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RE: Seed Pods & Flower Scapes



Barbara,

Here's a partial answer. These hostas have been known to produce
branched scapes:

H. 'Breathless'
H. 'Blue Diamond'
H. 'Grand Forks'
H. 'Gray Cole' (sometimes)
H. kikutii var. polyneuron
H. tibae

Can anyone add any more?

As far as sterility goes, if someone says a hosta is sterile, it only
means they couldn't get viable seed from it. George Schmid lists
H. 'Banana Sundae' as sterile in The Genus Hosta and its registration
says it is sterile as well, but this "sterile" hosta has given us the
seeds for H. 'Cascades', H. 'Robert Frost', and H. 'Shadow Waltz."
All hostas should be this sterile! The sterile H. undulata that is in
everyone's garden set seed at least once and thanks to Tony Avent,
the result was H. 'Out House Delight' a very fertile plant that produces
plants like H. 'White Wall Tires'.  I think certain pollen parents make
better partners and you should still try to set seeds on the ones that
rarely set seed or are listed as sterile. I wouldn't go crazy spending a
lot of time on these, but these are the crosses that are potentially the
most interesting since nature by herself may not be able to do it. Some
hostas do not set seed well until they are very mature. These may also
be listed as sterile but they really are not. Keep trying. As far as seed
pods and viable seed, you don't really know until you go to plant them.
I've gotten pods on known fertile plants only to find that the seeds didn't
develop. I'm not sure if if had to do with the pollen parent or
environmental conditions. Timing is important as well as location. I've
had better luck setting seeds on plants that received morning sun. I'm
still experimenting with the best time to apply the pollen, but harvesting
it in early morning before the bees rub it all off and waiting until noon
to pollenate seems to give me decent results.

I'm sure we'd all like to hear some other thoughts on this.

Thanks!

Norm Lesch
Manchester, MD

 ----------
From: Barbara & Morris
To: hosta-open@mallorn.com
Subject: Seed Pods & Flower Scapes
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 1998 8:34AM

Does the color of the seed pods give any indication of what the resulting
seedlings may look like?
It is the first time that I have noticed branching on the flower scapes of
one hosta.  Is this common?  Which hostas produce branching flower scapes?
If a plant is said to be sterile, does this mean it fails to set seed pods, 
or
will set pods without any viable seeds?
New at this seed stuff, so any and all information will be 
helpful....Thanks.
Barbara

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