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MemberSeptember 20, 2021 at 3:38 am010805
I have seen the same phenomenon in my plants since a couple of years. It may be induced the most easily when you sow the plant in perfect conditions. But if your soil does not live up to the expectations triggered in the plant, it will drop or resorb fruitlets it can not fill.
I see that it needs a bundle of factors to coincide to get these fruits into the mature stage, but I am less inventiave as you have been ;-). I have found in literature that the occasional double initial should be pruned as they are weaklings. I have not done so for curiosity and also I have been reproducing plants from such double-triple flowered plants and I can say that the propensity to do so is passed along, but it still will need the environment to a) the process to be kept up throughout the season, it can be downregulated and b) to be expressed at all (e.g. if the seedling substrate is sterile, they usually begin single flowered.
Also I have seen massive changes in cucurbits, from accessory to bisexual flowers to female only (not only cukes, but courgettes and pumpkin, in extreme cases also parthenocarp fruits in all three) and also reverse order from male and female flushes.
Especially the night shades are known to be able to be rather flexible in the handling with their meristems in the axilla (shift it upwards instead of setting it in the axilla like in tomatoes.) so I think they just fractionate the flower initial.
In lettuces I have seen extremely wide band shaped stalks when initiating flowers in the extremely wealthy individuals instead of the usual round shaped, branched stalks.
Now multiply multiple accessory flowers with accessory and early branches (I have had cucurbits branching from the cotyledo axilla with flowers set on this first genuine side nodes) and you know why I say that I can not see an inherent architectural limit to plant productivity any more – the limit is the environment.
There is also really strange things like the calendula I will post in a minute.
Concerning the ego – I know exactly what you mean (for me it was breathtaking, and still is to observe these things), but to humble ourselves: Emma Kunz has been reported to be capable to induce a condition similar to the Calendula picture (but with different symmetries in the additional flowers), mentally communicating with the plant in Dandelions for demonstration purpose. Microbes are said to manipulate flower induction and timing in their host, but as usual science is just looking at the material side of it. I think since a while that a lot of this pattern initiation in plants comes about through resonance phenomena (that need physical structure and nutrition as a basis for resonance!), so watch out for these things as well. I have not reached the understanding of Emma Kunz yet, but I wish I had as it would be for sure far more beneficial to the plant world to trust in their ability to shape the anatomy to the most fitting version, than our idea to fix their organs even to the angle of root branching.