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Re: Timing of Crosses

Dana Brown wrote:

:  Ok folks, this is beginning to sound really good.  When is the best time
:  of day or best conditions under which to harvest pollen.  Do you want it
:  when they are first opened or after they have been open a few hours? 

It usually takes some time for the pollen to fully ripen after a flower has
opened, so although it could be done earlier I normally harvest pollen in the

:  How about the stigmatic lip?  Early morning, late afternoon, when is the
:  best time to hybridize? 

The best time is when the stigmatic lip has just opened up and is shiny & moist.
Usually that's early morning or just about dusk.   How long it will be receptive
depends on the environment.  Cool & humid gives a lot more leeway than hot &
dry.   Here, evening crosses seem to give the best percentage of takes.  My
theory is that the cooler night temperatures promote pollen tube growth better
than the hot, and often windy, afternoons.  Yes, it IS possible to make crosses
by flashlight -- but I try to get in out of the garden before the centipedes
come out. 

:  I have a lot of problems with this.  We leave
:  the house to go to work at 6:10 a.m. and often don't get home until
:  about 5:00 p.m.  If the wind blows all day (more often than not) then
:  there doesn't seem to be much moisture left on the stigmatic lip.  Maybe
:  I could run home at lunch (only 20 miles) and do my thing?

That didn't work for me.  The flowers were already too far gone by noon.   In
terms of getting "takes", it's better to force the flower open than wait until
it has been open so long it's dried out.

Sharon McAllister (73372.1745@compuserve.com)
Southern New Mexico

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