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Thread: I Need Some educating...

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I Need Some educating...

    Weeks ago I harvested several Dana's Delight pods and opened them up. There were like 6 seeds in a pod. Yesterday I harvested a catesbei Scarlett Belle, and a psitticina. There were only 4 or 5 seeds in the pods. I don't think that this is a good seed set. I really don't know how this works. Am I supposed to let the birds and bees do the pollinating or am I supposed to help it along? Do they self-pollinate or do I need two flowers from two different plants?









    These guys gave me 5 & 165 seeds per pod, and I hand-pollinated them. But Darlingtonia may be different that Sarracenia. IDK.

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    Woodnative's Avatar
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    Hey Jim-
    Although they will self-pollinate fine, you generally get a higher seed set, and potentially more vigorous seedlings, from outcrossing (cross pollination). In fact, the flowers are built for cross pollination by insects. Sometimes insects will take care of the pollination, but if you want to ensure good seed set, you may wish to assist with the process next year. The ripe pollin generally falls rather thickly on the inside of the upside down umbrella. You can use a small paint brush to pick up the pollen and rub it over the pistils of the same or other flower. Good luck!!

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Phil of Meadowview's article
    Inbreeding, outbreeding, and heterosis in the yellow pitcher plant, Sarracenia flava (Sarraceniaceae), in Virginia
    in the American Journal of Botany should be of some use.

    He has also observed that repeated pollination appears to yield better seed sets (in terms of number of seed) but has not run any experiments to test this obervation/hypothesis.

    I normally repeat pollination every other day or so a few times so as not to miss maximum receptivity or ripeness of the pollen.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Assuming I can find adequate housing for my temperates this winter, I'll give hand-pollinating a go next spring.

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Jim,
    If you look at the design of the flower, it will often give you a clue. The Sarracenia flower evolved to avoid self-pollination. With normal flowers & no outside pollinators, there's 'almost' no way for the pollen to find its way to the stigmas (quite the opposite of most dews).

    As others have mentioned, cross-pollination is typically best (avoids any possible in-breeding nastiness). As for method of pollination, it seems most people prefer small paintbrushes. Phil at Meadowview recommends a pollen/oil slurry applied with toothpicks iirc (I think he has a writeup on his site). Personally, I get pollen on my little finger & swab it across the stigmas. I find that I get more pollen to the receptive surfaces than with a brush and cleanup between flowers is very easy. Small-flowered Sarrs (like rubra & minor) can be a pain but most work very well. I currently have over 100 seedpods awaiting final harvest - all of them pollinated with this method (& each labeled w/ a p-touch).
    All the best,
    Ron
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    Capensis's Avatar
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    As we are on the topic of Sarracenia breeding, I've been wondering: About how much pollen do Sarracenias produce (on average since each species is probably different)? Earlier this spring, I saw very little pollen on the umbrella of one of my flowers, so I wasn't sure if this is how much they regularly produce or if it was just due to transplant/shipping shock since I acquired it a little bit before it flowered.
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6789&dateline=1352508752

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thanks' Ron. I did notice this upside down setup and thought it was odd.

    There was a ton of pollen on my flowers. I ripped the petals off to see what was going on.

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    Hope these help ......

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