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Ben's pod counting


Ben:

Your pod counting article has some shortcomings, but the relative pod 
setting ability of various hostas might be of value to novice 
hybridizers.  However, I want to comment on your use of sterile when 
you mean infertile.  A hosta that does not set pods is not sterile - 
it is infertile.  Sterile means without life.  Usually most people 
know what is really meant, but if you are writing a scientific type 
article you should use the correct terminology.  If you want to say a 
hosta is male sterile, meaning it's pollen is without life, or a hosta 
is pod sterile, meaning that it's megagametophyte is without life, 
then that would be acceptable.  However, you shouldn't say that Gold 
Standard is sterile, because the plant is alive.  Instead you should 
say Gold Standard is infertile, but even that is ambiguous because a 
hosta can be pod infertile but still pollen fertile.  Gold Standard 
may be pod infertile, but is it also pollen infertile?  You shouldn't 
say a certain hosta is infertile unless you know it it both pod and 
pollen infertile.  Your article in the Hosta Journal might mislead 
some people when they see that a certain hosta is listed as "sterile" 
and then not use it for hybridizing when in fact it may be highly 
pollen fertile.

If you can ever get any seeds from the "highly" fertile Abiqua recluse 
to germinate would you please let me know.  I planted seeds from maybe 
500 pods and didn't get a single seed to germinate.  

Joe Halinar

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