A Paen to Panicle

It has been nearly four months since I sowed my maiden paddy crop. And as it happens with newborns it has been taking my attention. Once I enter my farm I just rush to the paddy patch before inquiring with Mangal as how they are faring? The same was the story when I first planted the turmeric tubers which my farmer friend from Malegaon, Jitendra Kutmutia, had sent introducing me to the world of Curcuma longa.
pinacleLet me tell you the latest: my paddy has issued flowers. Yes, rice plants have flowers. They are not big or colourful but they are flowers nonetheless. Agreed they are more typically referred to by their scientific name – panicles – and they occur at the end of each tiller. Rice is mostly self-pollinating, which means that each rice plant can fertilise itself with its own pollen. Pollination of rice occurs by wind alone – no insects are involved.
Once the rice has been pollinated, the process of grain production begins and the panicles grow heavy with maturing rice grains (seeds). Another month I hope to see the mature rice grains.

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