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Pollinating an orchid: Photos of relevant structures

This is a discussion on Pollinating an orchid: Photos of relevant structures within the Breeding & Hybridization forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; This first photograph of a Phalaenopsis bloom shows the flower's column, with stigma and anther, ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Pollinating an orchid: Photos of relevant structures

    This first photograph of a Phalaenopsis bloom shows the flower's column, with stigma and anther, and the flower's lip. The lip's complex shape and coloring helps to attract pollinating insects but serves no purpose in the reproductive process itself:



    This next photograph of the same flower with the lip removed clearly exposes the flower's column and reveals the stigma: the cavity or depression inside of which the pollenia need to be placed:



    Below, the anther cap has been removed from the column by nicking it off with a toothpick, and the pollenia have been extracted with tweezers. A toothpick will work just as well:



    Here, the flower's petals and sepals have been cut off to show only the flower's column and its stigma:



    Finally, the mass of pollenia is pressed into the stigma, where a sticky substance helps to hold it in place. In genera where the sticky substance is thin or absent, many growers use saliva to wet the stigma before pressing the pollen mass inside.

    The flower has now been pollinated, and only time will tell whether the pollination has been successful:



    (Don't dismember the flower by cutting off petals and lip when you're trying this at home. That was done here only to show the relevant structures more clearly in the photographs.)

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    Wow! Those are great pics! Very clear pics, and well captioned!

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    Nice work LJA! Those photos make it really clear to me what you all are talking about. Thanks for posting this thread!

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer

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    Jeffo is offline Junior Member
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    thank you very much lja thank you thank you thank you! I will polinate my orchid now. Thank you!

    Jeff

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    Just saw this post, don't know how I missed it. Great photos and info for newbies, lja!

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    LOL! Thanks, Pete. Ya gotta watch those posts, or they'll slip right on by... (!!)

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    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    Originally posted by lja
    LOL! Thanks, Pete. Ya gotta watch those posts, or they'll slip right on by... (!!)
    I know some posts do slip by right under my nose.

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    I added this to the FAQs. So that's why I unstuck the thread.

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    Wow, so that is how the birds and bees of orchids work. Thanks for the pics, I would never know what to put where. Not that I plan on breeding yet, I have to perfect keeping them alive first.

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    That was great information! Thanks for the pics. But I do have a question... Would it work if I took pollenia from one flower and try to pollinate another flower on the same plant? Is the pollenia genes on all the flowers the same or, because of varying traits per flower, different?

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