In the past, the flowers of flowers had a reputation for blooming in a matter of days, but a new study has found that the time it takes for flowers to bloom is far longer in some parts of the world.
“The reason why we know this is because we’ve been looking at the flowers, the way they’re growing,” Dr Amy Nesbitt, from the University of Auckland, told ABC News.
“We have data on how long it takes, and how many flowers are blooming at a given time, so we can look at where the bloom will occur.”
Dr Nesditt and her colleagues, led by Dr James Dye, from University of Queensland, surveyed the flowers in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, as well as in other parts of New Zealand.
Dr Nisbitt said the study revealed that the bloom was likely to be “more variable” than the average bloom time of one to three weeks.
“What we found is that the flowers may bloom in a shorter period than we thought,” she said.
“Some flowers will bloom for three to six weeks, and some flowers will have a bloom that lasts for five to seven weeks.”
Dr Dye said it was important to recognise that flowers are not necessarily blooming all the time, and they were a “very important part of the ecological process”.
“We’ve seen that some plants have flowers that are not blooming for months at a time, but that’s not necessarily an indicator of bad weather,” he said.
In Australia, for example, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) had previously found that while the time taken for the flowers to flower was “quite variable”, there was a pattern of blooming over the summer months.
“Flowers do take a long time to flower,” Dr Nesbet said.
“So the fact that they are a part of our daily lives really highlights how important they are for our ecosystem.”
Dr Chris Broughton, from Melbourne’s Griffith University, who was not involved in the study, said there were two big caveats.
First, while flowers were not expected to bloom in all the years, it was still possible for flowers not to bloom.
Second, the researchers did not have data to show how long the flowers were blooming.
They did, however, know that there were “large areas where blooming is quite variable”, which could be due to factors such as a drought, a lack of sunlight, or a combination of the two.
Dr Broughson said it would be important to look at how long flowers bloomed during the heat of the summer, when the water temperature is high, and then after a drought.
“There are certain seasons that are warmer than others, and the longer you wait for them to bloom, the higher the chances of them not bloating,” he told ABC news.
“So if we look at those types of trends, it’s important to do more monitoring in the summer.”
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