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Zamioculcas-- info. on pollenation.

  • Subject: Zamioculcas-- info. on pollenation.
  • From: <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 10:29:05 +0000

> Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 08:42:47 +0200
> From: wvturner@gmail.com
> To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
> Subject: [Aroid-l] Any photos of seeds developing on Zamioculcas?

Dear Walter,

I`m sorry for the delay in answering your querry.
I believe that there may not be photos of fruit developing on this most interesting African aroid ( Zamioculcas zamifolia) because it is so easy to reproduce by just sticking a leaflet in the soil, as is its close relative Gonotopus!
Zamioculcas belongs to the group of aroids which produce unisexual blooms, in other words they produce spadices consisting of seperate zones, the female zone is at the base, and with the male zone and sometimes with one or rarely a couple sterile zones arranged above the female zone.   From illustrations of the spadix of this genus it would appear that there is a vary narrow sterile zone between the female and male zones.
It should be a fairly simple matter for an owner of one of these plants at maturity (and with several blooms developing/opening), to select the most mature bloom when it is at male anthesis (after the bloom has opened fully and is visibly producing pollen), and to collect pollen on a small brush wetted with distilled water, and transfer this pollen to the female zone of ANOTHER younger bloom just as it is beginning to open--one may have to carefully cut away a bit of the spathe to get at the female zone.   It may take a few attempts to get the timing right, as I speak in general terms here.
I have always been interested in the pollenators and strategy for pollenation which Zamioculcas seems to employ.   The blooms are produced on short peduncles (stems) almost at ground level, as as they mature, they lean over on the peduncle, and as they open, the spathe sort of unrolls toward ground level, seemingly to provide a ramp or ''red carpet'' to facilitate visiting insects walking  on the ground, perhaps ants or terrestrial beetles in its home range!   If one is sucessful in pollenation and fruit/seed production, it will be most interesting to learn what strategy is employed by this plant for dispersal of its fruit and seed, and based on the size and texture of its fruit and seeds, to speculate what insects or birds or mammals might be the distributors!
I for one would like any further information which may be ''out there'' from other aroidophiles, who, like myself, love this genus.

Good Growing,


> Does anyone have photos of seeds developing on Zamioculcas? I have found a number of photos of the inflorescence in the Internet, and a few of how it changes, but those were apparently not pollinated.
> The Internet also says the plants are readily grown from seed, so someone must be seeing seed develop.
> Any help?
> Walter, long-time reader of this list
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