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Re: Shipping Pollen

Linda Mann wrote:

:  I hear that it is possible to mail viable pollen. Is that a fairly common
:  practice?  Last spring someone on the list asked me to mail them some
:  IMMORTALITY pollen, but it bloomed too late. What are some techniques for
:  harvesting/packaging?

Common enough.  It's really the only way to make some crosses.

Sharon McAllister wrote:

I pluck the anthers and spread them out around the edges of a LABELED condiment
cup, propping them up with only the tip of each anther touching the bottom of
the cup and the cut end resting against the side.  Usually three, no more than
six to a cup.  Then I let them air-dry for a couple of days (the climate in
Southern New Mexico is similar to that of a desiccating oven).  Finally, I put
the lids on the cups, pack the cups in the cardboard PRIORITY MAIL boxes the
Post Office provides (with some paper towels or newspaper to cushion the cups
during shipment) and send them on their way.

These little cups are the right size for the standard boxes, so this is fast &
easy.  But it's not the only way.  Small paper envelopes work well, too.

G.L. says:  
I would like to add my 2cents which would only be worth about 1.4 cents when converted to US funds.

I also love to give and receive pollen.  My friend Barrie Strohman of The Lily Nook in Neepawa, Manitoba, Canada gave me this great way to store and transport pollen.   

I get empty gelatin caps from my pharmacists or save ones from a vitamin supplement that I take.   

I pick the pollen at about mid-day when it has had a bit of chance to dry off.  (We get a lot of dew in Manitoba) and then I stuff from 2 to 5 anthers in each capsule and place the cap back on.   I find the capsule breathes enough to prevent mold but keeps the pollen in pristine condition.  I scotchtape the capsule(S) to a piece of paper on which I identify the pollen source.  (I am a record keeping fanatic when it comes to crosses)

I use this method to store pollen of almost anything of a good size, like lilies, iris, daylilies, hosta and peonies.  

I have found it particularly useful for interdivisional crosses (lilies) of things that bloom at different times.   I have a good success even storing these over winter in the fridge.  

"Perennially in Trouble" in Warren, Manitoba, Canada. 

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