Friday, August 17, 2007

Time-lapse videos of a flowering Lophophora jourdaniana

I’ve previously made an attempt at a stop-motion video showing the thigmotropic behavior of Lophophora stamens. It so happened that the Lophophora williamsii var. jourdaniana plant flowered again during my summer vacation, leaving me plenty of time to experiment with time-lapse videos.

The first video shows the Lophophora williamsii var. jourdaniana flower unfold (I’m not exactly an early bird so I missed the first part of the unfolding ;-)

It seems like the movie couldn't be embedded - you can watch it at

The above video covers a time span of approximately 90 minutes, i.e. playback is sped up by a factor of 150. This is my first attempt at a time-lapse “flower movie”, as can be seen by the quality of the film. The first 11 seconds were shot while the camera was in auto-focus mode, resulting in a “wobbly” feel. I then disabled auto-focus (and lost a couple of frames in the process, which can be seen as a “jump” 11 seconds into the video) and later had to re-focus (28 seconds into the video), so it's not perfect, but not bad either. The frames were shot with the sun as the only source of light.

Next, I wanted to make a better (i.e. more frames per second) version of the thigmotropic stamens video but ended up with a version looking a lot like the original one.

It seems like the movie couldn't be embedded - you can watch it at

The playback of the above video is sped up by a factor of 12. Unfortunately I stopped taking pictures just as the stamens started to revert to their original position. In an attempt to achieve more frames per second I played around with my cameras continuous shooting mode. Suddenly the flower was visited by an industrious bee beautifully illustrating the purpose of the touch sensitive stamens ;-)

It seems like the movie couldn't be embedded - you can watch it at

I guess the last 2 clips would be more illustrative if they had been filmed with a regular video camera instead of an SLR, but they’ll have to do for now. Unfortunately my camera ran out of power effectively putting an end to the filming of this particular flower.

Finally I have to mention the Hydrocactus – cactus video page as the main inspiration for these experiments and the best source of cactus videos I’m aware of.


  1. Wau, thanks for videos. You even captured a bee on the video :)

    My own L. jourdaniana flowered maybe two three weeks ago. The colours are pretty bad in the pictures.

    I bought the individual from Svante at Wermlands Desert Tropicals in Sweden in summer. He has a huge collection of Lophophoras that he has been collecting from the 70s. It was an enormous experience to view his collection that he has in his small greenhouse on his back yard. The only problem was that there was simply too much to observe, so you became soon a bit whimsy for all the beauty.

    I can ask if it’s okay to him if I post some lophoporn from his collection later.

    Best regards

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures (and sorry for the late reply). It would be great if you could show some photos of Svante’s collection; I’ve heard a lot about his plants, but never actually visited him (even though it’s a relatively short trip from where I live).


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