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Trying to cross Alc. imperialis and Alc. glaziouana - help sought

Posted by sid_marx Auckland, New Zealan (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 18:08

I have an imperialis and a glazouiana in flower at the moment and wondered if anyone has had experience in crossing these two species? I note that the 'flowering parts' (forgive technical jargon!) of the imp. are maybe twice the length of the glaz. which may make the cross with the glaz. as seed parent difficult/impossible. I think that I've read somewhere on this forum about cutting the pistil, applying some nectar and then applying the pollen to that - is that technique that can be used when one suspects that the pollen tube is going to be too short to reach the ovary?
Also I went to visit the plants at about 3:45 am last night and the imp's pollen was lovely and powdery, but the pollen on the glaz. didn't seem so good. Does anyone know when the galz. pollen is optimal?
Any help or advice appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Trying to cross Alc. imperialis and Alc. glaziouana - help so

I don't have any personal experience with either of these Alcs, or with cutting the pistil, but if they're both in bloom you have a choice of which to use as seed parent, which makes cutting the pistil unnecessary (unless you just want to try it as an experiment). If the glaz has the shorter pistil, then that would be the one to use as seed parent, so the pollen has less distance to travel.

All of the Alcs I've seen had their flowers open during the day, and my one attempt at pollinating them took place during the usual mid-morning time slot with no problems, but maybe they behave differently where you are.

RE: Trying to cross Alc. imperialis and Alc. glaziouana - help so

Hi Sid,
Have never tried cutting the Pistil to cross two Alc's but did try it to cross Vriesea onto Alc but saddly after some 30 or so attemps and with different Alc's I might add never had any success. My plants were planted in the garden with the alc's located in a differcult spot to reach making it hard to operate on the flower parts so im thinking you may have more of a chance having both plants inside in a still enviroment. I have succeeded in crossing Alc Vinicolour on to Alc Imp Rubra without doing any chopping! and as Lisa mentioned mid morning was the time. As I recall as soon as the flowers opened I removed all the anthers then used the pollen from the anthers at about 10am. If you have plenty of flowers available on both I would do some experimenting using the cutting method and some direct. Will be interesting to hear how you go.

RE: Trying to cross Alc. imperialis and Alc. glaziouana - help so

  • Posted by sid_marx Auckland, New Zealan (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 4, 10 at 4:01

Thanks Lisa and Jaga for your comments.
Lisa you're right, I meant to say that using the imperialis as seed parent may be impossible, as it's pistil is much longer than the glaziouana.
Jaga, 30 tries at crossing is a very determined effort. I have tried to pollinate maybe a dozen flowers, mostly on the glaziouana over 2 nights and I'll probably try a couple of daytime attempts and leave it at that. The flowers on both of these specimens are opening during the night, some time between 7pm and 3:30am, but the pollen on the anthers of the glaz is not powdery until around dawn, however the imperialis seems good at 3:30 or 4:00am. I have also observed that honey bees are all over both plants during the morning and by the afternoon the pollen on the imperialis is completely gone, I assume it is being carried off by the bees.
I post results if I get hybrid seedlings out of this exercise.

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