Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 03:56 AM
Larry Dighera
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).


Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

I chose reed-stem Epis for my breeding program, because they grow
quickly and do not require a greenhouse for culture in my locality.
What I didn't realize is that working with such tiny flower parts is
so difficult. My steady-handed jewlery-making skills and eyesight are
being tested by these minute flowers.

The aperture in the column is just about the same size as the pointed
end of a wooden toothpick. This makes it virtually impossible to
insert pollen with such an instrument, so I've resorted to using
straight pins, as they taper to an absolute point (unlike toothpicks).
The real difficulty is in seeing the pollenia and stigmatic opening
while attempting to accomplish pollination. It takes a 5X jewelers's
loop to provide adequate visual resolution (for me) to accomplish the
operation. But, the difficulty doesn't end there.

Coaxing the pollenia to stick to the straight pin long enough to
transfer to the stigma is accomplished by first placing some of the
sticky adheasive-like gel of the stigmatic surface on the pin point,
and then touching it to the pollenia. That often works too well, and
it is impossible to get the pollenia to release their grip on the pin
once they are finally in position. Frustrating.

If the nearly microscopic pollenia are accidently dropped, they are
usually forever lost. I've overcome that issue by placing a 5" X 8" X
1" shiny black plastic tray under the flowers I'm working with.
(These trays are available in the produce section of Trader Joe's
Markets, and are used to hold green beans.) But, because reed-stem
Epidendrums are so tall, it is necessary to place the tray on a
moveable shelf of the appropriate height to position it near enough to
the flowers. (Perhaps it would be more convenient to work with the
plant laying horizontally.) It is also necessary to work under bright
light; a two tube 4-foot fluorescent light provides virtually
shadowless illumination for the task.

Despite the aid of good light and magnification, it is not possible to
see if the pollenia have been optimally positioned on the stigmatic
surface. Attempts to remove parts of the flower to obtain better
physical and visual access have almost universally resulted in death
of the flower. But it's difficult to know if the cross would have
"taken," because my success rate is only about 25%. I'm finding the
success rate of intergeneric crosses to be significantly less.

Because the size of Cattleya pollen is considerably larger than the
caliber of the stigmatic orifice, I have tried two techniques:
removing flower parts to access the stigma, and trimming the pollenia
to size. Success has not been good.

I've read * that applying orange juice to the stigma before
pollinating may overcome the difficulty with intergeneric crosses, but
I haven't tried that technique yet. I've also read that it is best to
select young flowers (just, or coaxed open) for the female parent, so
I've started doing that.

Perhaps some of the sagacious members of this newsgroup with
experience in the techniques of pollinating small flowered orchids
would be kind enough to suggest additional options, or provide
pointers to appropriate articles and texts pertinent to this subject.
I'd be grateful.

Best regards,
Larry Dighera



*
http://www.geocities.com/~marylois/archiv18.html
The Trembling Toothpick: Basic Hybridizing
by Ed Wright

  #2   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 06:32 AM
Mick Fournier
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

Larry,

The pick-up adhesive on your toothpick needs to be less sticky than the
stigma gel... use your saliva instead of stigma gel ON the toothpick. Once
the pollen makes contact in the stigma... don't pull the toothpick quickly
out straightaway, "spin it out" gently. That's always been my technique
for insuring the best and most thorough sexual "union".

On many occasions I have taken a razor blade in cutting oversized pollen
down to size to suit the female parent and find it works well. Vanda pollen
inserted into Neofinetia falcata flowers often needs to be trimmed down to a
smaller size.

I have also snapped back (ie not broken off) a flower's lip to gain better
access to the reproductive areas with no detrimental affects.

When working on pollinating flowers I always wear a flip-up headband-type
jeweler's magnifying glasses. This is precision work and guaranteeing that
no "original" pollen gets sloppily left behind on removal from the female
parent is important in this process... a selfing is my absolute last resort
only undertaken when I can not find a sib pollen to use in a cross. Many
hybrid crosses on Brassavola nodosa turn out to be selfings when a few of
the female parent's tiny pollinia get mistakenly left behind on what should
have been a thorough removal job initially.

Mick
HBI, Producers of Fine Orchids in Flask
www.OrchidFlask.com

--------------------------------





"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
news

Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

CLIP



  #3   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 07:08 PM
Larry Dighera
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

On Fri, 9 May 2003 01:26:27 -0400, "Mick Fournier"
wrote:

Larry,

The pick-up adhesive on your toothpick needs to be less sticky than the
stigma gel...


That would make good sense.

use your saliva instead of stigma gel ON the toothpick.


Ah, the voice of experience. Thanks for sharing your secrets.

Once the pollen makes contact in the stigma... don't pull the toothpick quickly
out straightaway, "spin it out" gently.


Good point. I think it was the tenacity of the stigmatic gel that was
giving me trouble.

That's always been my technique
for insuring the best and most thorough sexual "union".


It sounds like a very "satisfing" technique for all but those who
demand rough treatment. :-)

On many occasions I have taken a razor blade in cutting oversized pollen
down to size to suit the female parent and find it works well.
Vanda pollen inserted into Neofinetia falcata flowers often needs to
be trimmed down to a smaller size.


My concern in trimming pollen to fit is, that the presumably
one-to-one correspondence ratio between the number of pollen "grains"
and number of ovules will be so mismatched as to result in a
significant increase in unfertilized ovules. The other issue that
comes to mind is the exposed cut surface becoming infected by
bacteria/fungi. If you report success, these are apparently these are
non-issues.

I have also snapped back (ie not broken off) a flower's lip to gain better
access to the reproductive areas with no detrimental affects.


My limited experience with that technique has been unsuccessful to
date, but with your reported success, I'll continue to excitement.

When working on pollinating flowers I always wear a flip-up headband-type
jeweler's magnifying glasses.


Excellent suggestion. Headband magnifiers have got to be orders of
magnitude superior to fiddling with a loupe. Have you got a favorite
brand?

This is precision work and guaranteeing that
no "original" pollen gets sloppily left behind on removal from the female
parent is important in this process...


Yes. That raises another question. I often find a very small amount
of viscus yellow gel associated with the firm, well defined pollenia
on the end of their filaments. I'm not sure of the origin of this
yellow gel, but it looks like it may contain pollen cells. Would you
include that in your definition of "original pollen?"

a selfing is my absolute last resort
only undertaken when I can not find a sib pollen to use in a cross.


I understand your reasoning here.

Many hybrid crosses on Brassavola nodosa turn out to be selfings when
a few of the female parent's tiny pollinia get mistakenly left behind on
what should have been a thorough removal job initially.


That is a good point. I will be more careful in insuring through
pollen removal in the future. It wouldn't do to wait several years to
bloom-out a cross only to find that it wasn't what was expected. Do
you find that such inadvertent selfings result in seed of mixed
parentage, i.e. "polycrossing?"

Mick
HBI, Producers of Fine Orchids in Flask
www.OrchidFlask.com

--------------------------------


Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience, Mick. Your help
is truly appreciated.


"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
news

Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

CLIP



  #4   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 07:08 PM
Wendy
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

Larry, I have an Optivisor which is an optical glass binocular magnifier.
There are many types on the internet & come with lens attachments, also
little battery lights. Not very expensive, mine was $37.00 manufactured by
Donegan Optical Company.
Cheers Wendy
"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
news

Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

I chose reed-stem Epis for my breeding program, because they grow
quickly and do not require a greenhouse for culture in my locality.
What I didn't realize is that working with such tiny flower parts is
so difficult. My steady-handed jewlery-making skills and eyesight are
being tested by these minute flowers.

The aperture in the column is just about the same size as the pointed
end of a wooden toothpick. This makes it virtually impossible to
insert pollen with such an instrument, so I've resorted to using
straight pins, as they taper to an absolute point (unlike toothpicks).
The real difficulty is in seeing the pollenia and stigmatic opening
while attempting to accomplish pollination. It takes a 5X jewelers's
loop to provide adequate visual resolution (for me) to accomplish the
operation. But, the difficulty doesn't end there.

Coaxing the pollenia to stick to the straight pin long enough to
transfer to the stigma is accomplished by first placing some of the
sticky adheasive-like gel of the stigmatic surface on the pin point,
and then touching it to the pollenia. That often works too well, and
it is impossible to get the pollenia to release their grip on the pin
once they are finally in position. Frustrating.

If the nearly microscopic pollenia are accidently dropped, they are
usually forever lost. I've overcome that issue by placing a 5" X 8" X
1" shiny black plastic tray under the flowers I'm working with.
(These trays are available in the produce section of Trader Joe's
Markets, and are used to hold green beans.) But, because reed-stem
Epidendrums are so tall, it is necessary to place the tray on a
moveable shelf of the appropriate height to position it near enough to
the flowers. (Perhaps it would be more convenient to work with the
plant laying horizontally.) It is also necessary to work under bright
light; a two tube 4-foot fluorescent light provides virtually
shadowless illumination for the task.

Despite the aid of good light and magnification, it is not possible to
see if the pollenia have been optimally positioned on the stigmatic
surface. Attempts to remove parts of the flower to obtain better
physical and visual access have almost universally resulted in death
of the flower. But it's difficult to know if the cross would have
"taken," because my success rate is only about 25%. I'm finding the
success rate of intergeneric crosses to be significantly less.

Because the size of Cattleya pollen is considerably larger than the
caliber of the stigmatic orifice, I have tried two techniques:
removing flower parts to access the stigma, and trimming the pollenia
to size. Success has not been good.

I've read * that applying orange juice to the stigma before
pollinating may overcome the difficulty with intergeneric crosses, but
I haven't tried that technique yet. I've also read that it is best to
select young flowers (just, or coaxed open) for the female parent, so
I've started doing that.

Perhaps some of the sagacious members of this newsgroup with
experience in the techniques of pollinating small flowered orchids
would be kind enough to suggest additional options, or provide
pointers to appropriate articles and texts pertinent to this subject.
I'd be grateful.

Best regards,
Larry Dighera



*
http://www.geocities.com/~marylois/archiv18.html
The Trembling Toothpick: Basic Hybridizing
by Ed Wright


  #5   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 07:08 PM
Larry Dighera
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

On Fri, 9 May 2003 05:45:04 -0400, "Ray @ First Rays Orchids"
wrote:

Larry,

I don't know if this will help, but I tried literally for years to make a
particular paph cross that would never "take." Then someone older and wiser
than I (that first part seems to be getting a lot tougher to achieve than
the second) suggested mashing the pollinia on a piece of waxed paper with
the toothpick before proceeding.

My first post-mash trial worked.

Maybe such a technique will allow you to handle smaller fragments.


Thank you for this information, Ray. It seems nonintuitive, but if it
works, I'm game to give it a try. Have you any idea of the biological
mechanism involved that facilitates difficult crosses?

My apprehension about this technique is that it would result in many
ruptured gamete cells spilling their nutritive contents and inviting
the growth of opportunistic bacteria and/or fungi. Apparently you
didn't find that to occur. And it doesn't seem to occur naturally on
the exposed stigmatic surface either. I would be curious to know what
prevents such contamination growth.

At any rate, if it works, I'll give it a try. Thanks.




  #6   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 07:44 PM
jimwatts
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

When I work with equitants, I often use the .5mm pencil lead. I have
the pencil with me since I'm noting the crosses and dates, it is
smaller than a toothpick, and releases fairly easily. Pencil also
works with the small Chiloschista and even vanda and other large
pollen types.
For Microcoelia, I used a straight pin. When wetting it with
saliva, just be sure to put the pin sideways, not straight in your
mouth or you may end up puncturing your tongue. Not sure what effect
that will have on pollination, but it did complete the "blood sweat
and tears" trilogy, *G*.

jimwatts
  #7   Report Post  
Old 09-05-2003, 10:32 PM
Larry Dighera
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

On Fri, 9 May 2003 10:34:46 -0700, "Wendy" wrote:

Larry, I have an Optivisor which is an optical glass binocular magnifier.
There are many types on the internet & come with lens attachments, also
little battery lights. Not very expensive, mine was $37.00 manufactured by
Donegan Optical Company.
Cheers Wendy


Thanks for the information, Wendy.

Is yours like this?:
http://www.doneganoptical.com/catalog/opti/

This looks like the best one manufactured:
http://www.keelerusa.com/SuperVu%20XL.htm
Unfortunately they sell for $1,500.00 each.

Here's a more reasonable one:
http://west-op.com/higmagbinsur.html

Or, for 6X magnification:
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/western-...imbinloup.html

But, I'm going to try these first:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=49 4

Thanks again, Wendy.

  #9   Report Post  
Old 10-05-2003, 12:08 AM
Wendy
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

Yes that's it, works great, can be worn with glasses & flips up out of the
way when not in use. Cheers Wendy
"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 9 May 2003 10:34:46 -0700, "Wendy" wrote:

Larry, I have an Optivisor which is an optical glass binocular magnifier.
There are many types on the internet & come with lens attachments, also
little battery lights. Not very expensive, mine was $37.00 manufactured

by
Donegan Optical Company.
Cheers Wendy


Thanks for the information, Wendy.

Is yours like this?:
http://www.doneganoptical.com/catalog/opti/

This looks like the best one manufactured:
http://www.keelerusa.com/SuperVu%20XL.htm
Unfortunately they sell for $1,500.00 each.

Here's a more reasonable one:
http://west-op.com/higmagbinsur.html

Or, for 6X magnification:
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/western-...imbinloup.html

But, I'm going to try these first:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=49 4

Thanks again, Wendy.



  #10   Report Post  
Old 10-05-2003, 07:44 AM
jimwatts
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

Larry Dighera wrote in message
Do you use any magnification when pollinating?


I used a 8x slide magnifier as a monocle when pollinating the
Microcoelia, LOL. *VERY* low tech, but it worked! If you want to see
the size of microcoelia pollen, the picture at
http://forum.theorchidsource.com/b.a...366&archive=no
shows the pollen on a straight pin. I had removed the blood first,
*G*!!
Out of 9 flowers pollinated, none took. I don't think they are self
sterile, I think I just goofed or the flowers were too old. I waited
too long I think, but I was hoping it would last til the judging
session. Of course, the flowers started fading a couple days before
judging, *sigh*. Next time it blooms, I'll pollinate it rather than
worry about awards!! But at two weeks, Microcoelia last longer than
the Taeniophyllum which fade after one day!

jimwatts


  #11   Report Post  
Old 10-05-2003, 02:08 PM
D. Wain Garrison
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

Tom Fennell (deceased)(Orchid Jungle, Redlands FL) always used a lead
pencil
to pollinate orchids.

--
--
D. Wain Garrison
If you can read you can learn anything, for
there are those smarter than you who can
write, however, not everyone who can write
is smarter than you.
"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
...
On 9 May 2003 11:42:59 -0700, (jimwatts) wrote:

When I work with equitants, I often use the .5mm pencil lead. I have
the pencil with me since I'm noting the crosses and dates, it is
smaller than a toothpick, and releases fairly easily. Pencil also
works with the small Chiloschista and even vanda and other large
pollen types.


I can see where non-absorbent graphite pencil lead might release
easier than an absorbent wooden toothpick. I'll give it a try.

For Microcoelia, I used a straight pin. When wetting it with
saliva, just be sure to put the pin sideways, not straight in your
mouth or you may end up puncturing your tongue. Not sure what effect
that will have on pollination, but it did complete the "blood sweat
and tears" trilogy, *G*.

jimwatts


Do you use any magnification when pollinating?

It's reassuring to note that even veteran orchid breeders experience
the 'Blood, Sweat, and Tears syndrome when pollinating. I thought it
was reserved exclusively for novices. :-)

Many thanks for the information, Jim.




  #12   Report Post  
Old 12-05-2003, 05:08 PM
Jim S
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

SNIP
That's always been my technique
for insuring the best and most thorough sexual "union".


It sounds like a very "satisfing" technique for all but those who
demand rough treatment. :-)


you guys sleigh me!

Jim


  #13   Report Post  
Old 12-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Mick Fournier
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pollinating Reed-Stem Epidendrums (Small Flowers).

Jim,

Those people (like yourself) reading between the lines seem to enjoy RGO a
bit more than the normal orchid lover I would estimate.

Mick






Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breeding Reed-stem Epidendrums Larry Dighera Orchids 0 31-01-2004 12:34 AM
Breeding Reed-stem Epidendrums Larry Dighera Orchids 0 31-01-2004 12:10 AM
Breeding Reed-stem Epidendrums for Fragrance. (Was: Your Orchid profpam Orchids 0 23-10-2003 12:32 AM
Breeding Reed-stem Epidendrums for Fragrance. (Was: Your Orchid Cultur Nots Published Here.) Larry Dighera Orchids 0 22-10-2003 06:02 PM
Reed-stem Epidendrum: Grip's White [email protected] Orchids 5 19-05-2003 06:44 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:26 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2022 GardenBanter.co.uk.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Gardening"

 

Copyright © 2017