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Not-hydrangea reaches new heights

I mentioned this striking plant a few years ago , when I was talking about an entirely unrelated plant that also had what we call petaloid or as I said then, more accurately foliaceous, bracts. That is, the flowers are surrounded by things that look like petals, or in that case fancy leaves. This time the 'fancy leaves' are actually the outer part of a single flower, the sepal. Sepals are most often green and reduced in size and impact compared to the petals. In this case the outer flowers of a flowerhead consisting otherwise of small, insignificant-looking flowers, have one large, soft, white sepal.  The idea with this kind of set up is that the energy invested by the plant in making these big white fans, or paddles, will be energy well spent if it draws pollinating creatures to the small and presumably more efficiently produced fertile flowers. It is just one of the evolutionary pathways to success in the flowering plant world. It's the Japanese Hydrangea Vine, Schizophra

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