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RE: Re: RE: HYB: Freezing Pollen


Hi,
OK you guys, explain the word 'desiccant'.
Thanks, Char New Berlin WI

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-iris@hort.net
[mailto:owner-iris@hort.net] On Behalf Of thomas
silvers
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 2:55 PM
To: iris-talk
Subject: [iris] Re: RE: HYB: Freezing Pollen


Like Colleen, I've refrigerated pollen with a
dessicant and used it several months later with
good
results. If I'm planning on using it a year later,
I'd
probably freeze it. Here is the method I use to
store
all kinds of pollen, (irises, daylilies, roses,
etc.).


I brush the pollen onto a mirror and then scrape
it
into empty gelatin capsules (actually I've been
using
cellulose capsules lately that I found at a health
food store for vegetarians to repackage their
pills).
I'm sure I must look like a drug addict (with my
mirror full of pollen and my razor blade, but it
works
really well. I got a plastic tub of silica gel
(dessicant) from the craft store (it's intended
for
drying flowers in). I have little plastic
screw-top
tubes/vials that I store each capsule in. So, I
put a
little scoop of dessicant in the tube followed by
a
loose wad of cotton. Then the capsule sits on top
of
that, and screw on the top. Voila! I started using
the
cotton between the dessicant and the capsule,
because
I had formerly used Calcium chloride as a
dessicant,
which gets wet as it absorbs moisture. Then the
gelatin would get soggy -- not good. So, when I'm
ready to use a sample of pollen, I pull out a vial
and
warm it in my hands, before unscrewing the top
(since
any moisture is supposed to be detrimental). Then
I
open the capsule and dump out a little pollen and
it's
ready to use. The remaining pollen can be put back
to
storage for later use. This method has worked well
enough for me, that I get successful crosses with
at
least one-year-old pollen. I haven't had a need to
try
out older pollen.

This storage of pollen allows for crosses that
would
never have been possible otherwise. For example,
if I
hadn't stored pollen from some Iris suaveolens
clones,
I would have never been able to get the hybrids of
these with pallida and variegata. Both of the
latter
species bloom so much later than suaveolens, that
I
never would have had them in bloom when I had
pollen
available. Similarly, very early and very late TB
irises (that didn't overlap in bloomtime) could
still
be hybridized, by using stored pollen.

And it's actually pretty simple. 
Hope it works for you too. Tom




		
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