Yes, it's that time of year again in Cornwall when the holiday hordes descend and formerly deserted beaches are suddenly packed with neoprene clad dandies jockeying for position on the surf. More importantly, it's the season when the oca seed pods start to form. Actually, they seem to be appearing a little earlier on this year's seedlings than on their parents, who were, of course, born and raised in 2009. The optimist in me thinks this is due to rapid adaptation to our climate and daylength regimes; my inner sceptical rationalist would prefer to withhold judgement and gather additional data for a few more years.
Here are the first ones I've noticed this year, on 091710, a seedling from 0917, which last year was among the first to set seeds. Pure coincidence? Perhaps, but I'm not taking any chances and will be enveloping the pods and their precious cargo as per 2009. To paraphrase a song from Monty Python's Meaning of Life (but only just) - every seed is sacred, every seed is good, every seed is needed, in your neighbourhood.
In my neighbourhood, I keep noticing additional small oca seedlings peeping out from the skirts of my chillies. So far my attempts at disentangling their root systems from the overbearing chillies has proved successful; I've planted them in any available space in the hope of getting a few tubers by the autumn. It may be a bit late now for some of these tiddlers, but I'm keen to give them a chance, just in case one of these slowcoaches contains the elusive genes for daylength neutrality. Once they're past the small and delicate stage and their stems start to lengthen, they can make quite rapid progress.
I'm still pondering on the exact structure of some of the flowers I've seen. More on the myriad morphs of Oxalis tuberosa when I can get out on a sunny day, examine the flowers properly and hopefully get some shots of their generative gubbins in all their confusing glory.