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Thread: U. livida

  1. #1

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    Does anyone have photos of either of these varieties? My sp. "South Africa" just flowered and it has the wider lower lobes I have come to associate with the Mexican type. I will post a photo later of it, but I would like to see what other's grow as this species, esp. the Mexican form.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    kayaker78's Avatar
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    My U. livida 'south africa'

    Tamlin: if this is different from what you have let me know and I will get a cutting out to you!

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    Yes, this is identical to what I have flowering under this name. I also see it in other photos as "Mexican form" so I am confused. Hopefully when my "Durban" opens its buds there will be a lightning strike of revelation. Thank you VERY much for your kind offer though. Hopefully, if I can even secure funds I will also be able to share my collection with you as well. Meanwhile, I am propagating as much as possible against that time!

    Drop me an email so I can keep you on file if you have a moment, and let me know what you're growing.
    "Grow More, Share More"

  4. #4

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    Hey folks,

    So those of you who are growing multiple clones of Utricularia livida, listen up!

    This plant has a very interesting native range---Mexico and South Africa. Kooky, huh? It makes you wonder if the plants from each country really are of the same species. Are they reproductively isolated? (i.e. can they be hybridized?)

    So here is an interesting set of experiments. It needs plants from about three different provenances; plants for which you are ABSOLUTELY certain you have good location information. For the sake of discussion, suppose you have a plant from Mexico, and two from the African sites Durban and Natal. (Just likely names, don't give them much significance.)

    Experiment 1: Try selfing Mexico, Durban, and Natal. Ideally, you hope that one will be self-infertile. Suppose you find that Durban is self-infertile.

    Experiment 2: Try crossing Mexico with the self-infertile Durban plant. If you get seed, you've demonstrated that they can hybridize.

    Experiment 2b: If none of the plants from Experiment 1 are self-infertile, still try crossing the Mexico plant with Durban or Natal. Just do it VERY carefully, under a dissecting scope.

    Experiment 3: Try crosses between Durban, Mexico, Natal with U. sandersonii plants.

    The results from these experiments would be quite interesting, and extremely publishable in CPN or other botanical journals. It would lend evidence to the relative relationships between U. livida in the two countries, and close relatives like U. sandersonii. Who knows---you may find evidence that the U. livida in Mexico is a new species!

    Just take your time with crossing these plants. Do the crosses a few times, because coffee jitters can destroy your experiment. It is crucial you can be sure you are not selfing a plant by accident, when you think you are only doing a cross-pollination!

    Cheers

    Barry
    Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
    Co-editor

  5. #5

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    This sounds like a great experiment, if only I could master the pollination protocol. I need a dissecting microscope in the WORST way. If you have any ideas on how to effect pollination please give me some insights.

    I can do the experiment as far as the 2 "African" variations go, and the U. sandersonii. I have yet to find anyone growing the "Mexican" form.

    The U. livida "sp Durban" and "sp. South Africa" in my collection are both identical, match the photos from Best CP, and have consensus with plant photos I have seen which are quite different from the "typical form", but whether they are from "South Africa" is anyones guess. I suppose the data is useful in any regard if the photos accompany the article.

    My worry is that I wont know if the cross is indeed an infertile one, or merely failure to effect pollination.

    If you are interested in a mutual effort, I will be pleased to send you both varieties.
    "Grow More, Share More"

  6. #6

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    Hey Tamlin,

    The reproductive structure is just like on Pinguicula or Genlisea. Pings are nice and big, so practice on them. Get a needle and make sure you can transfer the pollen from anther to receptive surface.

    Then, try your skill on things like U. longifolia (if you're lucky enough to get that to flower). Otherwise, go to moderately large plants like U. calycifida---this is a good plant because most forms do not self pollinate without intervention (although Utricularia 'Mrs. Marsh' is a noteworthy exception).

    I use my dissecting scope, but if you don't have one, then make sure you have something (hand lens?) that provides enough power to let you see the individual pollen grains. It's tricky work, but it can be done.

    I'm growing one clone of U. livida right now, maybe I'll try selfing it for fun.

    Cheers

    Barry
    Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
    Co-editor

  7. #7
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Interesting thoughts on the U. livida natural range. Something I had wondered about. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that a species would be found naturally such a great distance apart.

    Perhaps it would be useful to use a technique by plant breeders to remove the pollen from immature flowers then go back later after the flowers have matured and cross pollinate? There is some risk the flowers will abort. But if it's done carefully and just before the flowers open then the risk is fairly small.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  8. #8

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    I have heard, back in the days when I was a biology student... That to do this you open the flower just before it would open naturaly. One way is to physicaly remove the "petals" or cut them down exposing the "nuts and bolts". You then remove the stamens while the pollen is imature. once the flower is mature enough simply grap some pollen off the donor plant. I have never tried this or even seen it done but would be fun to try!!

    So who wants to send me 3 colones of livida [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    Doing this kind of crosspolination is something I need to be able to do for some research of my own, so any other ideas of an easy wey of doing this would be apretiated.

    George

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