How to pollinate Orbea decaisneana?

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paulindr
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 5:02 pm
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

How to pollinate Orbea decaisneana?

Post by paulindr »

Hi. growing this seemingly fragile species (I believe it's Orbea decaisneana) escaped my abilities for quite a while but I now have a nice, healthy and rampant plant. However, pollination is a mystery. the flowers open revealing no obvious way to pollinate them. All visible parts are really solid. Can anyone advise on pollination and if a plant (separate flowers) can be self-pollinated?

Thanks
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Aiko
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Re: How to pollinate Orbea decaisneana?

Post by Aiko »

Do you have one plant, or multiple plants that are different clones?

In general I believe a lot of the asclepiads are hard to pollinate manually. You should leave it to the flies, probably.

If you want to be more in control on this, you could try to trap some flies. Get a plate with some rotting meat, once the flies sit on it you could place a big transparent box on it to keep them locked in and place the plants with open flowers in it too. Keep it like that for a few hours and see if the flies do the work for you in the mean time. Never tried it myself, though, but if I had asclepiads I would definately try this.
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One Windowsill
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Re: How to pollinate Orbea decaisneana?

Post by One Windowsill »

paulindr wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:49 pm However, pollination is a mystery. the flowers open revealing no obvious way to pollinate them. All visible parts are really solid. Can anyone advise on pollination and if a plant (separate flowers) can be self-pollinated?

Thanks
You probably do need two different clones in most stapeliads. However, some will self-pollinate and many will hybridise.

The problem with deliberately introducing flies would be that you need the right size fly. The smell of the flowers does not just imitate rotting meat, there are many species that imitate other rotting things. They attract different flies. There is even a species that lives near the coast in South Africa that imitates rotting fish. Some even smell pleasant, though I have not encountered one yet.

The best guide to hand-pollination is probably Gerald Barad's http://www.cactus-mall.com/stapeliad/pollin.html

You will need a hand lens (held in a clamp so you have both hands free) or low power microcope (Wiebe Bosma recommends 10 to 30 x magnification) and a steady hand. A usb microscope would be ideal as they are light and easily positioned anywhere you want. You can monitor them from a laptop with a huge picture. Mine is something like this though a different brand and does not claim such a high magnification. The highest magnification may be from blowing up the picture digitally. https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/microscopes/1964075/

Bosma uses acupuncture needles.

Here is an article by someone who was inspired to try by Barad's article.
http://www2.arnes.si/~sspimule/jest/Cla ... linate.htm

Here is an informative thread from another forum:
https://forum.bcss.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139998

I did an annotated photo for my Frerea article that shows the location of the pollinia quite clearly. They are paired solid masses of pollen joined by a narrow bridge. https://pattheplants.blogspot.com/2020/ ... tml#Flower Of course, stapeliads are very different in flower structure though they are variations on a theme.

If both my Monolluma socotrana or Edithcolea grandis get to flower I intend to try it, but I haven't yet. The Edithcolea are 4 days old so, fingers crossed. All my others, I only have one clone.
paulindr
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 5:02 pm
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Re: How to pollinate Orbea decaisneana?

Post by paulindr »

Aiko, One Windowsill

Thanks! First, i wasn't aware that it probably needs more than 1 clone. this is good info as I may well find a different clone on a visit in about 12 days time. (All I have is the one clone.)

As to the pollination help, also great. I won't bother trapping flies but I accept the idea of it. But I will read up more on the links provided. I don't need more plants but having multiple clones is always a good idea.

Thanks!
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