It looks as though my half-baked cross attempt actually took hold. The 3 flowers I pollinated of Darth are now green and plump with seed while the rest of the old flowers are shriveled. When is optimum picking time?
My La Noche is a week behind your Darth I think. What day did you first pollenate? I too have 3 nice fat ovaries and 1 not so fat, but dark green. The green will turn black and then they should come off with a gently tug. Maybe 1 or 2 weeks after they turn black. I'll have to go back over my notes and see how long it took for my distachi seeds to ripen.
Thanks WL. It was about a month ago. (how was I to know you're s'posed to keep notes?)
That was me too. You don't think it's going to work so you don't take notes, then it does work and you wish you had. You probably did your crosses around 10 May so look for color change next week.
I pollinated my distachia on 17 Feb, seed pods were black on 8 April (6.5 weeks later) and I planted 20 April. Pretty much every seed germinated.
What did you cross with? I don't even know what pollen I used on my B. distachia. Based on the seedlings, I'd say I used pollen from 3 different species. Some look like xCryptbergia but I can't figure out the other 2, but probably xNeobergia and xPortebergia or xBillmea.
I took very good notes on the La Noche crosses and again this week on my Hallelujah crosses. All were bigeneric crosses as I didn't have any other bills in bloom.
I used Darth and amoena var.viridis. My hope was to get the darkness of DV and the steroid-pumped look of viridis.
Did you cross both ways?
You've got it mostly right, WL. The only thing I disagree with is the "Maybe 1 or 2 weeks after they turn black" part. Bill berries can turn any of several different colors-- dark purple or golden yellow are the most common, and I think I've even seen red on a few, but maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Some may not even change color from green, but if there is any sudden color change, that is generally an indication of readiness. They should come off easily at that point. If yours have turned color and are not coming off, I'm not sure what's going on there. A pic would help.
Somewhere between 5 and 10 weeks would be what I would expect for most Bills.
Here you can see the three fat pods, the only ones I pollinated. Lisa, while I've got you on the phone, below is Pipeline getting ready to bust a move. Royal Blood next to it is pupping real good too.
Okay, that helps. They're not ready yet.
I don't suppose you saved any Darth pollen in the fridge to put on Pipeline?
Lisa, my experience is quite limited, but I do take good notes and pictures now.
Here are the distachia seeds pods. Even though they changed color, they didn't come off easily for almost 2 weeks.
Here is my La Noche, plucked from the rain and photo'd. Two seed pods are very promising, 2 more probable and 1 maybe but doubtful. Pollination was 17-19 May.
Lisa, when I crossed Hallelujah last week, there was no usable pollen. The stigma had the bit of wetness on it, so I'm sure it was ready, but from 10:30am to 12pm there was never any pollen on the anthers when tested with my sophisticated rub the anther on the finger test. I even went over to my neighbor's house and found some pyramidalis in bloom and tested them and found no usable pollen. My La Noche had lots of pollen on it back in May. Any ideas on why there might not be any pollen now?
Ya got me, WL! I've never worked with Hallelujah but I checked the registry and it has been used as a pollen parent, so it's obviously not sterile. As to pyramidalis, my Kyoto doesn't seem to produce any pollen, but plain old pyramidalis should. Again, I've never worked with it, so.........???????
The bottom berry on your distachia looks ripe to me, and even the next one up should be usable, although that one's borderline. I don't know why they wouldn't come off for 2 more weeks. If in doubt, it can't hurt to leave it on the plant, except that you run the risk of some bird getting to it before you do.
My plant is effectively in a cage so I feel safe and I'll wait and see what happens. It's going to be a loooong time until I get a decent plant, so what's a few more weeks.
I'm tempted to just put all 30 or so seeds into one grex and not be bothered by the fact that there are 3 or more parents. I kind of like the guessing game and I should be able to figure it out in the end. Maybe I'll go with 2 grexes and keep it somewhat simple.
Now why would you want to do that, WL? You're already regretting not marking them or taking notes, so why compound it? Even if you've forgotten which flower you've used which pollen on, if you sow the seeds from each berry in a separate pot with a number and a list of parental possibilies on the tag it'll make it a lot easier to figure out later on which one was which. There may be only one seedling in each grex that will really show its heritage, and if you sow them all together you'll never know.
I'm already running out of space. I'm kinda glad that many of the early crosses that I did on the nids and neos didn't take. I got quite a few grexes going now where the genus of the pollen parent can be one of several possibilities. I don't mind.
A late reply to your Hallelujah pollen question.
I used Hallelujah pollen to try and cross Strawberry Cream? the other night around 7.00 pm and the Hallelujah had tonnes of pollen using the rub method.
I am no expert, this is my first attempt at trying a cross.
My preference would have been to try earlier in the day but nighttime worked better around work.
Rick, so I'm not the only first-timer trying to raise terrestrial brom seeds? Now I don't feel all alone!
My DV pods came off easily, just a slight touch.
Did you get seed set, Rick? There may be ripe pollen in the PM, but Bill stigmas are receptive in the AM, so I'd be surprised if an evening pollination took.
I agree with Lisa, 7pm wouldn't be ideal for the stigma. I found 11am to noon was ideal. I had very high success rates in that time frame. Furthermore, we're getting rain most every afternoon or evening and that doesn't help. Could bring them indoors of course, and collect the pollen in the evening and deploy it the next day. I've never done that since I've never wanted to do anything but bigeneric crosses with Billbergia and the others in the Bromelioideae family seem to be good pollen parents during that time frame. I'm not a big billbergia fan and think they would look better with some new genes.
Since I know that you are on Palmtalk too, I can tell you that growing Bromeliads to maturity from seed is at least a 100 times easier than keeping palm seedlings alive.....
When I germinated my first batch of Neo seed my years of killing palm seedlings/seeds made for good experience!
I think you are further advanced than me at raising Bils from seeds.
There is definately some motivating posts from Lisa, Winterlager, Avane yourself and others that make me want to have a go.
I don't know if my pollination took place, some of the stigmas had the little drop that you where talking about others looked like they might work, I tried over 5 nights using Hallelujah pollen on a what I think was a Strawberry Cream and vice versa.
I have a couple of plants covered in cable ties and will hope for a miracle. I will try and pollinate around 9-10am next time.
I have frozen some of the Hallelujah pollen and hope to use that on a Bil. FredRed that has a flower starting to emerge.
I couldn't find any crosses with Bil. FredRed on FSBS so it either won't work or I am a trailblazer.
After dozens of attempts to get B. 'Hallelujah' to be a seed parent I finally got one to take. This successful pollination was done at 6:45am on 7 Sep.