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Don't sniff flower centers!

Don't sniff flower centers!

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Fun Information
Fragrance oils are mostly on petal tips. When checking the scent of a lily blossom, there's no need to bury your nose inside the bloom and risk dusting your face with orange pollen. Wait until the flowers have been open a day or two, to give the fragrance oils time to mature, and just sniff the petal tips for the best effect. Lilies are pollinated by bees that are attracted to the sweet fragrance, so nature placed the scent on the outer portion of the petals so it can be snatched away in a breeze. When a lily flower first opens, the anthers are moist and tightly closed. As the day progresses, they unfurl, exposing the pollen grains.

Petal tips have the greatest concentration of fragrance oils, so sniff the edges of a fully opened and aged flower for the best scent. The center of the lily, where the reproductive parts are located, can be removed without any loss of perceived fragrance.

The "Style", which ends in a three part "knob" and drips sweet-tasting stigmatic fluid, also exhibits light scent, and in the case of a large purebred Oriental lily, can sometimes plentifully run down the bottom petal. This sticky protrusion helps to hold the pollen from other varieties tightly to the Style, as hummingbirds, bees and other insects brush against it. This is how new hybrids are created from the resulting seed produced later in the summer between compatible plants, if the growing season is favorable.

Be mindful of pollen. If you remove all the pollen-bearing anthers just as the buds begin to open, your flowers will last longer, and pollen cannot stain tablecloths, or your guest's nose. Should pollen brush upon clothing, it can stain if not treated correctly. Resist the temptation to brush it off with your hands, for the natural oil on your hands will spread, and set the color. Simply use a medium stiff hairbrush, and if the pollen grains have not been smeared, you can safely knock them off. If noticed too late, use a laundry pre-treatment before laundering, and hang the freshly washed clothing in bright sun for several hours, which usually bleaches any remaining color.
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