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Re: Pseudodracontium pollination and ID

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: Pseudodracontium pollination and ID
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 10:39:20 -0500 (CDT)

-----Original Message-----
From: Adam Black <paleoart@digital.net>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000 11:08 PM
Subject: Pseudodracontium pollination and ID

Dear Adam,

I hope this gets to you quickly--  this is the sequence of events one must
keep in mind to achieve pollenation of one inflor. with another.

As an inflorescence begins to open,  the female flowers (these are the
LOWEST on the spadix) are receptive, they will be wet and sticky, and this
'stage' usually lasts one day in Amorphophallus and related genera..
OK---now the NEXT day the male flowers (these are the uppermost on the
spadix, ABOVE the sterile zone, which is in the MIDDLE of the spadix)
produce pollen (also for about one day), and the female flowers are no
longer receptive, this prevents self-pollenation in the same inflorescence.
SO---the trick is to have one bloom producing pollen while the second is
opening, or have the pollen of one stored in the fridge for only a couple of
days, and when you notice the second bloom beginning to open, carefully cut
open the spathe with a razor blade so that you can get to the female flowers
at the BOTTOM of the spadix, then apply the pollen collected from another
inflorescence, to the female flowers.   You can do this with a SOFT artist`s
paint brush (1/4-1/2 in. wide) moistened in sterile water (both collection
and application).   I have had better sucess if the entire spathe and spadix
region (or the whole spadix if the spathe has had to be completely cut away
to be able to acheive pollenation)  is then wrapped in plastic/Saran wrap
for a couple of days, this worked SO well this season when the whole (100%)
of the female zone of a Taccarum we hand-pollenated then wrapped produced
fruit, while another spadix pollenated the same way but NOT wrapped is
producing noticibly less fruit, many flowers did not 'take'.
OK---IF both open the same day you could try wetting the female zone after
you obtain pollen from the second the next day, BUT this may not work, as
the female flowers usually are receptive for only one day..   Maybe if you
somehow keep the entire plant with the 'younger' inflor. cool (stick the
whole plant in the fridge?) you could delay it`s opening for a day, so that
the other inflor. has a chance to open and produce pollen, then next day the
second plant may be 'warmed up', and when the inflor. begins to open,
pollenate it!

Other Aroids follow the same general pattern, but those with the male and
female flowers mixed in on the entire spadix (Anthuriums and Urospathas, for
example) the female flowers are receptive for a little longer time, you can
tell as they will have a tiny drop of moisture at their tip, or 'look' wet,
while the male flowers produce pollen beginning at the top of the spadix
moving downward for a period of days/weeks.

For an I.D, post a pic. and someone will scream it`s I.D., or if you are a
member of the IAS buy a back issue of Vol. 19 of Aroideana, it should give
you a better idea of what species you have.   From those Pseudodrac.`s I`ve
seen, they seem to have very different colored/petterned petioles, and a
pic. of the inflorescence would get you a certain I.D.

Good luck!!



>I purchased a Pseudodracontium last year as a single blooming sized
plant (had a dried up inflorscence still attatched). This year when it
came out of dormancy, it returned as two equal sized plants, both the
same height as last years single plant. Both plants now each have an
inflorescence that will probably open within the next day or so. I would
like to know if the flowers can be pollinated, exchanging pollen between
the two inflorescences, considering the two plants are clones. What is
the best method for manually pollinating Pseudodracontium flowers? In
the recent discussion of A. titanum pollination, there was mention that
the female flowers are receptive before the males, and pollen must be
collected from one plant and used on another blooming plant when the
stigmas are receptive. Would this apply to Pseudodracontium, and all
other aroids for that matter? Assuming one inflorescence opens before
the other, what would be the best method for collecting pollen and then
applying it to the second inflorescence? Should they both open at the
same time, does this mean there is no chance for me to  get any seeds
from my plants?

I just went outside to look at them again and both of the inflorescence
are starting to open, one is a little more open than the other.

Please excuse my ignorance in this subject. I have learned a lot from
this list and hope to learn much more.

By the way, what would be my best resource for identifying the species
of my Pseudodracontium? It was purchased from Fairchild Trop. Gardens
last year, the tag just says Pseudodracontium sp, Thailand, with an ID
number. Does the fact that it comes from Thailand narrow down the
possibilities? I have never seen any other Pseudodrac's so I don't know
it there are distinct differences between the species. Will a photo be
of any help, or are the species very similar?

Thank you in advance for any help!

Adam Black

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