Return to the Ornamental Grasses Forum | Post a Follow-Up

How to hybrid ornamental grass?

Posted by pmac22 Zone 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 30, 07 at 20:30

Hi everyone
Is it possible to hybridize ornamental grasses? If so, how could I go about doing so? Has anyone had success, and if so which grasses have you crossed?
-Thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to hybrid ornamental grass?

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Tue, May 1, 07 at 8:01

Interesting question! I'll look forward to the answers.

I guess in order to hybridize them, you'd have to figure out how and when they're pollinated, do it yourself, and then isolate the hand-pollinated plant from further contact, collect seeds and grow them out.

I don't know if it's fact or not, but I have it in my mind grasses are wind pollinated. With the exception of Luzula nivea (Snowy Woodrush) I've never seen bees on my grasses.

It seems the steps would be:

Collect pollen from one grass (How, I have no idea).

Transfer it to the appropriate part of the other grass (How, I have no idea).

Isolate the pollinated plant from further pollen attacks. Cheesecloth wouldn't do it. You'd have to use some material finer than that, but still light, air and moisture transparent.

Wait for viable seed, and collect it.

Successfully germinate the seed and grow out the results.

Sounds like quite an undertaking.

RE: How to hybrid ornamental grass?

Thank you
I'm not really sure how to collect, or transfer pollen, but thats the next thing to learn I guess.
Thank you for the response.

RE: How to hybrid ornamental grass?

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 07 at 6:20

Here's a start, Mike:

Obviously, it varies from genus to genus, but the basic procedure would be to remove the anthers from the grass you'll pollinate, so they can't do the deed themselves.

Then take an anther from the pollen donor, and rub it on the stigma of the recipient.

Then the hard part. What material could you use to isolate the recipient flower from further pollination?

RE: How to hybrid ornamental grass?

I'm thinking back through all my classes on OG's and the huge selection of types I buy in for my nursery and can come up with only a couple of natural hybrids but not a single man-made hybrid comes to mind. Lots of named cultivars to be sure, but these are generally propagated by selection and division or isolated seeding, not by hybridization or crossing. While it may very well be possible to achieve such a feat (as a few naturally occurring hybrids do exist), one would think that if it was in any way easy, it would already have been accomplished.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Ornamental Grasses Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here