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Thread: Cephalotus: A Few Days From Flowering . . .

  1. #17
    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    A few days? More like a full month, you slackers!
    The insane heat this year accelerated my flowers (14 stalks this year - a record for me). I've been collecting seed for several weeks and have at least a week or two more...

    Quote Originally Posted by amphirion View Post
    do i see spidermite webbing on your stalk sir?
    Every year, I have a spider who sits on top of each stalk (although a few do spin webs between stalks) guarding their mini-domain. The little bums ignore aphids. My largest stalk became infested before I noticed. Another also started a colony but thankfully I got them early.

    Quote Originally Posted by zlookup View Post
    Very nice. I assume cephs can self pollinate?
    Good question - from what I've seen, I don't think so. The stamens & stigma mature at different times**. I'm not certain that the pollen is still viable when the stigma matures (by that time, mine typically has changed color). I also believe that I've read of people who grow in greenhouses getting no seed. This year, I spent some time studying the flower progression from opening through seed set. It was very interesting and would probably make for a decent photo-essay (for someone with a decent macro setup). I also got to see a wider variety of pollinators visiting than I had noticed in prior years.

    ** In BB's flower pic, you can see pollen on the flower at ~4:30 on a stamen at ~4:00. They are two yellow/orange dots on the lower-inside of the stamen. The stigma will eventually open in a few days (similar to how a VFT's stamen opens) and the pollen will typically be brown or not easily visible by that time.

    Before anyone asks, seeds will be available from the ICPS seedbank in a week or three.
    Last edited by RL7836; 08-12-2011 at 07:59 AM.
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Here is a shot of the pollination of the tiny Cephalotus flowers. It is done on an almost daily basis, until the ovules begin to visibly swell and/or the flowers close. Say what you will about James and Patricia Pietropaulo and their Carnivorous Plants of the World (they rightfully or wrongly caught a rash of ****** over the years for a number of different reasons); but, regardless, I learned a great deal from that old book, which preceded D' Amato and The Savage Garden by two or three years: the pollination of carnivorous plants; the division of Sarracenia and cultivation of Heliamphora; raising plalnts from seed; and that of potting mixes long before the advent of the internet or the recent popular resurgence of these plants.

    Cephalotus follicularis cv. "Hummer's Giant"
    Last edited by BigBella; 08-12-2011 at 01:59 PM.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    The insane heat this year accelerated my flowers (14 stalks this year - a record for me). I've been collecting seed for several weeks and have at least a week or two more...

    .....
    Before anyone asks, seeds will be available from the ICPS seedbank in a week or three.
    Thank you Ron. The ICPS seedbank works because of tireless people like yourself.

    Mahalo,

    MTF

  4. #20

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    cephs are so cool, hope you get lots of viable seed
    I love lamp...

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  5. #21
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gea8579 View Post
    cephs are so cool, hope you get lots of viable seed
    Thanks -- so too do I . . .

    There are currently four stalks in varying degrees of development; and the greater challenge will be to ensure that they don't snapped off by the wind before seed-set . . .


    12 AUGUST

    Last edited by BigBella; 08-12-2011 at 05:54 PM.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  6. #22
    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    Here is a shot of the pollination of the tiny Cephalotus flowers. It is done on an almost daily basis, until the ovules begin to visibly swell and/or the flowers close.
    This is what I did my 1st year. Every day I was out there with my brush pretending to be a bee. The end result: some flowers were pollinated & some weren't (& some had a few seeds develop - not a full set). Some of the time my brush just got gunked up with flower nectar. The next several years I allowed the native bees to do all the work and I got just as many or more seeds.

    This year I 'tried' to pay attention and notice what the flowers were doing. When the flowers open & the pollen 1st becomes visible, the stamen is not open & receptive (it's hardly visible). My 1st two stalks were almost 100% synchronized so that 1st wave of pollen had no receptive stigma.

    Later when the stigma's opened & became receptive, there were no flowers with nicely-colored fresh pollen.

    Over here on Matt's page (about 2/3 of the way down), there are two flower pics. The pic on the left clearly shows ripe pollen (click on pic to see larger view). The pic on the right shows a receptive stigma as well as the now dull pollen (and several developing seeds from older flowers - as the pollinated seeds develop, they stick out the end of the capsule). I don't know if this older, brown/gray pollen is still effective.

    Although not visible in any of these pics, when the stigma on my flowers 1st 'matured', the pool of nectar at the base of the stigma & stamens almost overflowed. When I tried to use a paintbrush to pollinate, it regularly got covered in sticky nectar. However, if I didn't get the brush below the surface, I didn't get any pollen since the pollen is on the lower inside of each stamen head. This year, when I wanted to help the bees, I would pluck a stamen that had colorful pollen with fine tweezers and then dab that on flowers with receptive stigmas. It seemed to work very well - as long as I had flowers in different stages of development...
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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  7. #23
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    worth growing just for the flowers

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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    This is what I did my 1st year. Every day I was out there with my brush pretending to be a bee. The end result: some flowers were pollinated & some weren't (& some had a few seeds develop - not a full set). Some of the time my brush just got gunked up with flower nectar. The next several years I allowed the native bees to do all the work and I got just as many or more seeds . . .
    I would have left it to the bees, were it not that so many were entrapped by the neighboring Sarracenia; and most of what I have seen on the Cephalotus flowers have been spiders and the occasional ladybird beetle -- so it was either me in my killer bee outfit (http://rutube.ru/tracks/1695191.html) or catch-as-catch-can.
    Thankfully, it has worked in the past . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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