It was an amazing moment for me when a flower on my homegrown spider lily plant bloomed right before my eyes, in only a matter of seconds!

People or rather, I, used to think that all flowers take their own sweet time to bloom, with the petals opening gently, micrometer by micrometer, invisible to the naked eye. In one of my favorite flowers, Morning Glory, the petals curl open as soon as the first ray of sunshine hits them. Yet, I haven’t been able to watch this beautiful flower open as the movement seems infinitesimally small to the naked eye. My experience the other day was just unbelievable in its simplicity.

It was a Tuesday evening, and Wednesday was off from school; so I was feeling rather happy. When I glanced out of the window, I saw my mother standing outside, camera in hand, next to our spider lily plant. Intrigued, I ventured out, inquiring as to why she was standing there as if waiting for something. She explained that while sitting outside, she had seen the spider lily bloom one day! Frankly I didn’t fully believe her. However, I could already see one beautiful white lily flower – with its mesmerizing vanilla-like essence, and I wanted to see another one bloom, however much time it took.

Scent of a Lily

So, I waited to breathe in that gentle scent of the lily. I looked around the balcony and saw almost fifteen buds on the hibiscus plant! The frangipani next to our balcony had also flowered with its strong and rather dizzying smell! Due to the lockdown and the rains, the pollution had decreased and the plants had gotten water and were they thriving! Even the trumpet vine that I had planted a few years ago had got its first buds when I had given up hope! I might say that the realization that nature is blossoming with its unparalleled beauty here in our small block should have been the highlight of the evening, but only to be proven wrong!

The Lily has a magical moment

The closed petals of the lily looked like longitudinal lines across a prolate spheroid (shape of a rugby ball). Then the long green stalk suddenly moved. For the next 20 seconds, nothing happened. And then, the petals popped open in a singular action. I was in shock, awe and disbelief! Ma went ‘Aaaaaaaah’ smiling, as she knew this would happen. “Wow! It happened! I did not expect that!” I said, almost in slow motion.

And there they were blooming

In a matter of milliseconds, in that lovely dusk hour, the petals had just plopped open revealing the beautiful shape of the flower. It was a truly wonderful experience for me as I love plants, birds and animals. While many flowers open with the dawn, some flowers wait until evening to bloom. These flowers, often white or shades of white look radiant in the dark. The combination of scent and brightness attracts moths, bats and other nighttime pollinators.

The day after that, another spider lily bloomed, and another on the day after. The trumpet vine is flowering. So is the hibiscus and the frangipani. Even the bluebell vines are flowering along with the ever-bright bougainvillea! It is as if they are celebrating a few days with good air, as these days become fewer and fewer.

About the author

Samved Ojha is a student of Class 10th, Vasant Valley School, New Delhi.
He does a lot of birdwatching and stargazing!
His area of interest is studying science, doing experiments,  playing Tabla and Flute.

About the editor

Joanne da Cunha is a french language tutor and singer / songwriter.
She is an ardent lover of all things nature, music and food-related.

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