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Vriesea flower spike maturation

Posted by paul_t23 Coastal Sydney (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 11, 10 at 19:20

Hi everyone,

This is the first time that I've paid close attention to a Vriesea flower spike that has looked like it might produce a few mature pods, so I'm not really sure of exactly what to expect and since it carries a couple of crosses that I really want, I'm more than just a bit anxious!

The plant in question is a Vriesea 'Uluru Sunset' with a couple of pods that are x self and a couple that are x 'Emerald Meadows'. The pollinations started in mid November last year so now it's around 8 months down the track. The bracts have been going brown and papery for quite some time, but up until a couple of weeks ago the pods and the stem have been firm and green. Since then they have started going brown and yesterday I noticed that the stem had started to shrivel, but still with no sign of the pods splitting. Here it is.

Vriesea 'Uluru Sunset', 8 months after pollination.

So, to the questions! Is this browning and shrivelling of the stem part of the normal maturation process and I should just wait until the pods split before I harvest the seed? Or, does the shrivelling indicate something sinister and I should remove the pods and try to rescue the seed (if any) as soon as I can?

All thoughts will be very welcome! (NB apart from the shrivelling flower spike, the plant looks nice and healthy).

Cheers, Paul

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Vriesea flower spike maturation

Hi Paul ,

Sometimes the spike will go brown and shrivel but the pods will hang on just the same ,after 8 months they should be getting close ,if the pods are still shiny and greenish ? bit soon to harvest but if they are dull and brown ? you can harvest them ,split the pods open and pull out the seed ,put in a container and the seed should fluff up in a day or so ,and then just sow it up ,seed that does not fluff up is often indicative of poor germination ,

Must say your "Uluru Sunset" seems a bit green ,it does need a lot of light ( just short of full sun actually ) Hope your seed grows well for you ,i do know what you will get ,but let you find out ,you wont be dissapointed .

Cheers ,Jack

RE: Vriesea flower spike maturation

Hi Jack,

Thanks for that. I'll keep a close eye on those pods and expect to harvest the seed soon.

The plant actually looks more of a russet colour to the eye than it does in that pic. I took the shot in the evening with very low light so maybe the colour balance of the shot is a bit out, although it certainly has become a bit greener just over the last few weeks of winter with some long stretches of heavy overcast days. It gets sun straight through 30% shade cloth for most of the day so it normally keeps its colour pretty well. Can't wait to get those pups and give them a good cook as the weather warms up!

Cheers, Paul

RE: Vriesea flower spike maturation

Yes the long overcast periods are not condusive to good colour ,and vrieseas do lose their colour after being in spike ,but 30% should be fine ,as you say probably the low light

RE: Vriesea flower spike maturation

Hi Paul,

It looks like more of the grass is going to get the chop as soon as the seed germinates and starts to grow. I can see a new vriesea shadehouse in the making down the track.

Thank's for the update, the other seed pods I did for you are looking much the same down here, so it's good to get some advice from "the master", (goodonya Jack)

Keep up the good work, and "long live the hybridizer".

All the best, Nev.

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