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PHOTOs: Before and After Pollination

This is a discussion on PHOTOs: Before and After Pollination within the Breeding & Hybridization forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; Very cool indeed. I noticed the same thing occurring with one of my Phalaenopsis. Just ...

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  1. #11
    Manchua is offline Junior Member
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    Default Stigmatic "wings"

    Very cool indeed. I noticed the same thing occurring with one of my Phalaenopsis. Just two days ago I crossed it with the pollinia from another Phal which broke back in April. I managed to salvage its pollinia though. I photographed the stigma in various stages of closing. I'll post the photos when I get them. Overnight, it closed completely.

    Very cool mechanism. Incidentally, animal egg cells do the same thing. They zip shut through a complex chemical reaction that prevents more than one sperm from entering the egg. Very clever.

  2. #12
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    Didn't know about the animal egg cells: that's really neat!

    Definitely post your pics--would love to see them!

  3. #13
    Manchua is offline Junior Member
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    >Definitely post your pics--would love to see them!

    No problemo.

    One of my specialities is macro photography and because structures are so small, my equipment comes in handy.

    I'll have to post a few pictures of a super small orchid I photographed at the last local orchid show. It was mounted on a small piece of bark and the whole thing was about the size of a postage stamp with many flowerlets on it. I was told it won some kind of award, but again, I was too dumb to bother to write down what I photographed. I'm going to have to get out of that habit.

    Oh, btw, the Phal I pollinated is indeed beginning to wilt, even though I did not remove its anther cap. And the pollen with which I pollinated it was not refrigerated. I merely kept the pollinia inside an archival polycarb baggie inside a film canister, which was put in a drawer. Ain't no way moisture was going to get to that. We shall see if the cross takes. I certainly hope so. I need more orchids to play around with.

  4. #14
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    Default Update

    Well, it really looked for a while as if this cross was going to take. The flower's ovary had started to swell as the bloom itself slowly faded.

    But, unfortunately, no go. The flower stem began to yellow, and the entire flower dropped this morning.

    Oh well--Sue may have some better success to report!

  5. #15
    Manchua is offline Junior Member
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    Default Crossing two Phals

    Well, it's been 28 days since I crossed one of my Phals with another one. The donor pollinia I kept in a plastic baggie since April 7. The ovary of the recipient blossom has swollen and lengthened quite a bit. I found a web site that said that Phals take 110-120 days for green pod harvesting and 130-140 days for dry pod harvesting. Does that sound right?

    Of course, something could happen in the interim and I could lose the pod. This is the first time I've even seen a pod so this is all new to me. I've taken photos of the progress about every 11 days for reference purposes.

    Any tips to get a better yield? Ideas on flasking services? Advice welcome.

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    I noticed that my fertilized phal is dropping all its other blossoms. They opened only one and a half months ago. I was wondering if this was normal for buds to prematurely drop if there is a fertilized bud on the same spike. Does the plant do this for conservation purposes?

    Of course, there's a monkey in the wrench. The fertilized pod is on a secondary spike. This could be overtaxing the plant. I don't know. I get the feeling that the seed pod is not going to mature properly. Anyone else tried to fertilize a blossom on a secondary spike?

  7. #17
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    Unfortunately, the crosses I tried with the Eulophia also aborted. One made it a couple weeks, then yellowed. I'll be trying again. This thing should be able to breed with Phaius and Calanthe . . .

    Manchua – you let us know if you want some other pollen to play with. I've got some Phal. and Vanda pollen in cold storage. And, also, I have no idea about the secondary spike issue, but my feeling is that as long as the plant looks healthy, I wouldn't worry. I have a Phal which has 2 four-foot long spikes on it, each of which has branched and produced multiple blooms; enough so that it tips over its 12" clay pot. If it can maintain spikes like that for months on end with blooms, I don't see why it couldn't do the same with seedpods. By which I mean to say, if the plant is doing fine, don't worry; Phals often carry that spike for the long haul anyhow.

  8. #18
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    Manchua, I agree with Sue--as long as the plant itself isn't showing any signs of stress (other than dropping blossoms, which, I think you're right about also, is an energy conservation issue / tactic) the pod will mature just fine.

    As a general note, seed pods that are sown "green" i.e., before they split of their own accord, tend to produce more viable seed, so you might want to make flasking arrangements early and send the pod in when you reach the 105-110 day window...


    Sue, bummer about those Eulophia crosses. That one I did here really had me going--it could have done the *decent* thing and not strung me along like that....

  9. #19
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    Default Stigma photos

    Well, it's been a long time coming, but I at last have the images I mentioned back in May. The first one was taken about one day after pollination and you can see the stigma closing with the pollen mass still inside (arrow). The second image was taken 2-3 days after pollination and is completely closed.

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