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I'm a Busy Bee.

siris

By siris

21 comments


I’ve almost finished pollinating the Iris varieties I wish to cross this year, but watch out there are thieves about.
This bee has a dose of pollen on its back and is now backing out of this flower.
The next flower it visits will receive this pollen.

The Iris has a clever system to ensure that the bee does not pollinate the flower with its own pollen.

The beard is a guide to induce the bee to enter, but in doing so, pollen on it’s back from a previous flower is brush onto the stigmatic lip. As it backs out, the anther brushes the bee’s back with new pollen.
The only sure way to stop bee pollination is to remove their landing platform, the falls (the 3 lower petals (sepals) but that spoils the beauty of the flower in the display garden.
I am now at the stage of checking my early attempts to see if pollination has occurred. If the pollen is not ripe or the flower a little damp success is not guaranteed and the flower will wither and drop off.

I pollinated this flower on May 11

Look at the developing seed pod 23 May.

It will be ripe when the pod capsule drys, turns brown and starts to split open,about the end of a July. Make sure to take off the pod before the seeds fall onto the ground, and put somewhere warm to dry.
You can then either store till next spring or as I do start the seed sowing preparation. I soak the seed for 24 hours for 5 consequetive days, changing the water and rincing to remove the germination inhibiting coat, then 30 minuits in a dilute bleach solution to kill any fungi etc. I put my seeds between damp kitchen paper towel on Ice cream container lids, stack them up, put in a poly bag and put in the fridge for 10 weeks. After this period check for germination and put the seeds into pots.

Late developing seedlings from 2019 seeds.

And some of the more precocious ones, nearly ready to be planted out into the soil.

And my favourite this year, flowering for the first time, from the 66+ ones that I’ve created from seed over the past 3 years.

Or one of these…….

Or……..
I’m running out of space again.

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Comments

 

What patience! My favourite is the top left in the block of four. The the bottom right.Thank you for the details of how you do it - very interesting!

26 May, 2020

 

Fascinating how the flowers aren't so passive about their progeny as we might have thought. Thanks for explaining the process.

27 May, 2020

 

That's a labour of love, but obviously well worth it.

27 May, 2020

 

absolutely beautiful Siris and as said such patience. The ones you gave me are growing well in pots at the moment. The little Fuchsia is also doing very well and is flowering.

Co evolution between plants and their pollinators is amazing isn't it. Many plants have chemical inhibitors that prevents their own pollen germinating early on in the flower's life. Then right at the end just before it dies it will accept its own pollen. Better to self fertilize and produce seed than die without reproducing.

27 May, 2020

 

Real patience and a true labour of love but the rewards you receive for all your time and effort are immense. I love to see all your irises on here.

27 May, 2020

 

I must agree with everyone, you have the patience of a saint, Siris! I enjoyed reading and learning something new from you. Thank you for sharing your lovely pics and info.

27 May, 2020

 

Thank you everyone. I'm not actually a patient person in my none gardening life, but you can't hurry nature.
Stera, Top left has spoon shaped extensions to the beards, only opened yesterday. Because I like top right, I've called it Aurora to help me remember and the purple has almost spots on the falls which I was trying to create so called scatter cushion the other 2 I can't think of a descriptive name to describe their attributes, so suggestions are welcome.

27 May, 2020

 

Seaburngirl, i would be surprised if they will flower in pots as their roots are far ranging. I only put in pots temporarily for recoperation if they are looking a bit sickly, i.e. Overpowered by a stronger neighbour.
Oh, there's a self sown Glaucium flavum in one of those pots.

27 May, 2020

 

I will plant them out later they have plenty of root room so they will be fine for quite a while. Not sure what I will take out yet, but they will be going in the ground.

27 May, 2020

 

SBG, in a sunny position, rhizomes above the ground, sprinkling of Bone meal.

27 May, 2020

 

You hold a lot of knowledge of Iris s and how they work and how you cross polinate them they are beauties my favouites is your new one this year flowering and bottom right in your four ohotos.

27 May, 2020

 

Thanks for the advice :o)

28 May, 2020

 

You are welcome SBG. I've a cracker opened today, no77. I am getting a little tired labelling them in this hot weather.

28 May, 2020

 

It’s such a pleasure to see all the iris you have created. I love that one bottom right of the four.

7 Jun, 2020

 

I do love all your Iris's Siris but know I haven't got it in me to do what you've been doing and showing us for a very long time, they're all beautiful...

7 Jun, 2020

 

To left - "Lilac clouds"?

7 Jun, 2020

 

Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I've resisted overloading you with pics of ALL my new creations this year.
Stera, yes I like that name, so be it. It's coming to my home from the allotment shortly when I've got spaces created for those I really like.

7 Jun, 2020

 

Well done.....I really wouldn’t have the knowledge or the patience........will stick to sourdough and Annie Sloaning! You have created some beautiful Iris......✅✅✅✅

9 Sep, 2020

 

All my seeds are now in the fridge, getting 10 weeks of cold stratification.

9 Sep, 2020

 

20 October, just checked my trays of seeds in the fridge, got about a dozen germinated, only roots, pricked out 6 of the same cross into a small pot.

21 Sep, 2020

 

Well done.....

22 Sep, 2020

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