Fri, 29 Mar 2013 01:42:52 PDT
You are the first person who told me about a sterile form. It is probably  
some sort of hybrid with something fairly closely related . Sterile plants  
would have to produce bulblets to reproduce and they can't spread beyond a 
small  area. In nature these plants normally die out in a couple generations. 
Plants  produce seed to spread their offspring over a wider area. Can you 
get me a truly  sterile bulb? I am a retired plant breeder and geneticist. 
Some plants will on  their own, double the number of chromosomes in their 
reproductive cells. The  normal chromosome number for a plant is called the 
Diploid state. It could be  any number but say it is 2 . The pollen and egg 
cells would have a  chromosome number of 1.Half the genetic information comes 
from pollen and half  from the egg cell. The seed has the normal number of 2 
chromosomes per cell. Ok  your plant with 2 chromosomes can change and the 
chromosome number can  double to 4 chromosomes as the normal number.That plant 
produces pollen  cells and eggs with 2 chromos each.The plant with the 
doubled chromosome number  is called a Tetraploid. Tetraploid plants often have 
bigger flowers,more vibrant  colors,heavier flower substance and many times 
is just superior to diploids.  Tetraploid plants have been produced in the 
lab for many years. When you cross a  diploid with a tetraploid plant many 
times the cross will not produce any seeds  and any seeds are sterile (and no 
improvement to growers or gardeners). This is  the genetic problem you may 
be talking about why two plants that look alike are  sterile.If you can get a 
seed from the two different chromosome number they are  often very weak 
growers and die out in nature. They cannot breed even if they  make it to 
flowering size. They are just dead ends. Hope this wasn't too  complicated, if 
you have a question send me a note. I owned a Nursery/Plant  Breeding Facility 
for many years. I also have multiple degrees in genetics.  There are basic 
books on plant breeding/genetics you can order from your local  library. To 
give you an idea of the plant crosses I tried each summer, I  pollinated 
thousands and thousands of flowers. If you do any attempts at  producing seeds 
keep records of what and how you did your work. This information  is very 
valuable. I knew a brilliant flower breeder that kept everything in his  head. 
One day he very suddenly passed away and almost 75 years of knowledge was  
lost!Thank you for your information-Russ Hintz
In a message dated 3/29/2013 12:22:31 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Russ,  Sternbergia does not set seed.  It is something to do with diploid 
or  whatever.  Do you have one which does set seed, as there is a seed  
setting one.  But the most often grown one does not set  seed.


Ina Crossley
Auckland New Zealand  Zone  10

On 29/03/2013 7:55 p.m., wrote:
> If you  want to produce seed just get a book/picture of a Sternbergia
>  flower.You have to know where the plant parts are, like anthers and   
> Polinate the flowers transferring pollen with clean artist  brushes  to 
> stigma. Stigma must be slightly sticky for pollen  to grow and combine  
withe egg
> cell that will grow into seed. Try  pollinating around 10am when the
> humidity is a little higher, but no  rain. Rinse brushes in alcohol to 
kill  pollen
> on the brush and  you want to use clean brushes for pollination-Good
> luck-Russ  Hintz

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