Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I haven't tried to cross violets in years! But for some reason, probably because Tipt is blooming, I thought I should give it a go. What a comical situation. I'm trying to open the pollen anther, which is about the same size as a mustard seed. I drop one. I hold the next one tighter and stab it with a needle. *Poof* pollen goes everywhere, except on the flowers! There was still pollen left, so, ok, find a flower on the plant I want to cross it with. Is the stigma ready to accept pollen? I'm looking with a magnifying glass. These things are tiny!! Bring in the bees!!! Well, what on earth pollinates African Violets in the wild? The anthers don't want to open to spill the pollen. Unless your plants have thrips, then you have pollen everywhere. Once I find a promising flower, I only need to brush the pollen on the stigma. Oops...there goes another anther. Bye bye little anther. Ok, next anther. I get it open, I'm hanging onto it, I brush pollen on receptor stigma. I check with the magnifying glass...are there pollen grains on it? Maybe one or two. Sigh. We shall see if anything turns into a seed pod. Nothing left to do but tag the flower stem with the name of the pollen parent and wait. If anything takes I'll let you know.

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