Photo: Arne Ader
Cloudberry. Tolkuse bog. Luitemaa
How much business does an ordinary citizen have in the watery habitats of the cloudberries these days? Everybody rather looks forward to the beach season instead.
The cloudberry harvest is tricky to predict at the flowering time, but we can still look a little closer at the flowers. A part of the plants have male flowers, and others female flowers. The male flowers are more noticeable because they are larger, moreover there are more of them, but that does not predict the harvest. Let us peek into the flower: the male flower has many beautiful stamens but the pistil is undeveloped; the smaller female flowers have a large pistil but the stamens are either wholly lacking or are there but without the anthers; they are called staminodes.
Each individual flower is only open for a few days; during that time insects must visit the flowers, when there is suitable weather and it doesn’t pour with rain. In the cloudberry bogs we only meet few bees or bumblebees: thus the two-winged fly and mosquito relatives that live in bogs must manage the pollination. Well, the female flowers might have been pollinated but in low-lying areas such as bogs frosts may still damage the flowers even after Midsummer, and on top of that a number of pests covet the cloudberry plant and berries - or more precisely the aggregates of drupes. Homo sapiens is last in the queue...