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Re: That "drop of fluid" on the stigma


>I still believe that the optimum time for making a cross, requires 
>two things.  The presence of the liquid on the stigma, and the 
>condtion of the pollen on the anther, fluffy.  Ben Z disagrees.

I haven't made a lot of hosta crosses, but the crosses I have made 
were made the day the flowers open.  Since hosta flowers are small 
what I like to do is tear off the sepals and petals and then make the 
pollination.  That way I know the flower was pollinated.  What I also 
like to do is pollinate all the flowers on one scape with the same 
pollen - that way I don't have to lable each flower.

I haven't tried to find out how long you can delay pollinating a hosta 
flower because I find it easier for me to pollinate the flowers as 
soon as they open.  I suspect, however, that hosta flowers are 
probably receptive for two or maybe three days.  There are reasons for 
doing either very early or very late polinations.  If a cross won't 
take because of self-incompatibility genes, you can sometimes overcome 
the incompatibility by doing bud pollination or delaying pollination 
two or three days.  The incompatibility genes are not fully functional 
before anthesis and then lessen again as the flower reaches the end of 
its fertile period.  If you have a cross you can't get to take even 
though both parents are fertile, try opening the bud 12 to 24 hours 
before they would normally open and pollinate and also pollinate 
flowers 2, 3 and 4 days after they open.

Joe Halinar

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