mandag 4. februar 2013

How to pollinate a lily

A few years after my first lilies where planted I found out that it was possible to grow lilies from seeds. But many seed companies only sell seeds from species or strains. But I wanted to grow hybrid seeds. From DILS I was told how to do this. This is how I pollinate lilies:

First I need something to label the cross, I do it simple a kind of paper that are used for making lunch packets and some thread. It's important that the paper don't get damaged by water. You also need a pen that are water resistent.

The next tool are a cotton stick. A small brush are ok too but it needs to be cleaned well between every new cross.

This is the flower with anthers and the stigma, the stigma is in the center. The pollen can be used when the flower are totally open unless it's a chanse that insects eat the pollen first. If that's possible the anthers can be picked before the flower have opened totally.
A closer look at the anthers.

The cotton stick are rubbed on the anthers untill it's full of pollen.

The flower that shall be pollinated are pollinated before the flower are totally opened. If pollination is done out in the garden, it is very important to pollinated flower before it has opened, otherwise the insects have transferred pollen from other flowers. If the stigma wrapped in aluminum foil before and after pollination, one would avoid this.
The pollen are rubbed on the stigma untill it's totally covered with pollen. Since I do most of my pollinations in a greenhouse there are few insects that feed on the pollen. Last year I didn't cover the stigma with aluminium foil and got plenty of seeds. Flowers that where not pollinated did not produce any seeds.

After pollination the cross are labeled: mother x father.

If the pollination are successful the stigma starts to point up a few days after pollination, and after the petals have fallen off a swelling seed capsule.

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