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Thread: Pollen shelf life

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    trainspotting's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    So yeah how long is the pollen viable and how would you store it? I've got a flava in flower now, I expect the pollen to start falling this week, and ive got a Purp cross in the pic below with a flower stalk that looks like it'll be maybe a few weeks till it's open. How can I keep the flava pollen viable for a cross when the other opens (if thats even possible)?

    Oh and just so no one flames me a little: Ii checked the SG and didn't see anything about storing it, though now that I've said that im sure some one will find a quote in it, oh well.




    Thanks, Chris
    Im a terible speeler, but I are collage stodint.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent
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    Chris,
    EXCELLENT question! I am hoping someone can shed more light on this topic than I can. This is what I understand, you can collect the pollen in some manner, (I suggest a Q-tip) and wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge. NOW, how long it will keep is just a guess. This seems to be a wacky year as many of my plants that bloomed at the same time last year are not blooming together and I will need to do the same as you and save pollen. If nothing eles we can save the pollen as long as we need to and try and see if it works. That's my plan. Good luck and share what you learn.
    I remain a man obsessed with a genus
    Brooks

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    trainspotting's Avatar
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    Thanks, will do. I plan on selfing the flava then saving some for when the hybrid opens.

    Chris
    Im a terible speeler, but I are collage stodint.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" -Epicuris

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    Since I plan to pollinate most of my flowers this yr (bought the mesh & everything), I am planning to harvest pollen for the flowers that are not in sync. I thought I saw a recent thread on how to pollinate Sarracenia and in it was a guideline that said the pollen should be good for 2 weeks or so. I did a quick check & cannot relocate this info - hmmmmm. Hope my memory isn't totally wrong.

    Either way - as previous post noted - do it - keep track and see if we get seed - better than not pollinating at all.

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    Thanks for starting this topic Trainspotting. I want to take pollen from my 'Leah Wilkerson' and cross it with 'Hurricance Creek White'--sound pretty? Anyway, the 'Leah' will be open first, so I'll have to save some pollen from it. I have two Hurricane Creek White flowers. I'll self one and add 'Leah' pollen to the other. If anyone thinks I should do anything different (like cross the two Hurricane Creek with themselves, and leave Leah out of it), let me know.
    My chicken legs taste like chicken--only less meaty.

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    This method of saving Sarracenia pollen works for me:

    If I plan to use pollen 'only' from a partcular plant, I clip the flower stem when the pollen grains have begun to fall, and place this in a glass of purified water, label it, then place it in the refridgerator. When you are ready to use the pollen, take the glass out of the fridge and let it sit out for about 30 minutes or so. I use this method exclusively for any crosses I make because I tend to get these tiny little beetles that inhabit the flowers and eat all the pollen. The cold storage prevents them from developing and kills off any that are hiding.

    I have had 100% success in purity of cross by using this method and the flowers will remain in very good condition for a long time. Last year I clipped a flower from my S. purpurea var. rosea and the flower and pollen lasted in perfection for almost 4 months. I'm happy to say that the pollen was still viable after this time. Could be unique results for me...but not likely as I have done this for some 10 years now. I personally do not like the q-tip method because it wastes too much pollen. Of course this method will only work for you if you have the luxury of clipping the flower. If not then perhaps you can elaborate on this method.

    One last thing. I have noticed that if you clip the flower before all the pollen has ripened, the flower will continue to drop pollen after removal from the cold storage. This is one of the reasons I let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Every last grain is prescious.

    Good luck.
    Phil

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    trainspotting's Avatar
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    Sounds like good technique, but yeah I want to keep my flava flower because it's my only one. You really submerge it in water? What happens to the pollen, or am I reading it wrong?
    Im a terible speeler, but I are collage stodint.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" -Epicuris

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    You're reading it wrong. You clip the flower 'stem' and place this in a glass of water...just like any cut flower. I can see the dilema if you have only the one flower. I deal with hundreds of flowers so maybe someone else can shed some light on this.

    Phil

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