Friday, June 3, 2011

Angraecum pollination

Hi all!

My Angraecum eburneum var. superbum has been in flower for the last month now. I pollinated it as soon as the flowers had started opening. I only selfed three of the nine flowers as Im waiting for my other Angraecums to flower so I can cross pollinate.
This particular Angraecum must be one of the most adaptable species that I have. In every shade house in every garden that I have had, this orchid has not let me down and flowers every year for about four months.

People probably think to them self's why would they call this the king of Angraecum's when compared to an orchid like Angreacum sesquipedale? It is the size of the orchid plant, and it can grow into huge specimens if well maintained.

OK! lets get down to the pollinating business! I have taken some pics of the pollination and some progress of the maturing seed pod.

This is how I pollinated my Angraecum. I first removed the anther cap to reveal the pollen. Then I secure the pollen on a sterile needle. The stigmatic surface is just behind where the pollen is stored. I inserted the needle in the V shaped groove of the anther and lifted the back of the needle so the point is facing down towards the stigma, then I gently secure the pollen and pull the needle back through the V groove and the pollen stays behind.

The first signs of a successful pollination is a swollen column and sometimes the flower seems to close back onto itself. Also the ovary will start to swell in a few days.

This picture illustrates a normal ovary that has not been pollinated on the left, and one that is just over a month old. This is the first time I have pollinated this orchid and will have to wait and see how long it takes for the pod to mature. I suspect it could take 350 days or more. I'm hoping to get a good yield from this seed for future flasking.

Here are also some Stenoglottis longifolia that are a month old. These are a bit more difficult to pollinate as the reproduction organs are super small. I will blog about this one when I can take photos with a telescope! No I don't mean microscope!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the informative post! I really love the flowers of A. eburneum and I hope that the seed pods are successful and produce lots of viable seeds!

    I too was busy this past weekend with magnifying glass in hand trying to pollinate the tiny Polystachya paniculata flowers. I see that my Stenoglottis venus has set two pods spontaneously. Here's to successful progeny!