why do certain plants only bloom once every x*years


Some plants just bloom so rarely even though thats an important part of their lifecycle ( every plant that blooms reproduces like that?).

So for me it seems odd that some plants don‘t try to maximize the number of times they do this.

Dessert cacti make sense to me since they want to try when the conditions are just right and not waste precious energy, but thats not every plant that rarely blooms.

So why do some plants bloom so rarely ?

In: Biology

I know that there are plants that “decide” how they reproduce, depending on the conditions of their surroundings.
If everything is right, they might just reproduce asexually and clone themselves.
When there are problems they choose to reproduce sexually (with blooming and stuff). I dont really know why they do it like that. Maybe sexual reproduction means more variety and therefore more adaption?

Anyways, i’m no expert so don’t be mad if i’m wrong.
And sry for any spelling or grammar mistakes, it’s not my first language.

There are a few schools of thought for plants (and animals really)

Spend your efforts on reproducing once in a while and doing everything you can to ensure the survival of that offspring


go balls to the walls and spam out as many kids as you can. They can’t all die, right?

Flowers that bloom rarely have invested heavily in option A above. You will almost certainly find that the bloom coincide with a very specific insect that also adopts the same cycle. That insect is attracted to this plant, so the plant can basically ensure that the pollen in the flower is guaranteed to end up on another member if its species. Whereas a typical meadow flower pollinated by bees just have to go for sheer numbers because those bees are landing on other irrelevant plants too and wasting pollen.

Plants need to gather a lot of energy and nutrients to make flowers, fruits and seeds. If a species lives in conditions where storing those things is hard, it will take a very long time to get ready. This is why some cactuses take decades between blooms. Other plants, like the corpse flower, are in rainforests where nutrients are common but so is competition. Spending ten years to store up enormous amounts of building materials and then creating one huge flowering stalk that reeks of death and is irrestible to carrion insects and can overwhelm the competition for a few days is the survival strategy they evolved for. And since it works, they dont evolve something else.