Lilies forum: Pollen freezing

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Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jun 18, 2012 4:19 PM CST
I was wondering if anybody out there has had any experience with freezing cardiocrinum pollen? Can it be frozen like lily pollen and if so, how long will it last? Also are cardiocrinum self sterile like lilies?
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Australia Lilies Seed Starter Bulbs
Plant and/or Seed Trader Hellebores Birds Seller of Garden Stuff Garden Art Cat Lover
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gwhizz
Jun 19, 2012 1:56 AM CST
Monocarpic- is the answer,.,i have a multitude of Cardiocrinum Giganteum here, still yet to flower,.,.but do not know a lot about them,.,.,.-but, they grow well here Shrug!
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jun 19, 2012 2:20 PM CST
Cardiocrinum are monocarpic (meaning they flower once, produce seed, then die), but I don't know what that is the "answer" to... Confused

If no one knows the answers to your questions here, I'll ask on the SRGC forum, then link you to the answers.
Name: Michael Norberry
Arcata, CA Zone 9 or 17 suns (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: California Seed Starter Ponds
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mnorberry
Aug 24, 2012 3:06 PM CST
Question about freezing Lily pollen: When you are ready to use, can you use it right out of the freezer or do you wait for minutes?
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Aug 24, 2012 3:34 PM CST
Well, you have to let it thaw first, mike. Letting it sit out for an hour or two while I work seems to be ok for the way I work, anyway. It won't hurt the pollen to thaw and re-freeze when you're done. I use little glass test tubes (13mm) capped on top with cotton so being glass it takes me about an hour to thaw them out; if one is using paper envelope, etc, thawing would be faster, of course.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Aug 24, 2012 4:16 PM CST
It would take a minute or less for an envelope to thaw, and several more minutes to come to ambient temperature. Coming to ambient temperature would be the important thing.

Some say that refreezing is not good for pollen. I have never seen any data or even heard any anecdotes that back up the claim. On the other hand, I have heard anecdotes of people using refrozen pollen with success. However, I would keep it to a minimum, as I am sure there is a limit that could differ depending on the genetics of the pollen.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Aug 24, 2012 8:06 PM CST
I have used refrozen pollen a few times and when pollenation 'took' it 'took' good. But I never tried any beyond the second season because I was always able to replenish with new. A couple had been refrozen twice and it was still OK.

What I'd like to know is if it would be safe to send thawed pollen thru the mail in the winter? So it could be refrozen and used during the next spring? I suspect it would be OK. Anyone have experience with that? Also, what about plastic test tubes or little plastic bottles? Any good? I've always been suspicous of plastic with pollen. Maybe it's just me but when I can smell the odor of new plastic I get suspect.

Oh, I also wanted to add I always put a few grains of rice in my test tubes to keep the pollen from 'caking' (as a dessicant--works good).
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Aug 25, 2012 5:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Aug 25, 2012 5:34 PM CST
I also wonder about the length of time between pollen thawing and refreezing. Beyond refreezing itself, if anything is critical I would think it would be that.

Rice as a desiccant is a good tip. I am amazed these days how few people know about rice in the salt shaker. I guess it is because everyone has air conditioning now - except me!
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Aug 27, 2012 12:39 PM CST
Well, I wouldn't leave it out very long without at least putting it temporarily back in the fridge. My practice is to avoid exposing my test tubes and pollen to direct sun. As soon as I finish pollenating for the morning, I put it in the refrigerator to chill/normalize and then refreeze that evening. If I plan to use the same pollen again within the next few days, I'll just hold it in the fridge for those few days and then refreeze. I keep my time intervals as short as possible in all instances. But I have held thawed pollen in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 or 5 days and used it with reasonable results (to me, anyway) on a few of my Divison VI crosses. But no one should intrepret that as a broad base statement of standard practice that applies to all Divisions and Cultivars. There are so many variables that enter in at this point and beyond that one would never know if the results are accurate or accidental or whatver.

So, about 5 days refrigerated is as far as I've gone with thawed pollen. I have in a couple instances, however, used pollen again the second season (thawed and then refrozen) with seemingly acceptable results but I could never be absolutely sure my results were what I intended or what caused them to be what they ended up being.. For instance, pod filling, seed generation on some was only about 20 % or less and lots of chaff--certainly not the best but I can't automatically blame pollen virility with so many other variables. So many unknowns to tease us!

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