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  1. #25

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    Thanks Jeff & Joseph. No, I certainly didn't manually open the pods; they opened on their own. It's actually the first year I've ever "caught" seeds. Because the flower pods hang down, generally the seeds just dropped into the ground. This year I sewed little bags from left over sheer curtain material and tucked the flowers into them to catch the seeds and they have mostly a black & charcoal color. I did get a few the other day that were all black though. My plants are a hybridus 'Sunshine selection', 'Pine Knot Strain', Sympathy, and 'Royal Heritage'. So I'll plant both and see what happens. Thanks your your help.

  2. #26

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wellington
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    Vicky
    I understand that commercial hellebore seed producers harvest seed by removal of the entire flower (to ensure that they do not lose seed) with pods as soon as there is an indication that seeds are released, this is done by shaking the pods and listenng for the characteriasitc rattle of lose seed inside the pods or looking for the sign that the pods are beginning to split. This practice does end up generating seed that is not fully ripe, as soon as the flower is removed the pods will soon split open, but the collected seed will not all be at the same stage of ripening. As Jospeh has correctly stated there is a time of continuing ripening of seed post release and this is done with commercial seed. The seed does germinate so the practice is successful for both the seed producer and the customer.

  3. #27

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    After collecting the seeds from the pods, you have to let them dry for a week or two, before planting/sowing?

    Once my warm moist period is up, I'm going to put each seed into it's own cup, then into the fridge they go. How far under the surface of the soil do they need to be.
    Last edited by Guff; 06-09-2009 at 03:48 PM.

  4. #28

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Wellington
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    Certainly will do no harm, and will in theory allow post harvest ripening, however do not store in a closed container.

  5. #29

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, Md
    Posts
    1,229

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    How does one cross pollinate? How do I pollinate? I know this sounds very stupid but I have no idea. Also I have a yellow oriental (hybridus) whatever, and am wondering if it will reseed to yellow. It was called "yellow blotch" (probably just a made up name right?) 124.jpg

  6. #30

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Wellington
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    I am surprised that you have not already had an answer to your question re controlled pollination so here goes. It is really very simple as long as you can understand the basics of plant fertilisation. Pollen is held within the stamens of the flower, these are borne on stigmas which are the 'stalky' things with bobbles on the end that come from the base of the flower, as the flower matures these arch out around the nectaries at the base of the flower. When pollen is shed these appear fluffy and stamens that have shed pollen are reasonably easliy distinguished from those that have not. To fertilise the flower you need to transfer pollen onto the stigmas, these are in the very centre of the flower and most hellebores have from 3-5, in some flowers the stigmas are quite long in others shorter.
    Self pollination of a flower is usually not a good idea so choose your parents, it is often a good idea to make the cross both ways.
    The stigmas take on a shiney which is when they are sticky and will hold onto the pollen. To be honest you will need high magnification to observe this and most don't bother.
    The stgmas are receptive to pollen soon after the flower opens, which is a bonus as this can avoid bees beating you to the task. So transfer the pollen to the pod flower just as the flower opens, but try to check if the stigmas have fuly extended as some flowers this does not occur until the flower has further opened.
    Open the bud gently holding back the sepals and using tweezers snip off one or more stamens that have shed pollen and paint the pollen onto the stigma. Alternatively you can use a small soft artists brush to recover pollen from the male flower and transfer the pollen from the brush to the female flower. Repeat the process on 3 successive days. If you are making multiple croseses and using a paint brush to transfer pollen then wash the brush in methylated spirits and allow to dry beteewn crossess. This avoids contamination.
    You can emasculate the female flower by carefully cutting of the stamens but be sure not to cut off the styles as this will remove the stigmas. The removal of the stamens form the female flowewr is done as the flower matures as these are not developed at the ear;y stages of the flower openeing.
    You can also then cover the flower after pollination to avoid cross pollination by bees.
    If the pollen is not shed due to weather conditions then pick a flower the day before and float it in a bowl of water inside in a warm area, this usually will cause the pollen to be shed quite quickly. Label the flower with a plastic plant label so you know which flower you used and record details of parentage.
    There should be reference books at your local library that you can consult, there is a good section on how to cross, the technique is really universal.
    Make sure that you bag the pod close to ripening as there is nothing more frustrating as to loose a cross if the pod splits before you bag.
    I am not saying that this info is foolproof, but it is a start and there are many variations on the theme. A lot of words for a process that only takes a few minutes.
    Good luck.

  7. #31

  8. #32

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Baltimore, Md
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    Oh my that is a very good explanation...hope I "get it" right. I will have to wait until next year I guess now right Mine already have seed. I will print this out. Many mnay thanks Jeff.

  9. #33

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wellington
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    Guff, thx for the photo and the graphics, as the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words.

  10. #34

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    Hey All,
    I use Joseph's method...except that I do not do neat rows, I broadcast the seed, press (firm soil and seed) and cover.
    After collecting seed I always store the seed in damp media.
    If I receive seed that has been stored dry.....soak the seed. I heat water to 160F, place the seed in a small container and add the hot water. Let the seed soak for about 24 hrs. The good seed will get plump, the not so good seed will float.

  11. #35

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    Holy cow! Bruce? Is that you?

    I've wondered where the heck you have been, good to have you stop in. I hope you stay a while.

  12. #36

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    Hi Bruce! Welcome back. I've missed your comments and high quality photos. Are the hellebores finished in New Hampshire, or are there still some blooms?

 

 
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