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  Re: Pseudodracontium pollination and ID
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.07.08 at 15:39:20(5018)
Dear Adam,

I hope this gets to you quickly-- this is the sequence of events one must
keep in mind to achieve pollenation of one inflor. with another.

As an inflorescence begins to open, the female flowers (these are the
LOWEST on the spadix) are receptive, they will be wet and sticky, and this
'stage' usually lasts one day in Amorphophallus and related genera..
OK---now the NEXT day the male flowers (these are the uppermost on the
spadix, ABOVE the sterile zone, which is in the MIDDLE of the spadix)
produce pollen (also for about one day), and the female flowers are no
longer receptive, this prevents self-pollenation in the same inflorescence.
SO---the trick is to have one bloom producing pollen while the second is
opening, or have the pollen of one stored in the fridge for only a couple of
days, and when you notice the second bloom beginning to open, carefully cut
open the spathe with a razor blade so that you can get to the female flowers
at the BOTTOM of the spadix, then apply the pollen collected from another
inflorescence, to the female flowers. You can do this with a SOFT artist`s
paint brush (1/4-1/2 in. wide) moistened in sterile water (both collection
and application). I have had better sucess if the entire spathe and spadix
region (or the whole spadix if the spathe has had to be completely cut away
to be able to acheive pollenation) is then wrapped in plastic/Saran wrap
for a couple of days, this worked SO well this season when the whole (100%)
of the female zone of a Taccarum we hand-pollenated then wrapped produced
fruit, while another spadix pollenated the same way but NOT wrapped is
producing noticibly less fruit, many flowers did not 'take'.
OK---IF both open the same day you could try wetting the female zone after
you obtain pollen from the second the next day, BUT this may not work, as
the female flowers usually are receptive for only one day.. Maybe if you
somehow keep the entire plant with the 'younger' inflor. cool (stick the
whole plant in the fridge?) you could delay it`s opening for a day, so that
the other inflor. has a chance to open and produce pollen, then next day the
second plant may be 'warmed up', and when the inflor. begins to open,
pollenate it!

Other Aroids follow the same general pattern, but those with the male and
female flowers mixed in on the entire spadix (Anthuriums and Urospathas, for
example) the female flowers are receptive for a little longer time, you can
tell as they will have a tiny drop of moisture at their tip, or 'look' wet,
while the male flowers produce pollen beginning at the top of the spadix
moving downward for a period of days/weeks.

For an I.D, post a pic. and someone will scream it`s I.D., or if you are a
member of the IAS buy a back issue of Vol. 19 of Aroideana, it should give
you a better idea of what species you have. From those Pseudodrac.`s I`ve
seen, they seem to have very different colored/petterned petioles, and a
pic. of the inflorescence would get you a certain I.D.

Good luck!!



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