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RE: Not to be outdone by the Kiwis...... (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: lisaclv on 12.11.2007 at 02:46 pm in Bromeliad Forum

You want red, Sander? I'll give you red.

Vr. Hawaiian Punch:

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Vr. Jan Nakamoto:

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Okay, the second one is more dark pink, but I want to keep crossing all the reds with each other and see if I can get some Vrieseas that look like Neos! They do lose their color if you fertilize too heavily or if they're not getting enough light. The form is not as much of an issue as it would be for a Neo though, and generally speaking my Vrieseas get more fert than the Neos do.

How many forms of Vr. platynema are there, Kerry? The only one that anyone I know here is growing is platynema v. variegata. I always just assume that if it's a hybrid with colorful foliage that's the one that was used. I know that's what Shiigi is using. I can't see the point of using a green one at all. Actually, it's hard to even see the point of even crossing v. variegata with anything, how do you improve on this? The one in the photo was grown fom self-pollinated seed and came out pretty true so I know it's not a hybrid.

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The Baensch book shows a platynema v. flava with yellow flowers and a platynema v. rosea with rounded leaf tips ending in a dark fingernail. That second one looks very much like what I've seen as Vr. bituminosa. Also they have pictures of what I know as saundersii x bituminosa, but they have it labeled saundersii x platynema, so I'm wondering if bituminosa is no longer a valid species. FCBS still lists it with no comment about its relation to platynema.

As to that cross I mentioned earlier, racinae was the seed parent and (saundersii x bituminosa) was the pollen parent (yes, it was a variegate). I kept the 2 best clones, not super showy but kind of interesting, and may have potential for further breeding of spotty guys. The first one got the dark red undersides from the bituminosa or platynema or whatever it is. Some spotting, most evident in the center leaves, and racinae's recurved form:

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The second one got spots, lots of 'em, from both racinae and saundersii:

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I think it might be interesting to cross the first one with the big fenestralis, but I really don't want to treat any of those to force them into bloom. I'm enjoying them much more as foliage plants right now, but maybe when one of them gets too tall to be attractive I'll shoot some Florel its way. Max, I can't remember when I started those seeds, but I'm sure it's been at least 10 years, maybe more.

BTW, the flowers on the foliage types generally open at night, so you either need to bring them into the house or go out with a flashlight (torch) and fiddle around. If there's something else in the mix, like Poelmannii, schwackeana, etc., then you'll get day-blooming flowers, which makes it a lot easier.

Speaking of racinae, one other thing I found interesting is that its distinctive leaf curl is much more pronounced in bright light. I could never figure out why they looked so nice in the greenhouse but when I'd load them up and take them to a sale they'd lose their curl overnight!

On a sunny day (but not FULL sun):

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and after being in the shade a few hours:

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Did I answer everyone's questions? Oh-- pollen storage. Everyone has different methods, I'm sure we've talked about this before, but mine is to pluck off the stamens and put them in a little film can or pill bottle with a tag, then set all of the little bottles inside a bigger pot and cover the whole thing just loosely with a paper towel and stick it in the fridge. I can get a couple of months out of it that way. I was told that it's important to let it breathe, but others here have had just as good luck sealing up the container, so you can't argue with success!


clipped on: 03.02.2011 at 10:10 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2011 at 10:11 pm

RE: Breeding & seed size (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: kerry_t_australia on 09.23.2008 at 10:09 pm in Bromeliad Forum

Hey Ali,
When receptive, the stigma has a clear type of mucous blob on the end of it - looks rather like a dew drop on the end. From my understanding, this actually stimulates the pollen to travel down the (inside)length of the style to the ovary - allowing pollination to occur.
For bromeliads, this receptive stage differs between various genera (...and for human females!). As Lisa has advised, the stigmas of neoregelias are most receptive between 9 - 11am. Most broms are pollinated in the day time. However, many of the foliage vrieseas and alcantareas are, in nature, pollinated by night creatures eg. bats, moths, but also ants.
From my own experience, I have noticed some foliage vrieseas first get that sticky muck on their stigmas at various times of the early evening, through to about 2am. Well actually, many still have the 'blob' in the more people-friendly morning - I know of some hybridisers who still apply the pollen to the 'blob' in the early morning, with success.
When each flower first opens, the anthers have unripe pollen - it's hard and can't be removed. For a confident cross-pollination, it is best to remove the anthers before the pollen is ripe - to ensure self-pollination does not occur. (although not all broms self-pollinate). You know when the pollen is ripe when it can be easily removed and has the consistency of flour. The pollen is usually ripe before the stigma is receptive i.e. has the 'blob' on its end. You can cover the end of the stigma with fresh or stored viable pollen before it gets the 'blob', and this usually works too - as some pollen will still be on it at the receptive stage. I think you have more chance of successful pollination if you apply the pollen to the 'blob' either before or during the receptive stage - not after.
I have collected pollen of day-flowering vrieseas (usually the green-leaved ones) and tillandsias, and then applied it at night to those foliage vrieseas which don't open 'til the evening. I have also noticed that some foliage vriesea hybrids which have one green-leaved vriesea parent, are receptive in the late afternoon - in between the two parents.
Vriesea racinae opens its flowers earlier than I expected - more like around 5pm. Once, when I was eagerly awaiting the next flower, or pair of flowers, to open - I was running late for some social event, and was hanging out for it to open so I could remove the anthers and whack the stored pollen of another foliage vriesea on its stigma pre-blob (it only has about 6 to 8 precious flowers). So - I placed the small potted vriesea in a dark space at around 4pm, and sure enough the next 2 flowers opened earlier due to the less light...ha!

Hope this info helps Ali - and any others interested in the nitty-gritty. I learned much of this on this forum :)

And Hi to Shaine, now in Caboolture - good luck with your hybridising.



clipped on: 03.02.2011 at 10:08 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2011 at 10:08 pm

RE: Not to be outdone by the Kiwis...... (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: lisaclv on 12.10.2007 at 06:35 pm in Bromeliad Forum

Kerry, be sure to remove the stamens from racinae as soon as the flower opens too. That thing loves to self-pollinate! I was able to make one cross with it and (saundersii x bituminosa), but off the top of my head I can't remember which was the seed parent. I'll have to go check and take a photo for you.

Meanwhile, take a look at the Tropiflora page in the link. They show small seedlings of fenestralis that look very much like mine did at a tender age. Then below that is a full-grown racinae, so the similarities are very apparent. I had to laugh that they're marketing fenestralis as a terrarium plant, though. Maybe for a little while, but then it'll have to come out of there unless you have a walk-in terrarium!

I'd be very interested to see what you get out of that cross. I think it would probably be very nice, regardless of whether it's the same as mine or not. I see where B&T World Seeds has a listing for Vr. fenestralis x racinae, but they don't seem to have any seeds currently in stock.

Koning's comments about a hybrid with fosteriana or platynema coming out bigger than both parents is interesting, although not totally surprising. That happens quite a bit in crossings, and those plants are all within a similar size range. With racinae, though, I can't imagine how you could get something as large or larger than fenestralis. Your little Zapita is about the size I might expect from such a cross.

I'm not sure what he means by "dominant for green colors", as I've seen crosses with platynema that were quite pink. One plant that I like using as a seed parent is Elfi/Natasha, which has fenestralis in it, along with Poelmannii. It got the nice red floral bracts of Poelmannii and the glossy recurved leaves of fenestralis, and has just a hint of tesselation in it that can be brought out by crossing with another foliage type. The last 3 siblings you see on my first post above come from a cross with that and fosteriana, and I got a full range of colors from purples, pinks, reds, white and green. I selected 9 of them and just gave them the names of the numbers one through nine in Hawaiian. All of them have a single reddish flower spike except for 'Eono (6), which is yellow with little dark spots, as you can see emerging. 'Ehiku (7) has the best flower, a nice glossy red, but unfortunately none of them branch like Elfi. One of my goals is to get a showy bloom and beautiful foliage markings on the same plant. I'll let you know when I get there, but generally speaking I'm more interested in the foliage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vr. fenestralis and racinae


clipped on: 03.02.2011 at 10:08 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2011 at 10:08 pm