Matt and Linton and all
Linton your pollen extraction sounds great was all most at that stage when the flower broke off when trying to take the petals off !!think next time I will cut the petals off like you did ,instead of trying to rip them off
I do not have any idea how long the pollen will keep ?? just now I have mine in the fridge on the paper in a zip lock bag waiting for the next flower to open ,I would assume it would be viable like most other pollens for a few months ?? will have to do some research !!
yes from what I have read the stigma is ripe before the pollen is, and as you said no longer receptive when the pollen is starting to ripen, I believe the stigma is only receptive for a very short time like 3 or 4 days ??!! not sure,could be wrong ,sure I read it was very short time so once a gain vigilance will be in order and some good eyes too,most stigmas look sticky at the receptor when ready and dull off when the time has past ,Nep's are the same !! ,so you are correct, an unusually way of pollination !! indeed .
well not sure how long the flower was open before the pollen was ripe , I think I was just lucky to have did the extraction when I did , would suggest checking each day till it looks fat and yellow and swollen , the buzzing may encourage the pollen to increase as well , being a natural way of there pollination evolution, may be would help out here I would think to stimulate the stamens ?? may be ! as mine did put out more pollen with more buzzes !! it will take more than just this short experiment to get to know what we are doing right and wrong I would think !!
Linton's approach seems a good way to go , rather than mine was , I will check tomorrow ,as a number of flowers should be ready to open in the next day or so, as its getting warmer here each day witch will help in the flower ripening times.
Its all looking very promising , we will all learn a lot from this and will help others watching our progress as well , but as you well know this is a long term experiment and just getting seed will take a 8 months , then germination to seedling,another year ,and 4 years to mature so its very long term !! is why T/C was done, you dont have any Heli's in T/C do you Matt !!
but even just to pollinate the Heli flower I think is very rewarding ,just in the fact not a lot of people are able to do this, very few people are successful ,so lets hope our efforts are very fruitful for us
Matt just a observation with my flowers ,there were not fully open when the pollen was ripe either, only partly open , is why the petals need to be removed !this must be for natural pollination reasons like sarras with there cover petals !!to increase the rates of pollination in the wild ,by forcing the insect to get in to a confined space causing the buzzing and spreading the pollen on them then going to the next flower and depositing it , seems likely !!hence the term buzz pollination !!
I will try to keep a account on the next lot of flowers of the pollen progress for you too
one other thing is that when the pollen is done the petals do open up to normal flower expanses , which make sense now ,after seeing them for many years doing this !!