Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Anybody Interested In Microcoelia Seeds?

Several months ago I tried pollinating my Microcoelia exilis with pollen from a random Neofinetia hybrid. It was really not easy to do. The Microcoelia flowers are very tiny! Without a microscope or magnifying glass it was extremely difficult to try and remove the specks of Microcoelia pollinia and insert the much larger Neofinetia pollinia. After around two weeks of trying I threw in the towel.

Not too long afterwards...I noticed that some of the tiny ovaries were starting to swell a bit. And now I have around a dozen tiny seed pods on my Microcoelia.

My guess is that it's extremely likely that they were all selfed rather than crossed. I'm pretty sure that in my clumsy effort to remove the pollen I simply managed to self pollinate the Microcoelia flowers. But I could be wrong.

With most of my seed pods I just sow the seeds on my tree. But in this case, because it's not a common orchid, I'd prefer to go with the traditional method. All leafless orchids should definitely be more widely available.

Is anybody interested in the seeds? A few criteria...

1. Must be in the US
2. Must be experienced

This isn't the kind of seed for experimenting with. So if you're interested in some seed...then you must be able to provide some evidence that you've successfully germinated monopodial orchid seeds before.

Plus, I'm going to expect a reasonable percentage of seedlings in return. Maybe 10% or so. Of course there's no guarantee that the seeds are viable.

Not sure when the seed pods are going to be ready to harvest. They look like they could pop any day now. But for all I know it could still be another couple of months. I try and inspect them on a daily basis...and as soon as the first pod starts to open...I will remove all the pods.

So far Microcoelia exilis seems to be a really great outdoor leafless orchid for Southern California. I have two of them. The one with seed pods I traded for last year. This winter was pretty mild though. But my first exilis had no problem with a previous winter's temps down to 32F. Both of them bloomed this year and they started putting out new roots early in the year.

They are both mounted without any moss and located pretty high up under 50% white shade cloth. During the coldest days I water them once a week in the morning. During the hottest days I try and water them every night.