POLLEN EXCHANGE PROJECT - update April 2013
Harris Howland and Alan Mitchell have been encouraging members to think seriously about Pollen Exchange in order to increase the setting of seed in reluctant or 'sterile' Lilies thereby increasing the conservation and production of species and interesting hybrids. This is increasingly important as more commercial lily bulb suppliers are turning to tissue culture bulbs for the retail trade. The bulb is cut into hundreds or thousands of tiny identical pieces then cultured in growing medium under sterile conditions before being grown on to identical and thus self -sterile mature bulbs.
See Newsletters Spring 2009 p2-3, Autumn 2009 p2-3, Winter 2009 p2-3, Spring 2010 p4-5 Spring 2012 p9
Results and Requests;
We would like more members to get in to the habit of collecting pollen and storing it in a domestic refrigerator even if they have no intention of using it for cross pollination themselves. Each year a few more members make specific requests and slowly we are able to match these.
Outstanding requests: Can you help?
Adam Yakabuskie, Calgary: L. parryi, L. grayi, L.rosthornii, L. wardii
Please might I have updated lists of which pollen you have stored in your refrigerator?
Please could you let me know which species you anticipate flowering this summer?
Issues: A request from Neil Jordan in Tasmania highlighted an Australian problem for importing pollen. Their Ministry of Agriculture, Fish & Forestry categorise Pollen as plant material requiring expensive and detailed Import Permits, whereas small quantities of seed of any genera may be imported readily so long as it can be directly related to a species listed on the AQIS data base. The increasing use of commercial asexual propagation means many are unable to set seed.
We are seeking technical advice-if you have expert knowledge or guidance in this field please contact me.
Should we be advising members to shake the pollen off the anthers prior to posting -or maybe only to overseas destinations?
The current 2012 list on the web will be updated for 2013 when I have received those answers.
Reflection about the importance of conserving pollen:
So it is vitally important that we keep our pollen available and exchangeable so that species, individual variety and hybrid vigour continues to be enhanced. A tissue cultured bulb fertilised with pollen from a seed raised bulb of the same species should produce viable pollen. Extremely important to our seed list.
Practical points reiterated:
Collecting and storing pollen routinely may make it available to another member at an appropriate time Thus overcoming the time and distance difficulties of the UK let alone the hemispheres.
However it can be collected in anticipation, preferably on the stamens, dried, folded in kitchen foil and stored in a refrigerator to await a request. The exchange could take place in anticipation of the intended flowering of the recipient. (Spring 2010 p4-5)
So do please contact me with your 'wish list' or offer pollen donation either by post or email to:
Nuala Sterling, Vermont House, East Boldre, Hants SO42 7WX UK