Pollinating a hippeastrum flower with multiple pollens.

Amaryllis Study Group via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Tue, 31 Oct 2017 07:48:50 PDT
 Mike's very specific & useful comments on receptivity reminded me that a useful technique I use when I have only one bulb  in bloom , but several pollen donors deserves greater notoriety. 
The 3 chambers of the seed pod are individually connected to the 3 tips that receive the pollen. I use sharp wooden tooth picks to place the pollen instead of brushes for control. In each flower if you hold your hands and the flower still enough (brace your fore arms or elbows), you can place a different pollen on each of the 3 tips for a wider range of possible hybrids. You will note that the chambers will appear distorted if the seeds inside are of significantly different sizes because of the different genes of some pollens. I have not noticed that the different chambers mature at significantly different rates with pollens of different origen. I have not done this often  enough when crossing with pollens of other compatible flowers to note any important differences in pod/seed maturity like hippeastrum with pollen from hippeastrum and zephyranthes in separate tips of the same flower.
Fadjar Marta and his very talented gardener used stiff twigs for speed & controll in pollenating the thousands of rain lily blooms in the short breaks in the monsoon rains which stimulated the very heavily concentrated bloomsets. He also used an irrigation system which concentrated the enormous bloomsets even more than heavy monsoon rains did by themselves. 
Sometimes I include the technique for timing and concentrating the bloom of hippeastrum, zephyranthes, and their close relatives in my presentations. Although  few people produce the volume of seed that Fadjar Marta does, the technique of producing well timed additional bloomsets in hippeastrum in the summer, fall, & winter easily with high dependability has been of interest here in Florida. The equipment needed by an individual gardener is simple and inexpensive any place you have a water faucet.
BillE. William WarrenAmaryllis Study Group
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