Zucchinis (Curcubita pepo) are botanically related to cucumbers, squash and melons. All plants require male pollen added to female flowers to be able to keep fruit. Some plants have flowers with both sexes, while some, like zucchinis, have separate male and female blossoms. The striking yellow colour of zucchini flowers attracts bees that take the pollen from male to female parts. Zucchinis are warm season vegetables which mature in 35 to 55 days. They can be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10 and in cooler regions with a sufficiently long growing season.
Female Zucchini Flowers
The female zucchini blossom has a brief stem and three components which are collectively called the pistil. If you look within a female blossom, you’ll see the carriage which receives the male pollen. The stigma sits atop the style connected to the ovary that resembles a mini zucchini. If you slice the fascia open with a knife, then you see its ovules which may develop into seeds. Since the ovary grows to your little zucchini on a fertilized female flower, the yellow blossom will stay in place for a while before dropping.
Male Zucchini Flowers
There are typically three male zucchini blossoms for each female flower. The male flowers are bigger than their female counterparts and also grow on more stems. The male blossom appears first. When you have a look within the male blossom, you’ll see the stamen that produces the yellow pollen. The stamen is composed of an anther, covered with the pollen, sitting atop a filament. When a browsing shallow bumps contrary to the anther, the pollen sticks to tiny hairs on its body. The bee transfers the pollen to your female stigma because it proceeds on its way.
Issues with Pollen
Zucchinis require a lot of bees to move the pollen from the male to female blossoms. If the female flowers don’t get sufficient pollen, they’ll grow zucchinis that are that shrivel, turn yellow and fall away. You can pollinate zucchinis by hand. Female zucchini flowers just remain open for a single day, and therefore you need to pollinate them early in the morning. You can dab a few pollen from the male anther using a paintbrush and carefully apply it to the female stigma or carefully remove the petals in the male flower and gently touch with the male anther to the female stigma.
Delicious Zucchini Blossoms
The squash isn’t the only edible part of a zucchini plant. You may also eat the male flowers or the female blossoms remaining about the ends of youthful zucchinis. Raw zucchini flowers are sweet and crisp and create a colorful addition to your salad. You can stuff them with cheese and then eat them raw or fried. You may just pile them onto a plate, drizzle them with olive oil and then sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Eating zucchini flowers is a treat for the home gardener. As they rapidly wilt and lose their appeal, you may sometimes find them at a roadside stand, but you won’t find them at a grocery store.