Question of the Week: Poor Pollination

Here is this week’s question:  Why is this greenhouse cucumber shaped like this?

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This cucumber is the result of poor pollination.  Here is a great description of pollination and pollination problems from the Missouri Botanical Gardens:  “Cucurbits are monoecious; there are separate male and female blossoms on the same plant. The male flowers tend to open first, followed by the female flowers. It is only when both the male and female flowers are open that pollination can occur. The female flower is open for only one day and is most receptive between the hours of 9 AM and 4 PM. During this time the flower must receive about 15 bee visits for maximum pollination. Unfertilized or poorly fertilized flowers fall from the vine.”  The flower picture above did not receive enough bee visits.  The page quoted above can be viewed here.

 

Here is this week’s question:  What is this worm-like critter?  (Hint:  It’s a predator of aphids)

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