Microwaved pollen

Uli via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Thu, 27 Jan 2022 14:14:51 PST
Hello Tim,

Thank you for your comment. I read it three times and do not really 
understand what you want to say. If your concern is that A. 
clanwilliamiglora would produce selfed seed, I would only be too happy 
if it did. All my effort was to coax it into accepting its own pollen. 
My plant did not do so with different gardeners over several years, it 
went to a friend and flowered there, no seed, he returned the bulb to me 
and my first attempt to pollinate with its own pollen failed, the 
flowers aborted. Fortunately there were two scapes, one later than the 
other flowering. So there were more flowers left with which I followed 
the advice given to me on microwaving pollen. But even with this 
procedure 40 to 50 % of the pollinated flowers still aborted. To me this 
speaks against self fertility. Quite honestly it never crossed my mind 
that the seed could be of hybrid origin. I of course did not use any 
other pollen when I microwaved its own pollen and there were no other 
Albucas in flower at the end of May when the procedure took place. In my 
article I will refer to another plant which produced a few seeds after 
microwaving pollen: HIppeastrum evansiae. In this case I am VERY sure 
that there is no hybridisation. I have been growing and flowering a 
potful of bulbs for about 20 years, as it is stoloniferous the bulbs are 
all the same clone. I pollinated every year. It always looked very 
promising with swelling pods but then everything aborted. Always in 20 
years. So this year I tried microwaving the pollen but not with the same 
technique as in the Albuca. The result was one pod with a few seeds. The 
resulting seedlings are very uniform and look like the mother plant. My 
question: why should this be Hybrid seed at this given moment if this 
plant never ever set seed before? As far as I remember (not 100% sure) 
there were no other Hippeastrum in flower so early in the year. H. 
evansiae is always the first one to flower after dry dormancy. Again, I 
did not use any other pollen to get seed.

I fully agree with you about the pollinator issue. I have a very good 
example in mind: Scilla hyacinthina. It flowered in my old garden in 
Germany, never a grain of seed. After I planted the big bulbs in my 
garden in Portugal, I had a fantastic show of the tall blue spikes which 
later on bent under the load of seed. EVERY flower had produced a pod 
with several seeds in it. As I did not do anything there must have been 
the right pollinator.  The plant comes from a mediterranean climate 
after all.

I grow other Albucas which self seed like mad, A. shawii, juncifolia, 
fragrans (not sure if this one is correctly named, at least no 
fragrance) and A. spiralis. But there are other ones, a yellow one with 
upright flowers which also needed the microwaves.....

Another question: Did you mean to attach a picture of your Albuca 
clanwilliamigloria? there was a link under your contribution but I could 
only open a green envelope which did not open further and an AVG 
advertisment. I would love to see pictures of your naturalizing Albuca. 
Where and in which climate do you garden?

The article on the microwave treatment was sent to those people who 
helped me with advice. As I have written everything from memory and as 
there are some complex technical details, I would like to have it proof 
read. This is not meant to put them under time pressure if they would 
read this. As soon as everything is sorted out it will be published.

Bye for now


Hi Uli,

My fundamental concern is that Albuca clanwilliamgloria will self, just that the conditions for it to do so have not been met. It has naturalized in my garden (it hates pots) and seed production is most dependent on the weather. Over more than ten years, I have never seen anything pollinating them. Some years, hand-pollination of different plants produces zero seed, in others, I get hundreds without doing anything.
Twenty years ago, it was believed Aloes do not self, but now we know different.

I would be cautious.



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