Massonia pollination

Leo A. Martin
Thu, 27 Dec 2007 16:46:06 PST
Brian wrote

> How should I feed Massonia? I assume that they come from naturally
> deficient soils so am reluctant to feed too often, and they need little
> water in winter here so I have few chances anyway.

Mine have grown fine without feedings, planted in my local soil, which is
derived from weathered granite. It might be interesting to see how big
they get with overfeeding.

I haven't used soilless composts; if you are using such I would think you
should feed, but I have no experience with that.

and then

> The 2" wide flower head of 1 of my M. pustulata was at its best a week
> ago. I have never had any seed from it in past years. Is there any
> special way of inducing seed for this plant?

Try a small paintbrush. Pick up the pollen from the anthers and deposit it
on the pistils. The two organs look similar from a distance, but the
pistils clearly have no anthers. Do this when it is as dry as possible
because the pollen is easier to handle then.

If you are growing them in a glasshouse, harvest the seedheads when fully
dry. If outside take precautions to prevent them from blowing away. To
remove seeds from the seedhead, just tap and shake them gently over a
large white serving dish or large piece of white paper.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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