Flower Buds: The Shape of Things to Come

Photo Credit: University of Kansas

Is there anything more hopeful than a flower bud?  Each one holds the promise of tomorrow, a sneak preview of things to come.

Taking pictures in my garden every day or two has opened my eyes to their wonder. Through  the camera lens I’ve discovered things I didn’t realize were there. Some of the flowering buds are tightly wound, as if waiting for the right moment to spring. Others are miniature versions of themselves, gradually enlarging till they reach full size. A few remain green and camouflaged, appearing like a leaf till they decide to show their colors.

Shapely Buds

Buds vary in shape too. In my garden I’ve seen buds as round as marbles. Others look like arrowheads. A stem may form with one single bud, or send out multiples branching in small groups before flowering.  Pumpkins have distinctive male and female buds that set in a defined order. The male flowers are first on the scene. Female buds follow and it’s up to the bees to pollinate them so they can set fruit. The process, known as anthesis, takes place when the flower is fully expanded and functional. The flower then folds in on itself and either drops off or starts forming a pumpkin.  It’s such a fun plant to grow.

Since I can’t say “this bud’s for you” without risking copyright infringement, I’ll instead say “can you tell whose buds are who?”

Who’s who or what’s what?

Match the lettered photos with the numbered description below.  Did you match all five?  You can check your answers at A Taste of Fall: Flower Season Winding Down.

Bud "A"

Bud “A”

  1. Allium Stellatum
  2. Anemone
  3. Four O’clock
  4. Hydrangea
  5. Snapdragon
Bud "B"

Bud “B”

Bud "C"

Bud “C”

Bud "D"

Bud “D”

Bud "E"

Bud “E”

5 thoughts on “Flower Buds: The Shape of Things to Come

  1. Pingback: A Taste of Fall: Flower Season Winding Down | gardeningnirvana

  2. We surely have the mighty Bee to thank for the harvest and beauty in the gardens. I only got 2 out of 5 (Snaps and Hydrangea), but what a fun idea. You always have me wanting to make Boomdeeadda better….I learn so much here.


    • Yes we do. And the more I read about pollination, the more alarmed I become at their plight. I’m always grateful when I see bees in our garden.

      Thanks for taking the quiz. I’m glad you liked it. I learn from you too, my dear.


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