functional deterioration with age & dying. The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) in this series has been photographed at various stages of plant or flower senescence as it blooms, reproduces, readies to die & go dormant until its next growth cycle. Notable characteristics of plant or flower senescence are chlorophyll degradation & wilting. Chlorophyll degradation causes the flower's petals & stem to change colour & wilting is caused by diminished water cells that help reduce water loss in the flower. The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) petals first begin to show slight discoloration after its vibrant bloom, then wrinkling & pocking as the petals curl along the edges & tips. The heads of the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum), then begin to grow heavy, droop & become slightly sticky & wet to the touch, before contracting & then becoming dry & brittle to the touch, then finally breaking off, carrying with them the seed pod or ovule. The anther & filament or 'stamen' begin to decay, curl & the pollen turns to a fine powder & flakes off. The stigma & style which is used for pollination & propagation, is located just below the stamen, wrinkles & contracts to a very small size & often falls off. Notable characteristics of the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) reproductive cycle are the fully extended & open stigma & style & pollen sprinkles across the petals & filament. The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a genus in the family Amaryllidaceae (subfamily Amaryllidoideae, tribe Hippeastreae, and subtribe Hippeastrineae) & are from Central & South America with 90 species & over 600 hybrids & cultivars in the genius. These flowers are known for their ability to flower indoors, re-flower & are often given as gifts in the winter around holidays. - Taxonomy Research Source, Global Biodiversity Information Facility https://www.gbif.org/ "This project is a reflection of age, deterioration & death in nature & in us all." - Bruce Davis, Photographer
March 9th, 2021
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