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Thread: Nepenthes pollination techniques

  1. #9

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    Rob,

    I have loads of ants in the glasshouse but very few made it up to the flower spike. The pitchers seem to be their buffets of choice.

    I should add that I used two methods for pollination.

    Where I had the male flower I just cur of the males flowers one at a time and dabbed them against the female. In most cased one male would do 6-10 females. I repeated this every second day for 6 days.

    Where collected pollen was sent to me I used a q-tip (cotton bud). Dabbed it into the satchel with the pollen and then against the female.

    The plastic collars you see I am using so that I can ID what section of the flower has been pollinated by what male. For example on the larger flower under the collar is N. gracilis. Above the collar is N. albo x veitchii.

    I did try a 3rd pollen on this flower (N. vent) and have identified those flowers by removing the sepals. Not the most accurate of ways and those seedpods do not seem to be developing at quite the rate of the ones pollinated with N. albo x veitchii.

    The photo was taken a few days ago and the smaller flower is now separated into 3 sections by 2x collars (N. vent, N. khasiana, N. alata).

    Aaron.

  2. #10

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    Aaron,

    The plastic collars look like a good idea. Better then twine as it might help inhibit insects from moving the pollen around.
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

  3. #11

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    Rob ... dear, dear, dear. Using ants as pollinators... how do you stop cross pollination??
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

  4. #12

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    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] Yes, Hamish, it is a little lazy, I must admit. I only do it with relatively common species where we require only a single seed capsule for tissue culture purposed. For example, we matched up 2 N. ventricosa last week. There are nearly 200 N. ventricosa flowers at the moment in highland nursery No. 5 and I don't want a bucket load of seed, so just picked 2 likely candidates.

    Preventing cross pollination is easy. Boys are kept in one nursery, (insect poroofed) girls are in another nursery hundreds of meters away and the lovers are put into a nursery by themselves if I'm going to let ants do the job.

    Actually, to tell the truth I rarely use the ant technique but it does work. Last time they effectively pollinated pretty much the whole spike. Usually if it's an important cross I do it as painstakingly as everyone else and then put a stocking over it.
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

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