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  Typical seed count of Amorphophallus titanum
From: Jack Honeycutt jhoneycutt at uswest.net> on 2000.07.03 at 21:35:25(4976)
The current issue of Hobby Greenhouse Magazine (http://www.orbitworld.net/hga/)
has an article called "Famous Blooms Reveal the Fruits of Their Labor". It
talks about self pollination of A. titanum at Huntington Botanical Gardens.

The article did not say how many seeds were produced from this self
pollination. But it did say that two blooms at Shelby (not selfed)
produced 220 "bright orange berries" which I assume will produce about 220
or so fertile seeds.

When two flowers mature at about the same time in the wild, about how many
seeds are produced?

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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.07.05 at 14:50:30(4984)
Huntington did get seed via an unusual self pollination procedure. This may
have been the first time this type of process has been successful. I heard
that one of the major US news stations picked the story of their seedlings in
the last day or so.

We did have about 200 or so berries at Selby, but not all the fruits
contained seeds. We got about 80 seeds in all. I did not count them all
exactly because a few berries were distributed early by other people at Selby
and I don't know how many of these contained seeds. Some berries contained
two seeds but many contained only one. However, most of the seeds germinated,
even the very small ones that I thought might not be viable.

Huntington's plant produced an awesome looking infructescence but this was
deceiving. I think they only got a few seeds, but I don't know the total
number. Many berries formed but most were void since they only pollinated a
few of the stigmas.

BTW, There is another Amorphophallus titanum preparing to flower at Bonn
Botanical Garden. This immense inflorescence may almost reach the proportions
of the record setting flower at New York Botanical Garden in 1937. NYBG had
the largest documented inflorescence in cultivation. Bonn is predicting their
plant will flower around July 10. Check their web site for daily updates
(http://www.botanik.uni-bonn.de/botgart/info.htm#aktuell). Most of their
information is in german but you will find some english here and the charts
and photos will tell the story.

Very seldom have seeds been obtained in cultivation. Bonn managed to obtain
seeds in 1996, and they reported 450 berries and of these about 70% had two
seeds. Leiden obtained a few seeds in 1999 and Palmengarten distributed seed
around 1993 or so in their Index Seminum. Two of these plants from the
Palmengarten seed flowered last year: one at Univ. of Washington Seattle and
the other at Huntington. Pollination has been attempted recently at Cal State
Fullerton using pollen stored from the Huntington flowering of 1999. Don't
know yet if they have been successful.

Don't think its a good idea to "divide" the A. titanum tubers although there
are rare times when the tubers may offset in cultivation. The only way to
reliably propagate this plant is via seed. Time from seed to flowering
varies, usually at least 5-8 years are required under optimal conditions but
earlier flowerings have been recorded.

Donna Atwood
Selby Gardens

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From: "Don Bittel" dbittel at treco.net> on 2000.07.06 at 16:18:14(4987)
Great information, Donna! Might you turn this into an article for the
newsletter or Aroideana? There are many members who are not on this list,
and it would be good to get it published.
Also, will there be any seedlings at the IAS auction in Sept?
Thanks

Don Bittel

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From: Jack Honeycutt jhoneycutt at uswest.net> on 2000.07.06 at 16:20:08(4989)
At 04:50 PM 7/5/2000 -0500, Donna wrote:

>Huntington did get seed via an unusual self pollination procedure.

From what little I could gather from the greenhouse magazine, self
pollination methods have not worked very well in the past?

>We did have about 200 or so berries at Selby, but not all the fruits
>contained seeds. We got about 80 seeds in all. Some berries contained
>two seeds but many contained only one. However, most of the seeds germinated,
>even the very small ones that I thought might not be viable.

And this was from a hand pollination method? You took pollen from one
flower and placed it on the flower of the other plant?

>Very seldom have seeds been obtained in cultivation.

>Pollination has been attempted recently at Cal State
>Fullerton using pollen stored from the Huntington flowering of 1999. Don't
>know yet if they have been successful.

So, mostly, folks don't store pollen in the 'frig and pollinate a flower a
few months or years later?

When I played with Victoria waterlilies, I was told that about 72 hours was
the limit for stored pollen. I was able to push that out to about two
weeks. But my dream of storing pollen in the frig all winter and having
viable pollen in the spring never happened. None of the flowers took this
old pollen. I kept thinking that I needed that magic temperature to store
pollen, but I never found it. About the time I moved on to something else,
I read about storing seeds in liquid nitrogen. I wondered about long term
storage of pollen this way......

>Don't think its a good idea to "divide" the A. titanum tubers although there
>are rare times when the tubers may offset in cultivation.

OK. Good information. Can you force tubers to offset by growing them in a
small pot and over feeding the plant?

>The only way to
>reliably propagate this plant is via seed.

OK. Got it.

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From: Neil Carroll zzamia at hargray.com> on 2000.07.06 at 19:38:38(4995)
Folks, I have just about got the Newsletter back together after my computer
disaster. I hope to have it in the mail to within a few days. This issue
will be Vol. 22, no. 2, and is past due. To stay on time I will need to
publish again before the Show in Sept.

HELP!!

Send articles. Any particular subject is fine. Wouldn't be nice to hear from
some of you who have been so active lately on Aroid-L? There has been some
very fine and interesting material sent about here (the Rhaph. thead for
example).

We have been lucky the past 10 months to receive material of a good grade. I
hope to continue to receive material from the likes of this list (including
the listeners) and beyond.

In the last Newsletter and in this one coming up, we had contributions from
non-members. (Thank you!)

Comments, suggestions, ARTICLES all appreciated.

Suggestions:

Species profiles
Genera outlines
Hybrids and Hybridizing
Horticultural Techniques
Aroid Adventures
Aroid literature
Announcements & Reviews
Events

Spread the word.

Neil Carroll

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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.07.06 at 21:22:54(4999)
This is to answer Jack's questions about pollinating Amorphophallus titanum.
Probably some of this is repeated information so those who have heard
already, please forgive me saying this again.

A. titanum can't really be self pollinated without employing some unusual
treatments. Self-pollination does not occur in the wild. Huntington removed
immature pollen. They then tried various means to ripen it to pollinate their
plant. You can check out their web site for more details. There is a link on
the IAS web "Links" page for Huntington. A similar technique was also
attempted at Longwood Gardens back in 1961. They only got 2 immature seeds
because their infructescence rotted before the seed matured. Also I believe
that a self-pollination technique may have been attemtped even earlier at
Bonn back in 1937. I am not fluent enough to read all the german on their web
site, but I think this is mentioned in the text there (sure would be nice if
someone could translate this).

Yes, we had two inflorescences at Selby last year and they bloomed only four
days apart. We collected pollen from the first plant and stored it just in a
brown paper bag at air conditioned room temperature, then applied the pollen
to the second inflor. The females are receptive before the male flowers shed
pollen, so this is procedure for traditional hand pollination. First you must
obtain the pollen, then you need another inflor that is blooming at least a
day or two later so you can pollinate at just the right time when stigmas are
ready.

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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.07.06 at 21:24:27(5000)
Thanks Don, and perhaps it would be nice to collaborate on a paper with
someone. There has been a lot of experimentation going on and it would be
good to put it all in one paper for future reference.

Don't know about any Selby titanum seedlings for the auction. There are still
recipients waiting for their seedlings and I think all the remaining plants
are reserved for them. Will just have to see what happens.

Donna

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From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2000.07.07 at 16:51:30(5012)
<< Comments, suggestions, ARTICLES all appreciated.

Suggestions:

Species profiles

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From: Jack Honeycutt jhoneycutt at uswest.net> on 2000.07.09 at 09:03:21(5030)
At 11:24 PM 7/6/2000 -0500, Donna wrote:

>This is to answer Jack's questions about pollinating Amorphophallus titanum.
>Probably some of this is repeated information so those who have heard
>already, please forgive me saying this again.

Thanks for all the good information Dona. I hope I can corner someone
at the Aroid meeting at Fairchild and learn more. I wish flowers were more
abundant so I could watch the pollination technique of you folks.

jack in Oregon

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