Adeniums forum: Adenium self-fertilization?

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Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
May 16, 2014 7:48 PM CST
I have read that Adenium obesum typically are not self-fertile. I have also read reports that indicate you can readily get seed pods by manually pollinating (the same plant).

I know Adeniums do not readily self-pollinate in the manner of, say, peppers and tomatoes, which do not need intervention to set fruit. So, is the real issue that Adeniums don't self-fertilize, rather than that they are not self-fertile?

I have never yet tried to pollinate my Adeniums, but I recently got a seed pod from one of my plants. In fact, I have several seedlings sprouting from that pod. I was just curious as to whether it was most likely self-pollinated, or more likely crossed with the variety blooming right beside it.
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
May 19, 2014 9:27 AM CST
Hi, Ron, sorry for the slow reply, I am almost never online on weekends.

OK, Adeniums occasionally set pods without human intervention. There are butterflies called Skippers that pollinate, and sometimes tiny bugs (thrips or ants) get in there and wander around carrying pollen. I have one plant that sets its' own pods all the time, and others that have done so but not regularly at all.

Your pod could be a cross with the plants' neighbor, or with itself. Are the blooms on both plants different? You'll be able to see the difference once you get blooms. Feed and gently water well, and perhaps get blooms by late summer! Be careful to not over water, and rain counts!

Have fun when you can,

Melissa
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
May 22, 2014 7:53 AM CST
Melissa, thanks for your reply.

Pretty much as I expected. When I first saw the pods developing and researched, I was pumped, having read that A. obesum was not self-fertile (understood as self-incompatible). Which would mean these two would have been crossed:

Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/dcc371 Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/4a7488 Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/65d209

The more I read and the more I thought about it, the more I suspected there was just an oft-repeated misuse of the phrase "not self-fertile", when what was really meant was "unlikely to set seed without manual intervention". I'm disappointed, but maybe one day I will find the time/motivation to create the cross myself. My problem is I have about 500 projects on my list with time for maybe 50. Life of a part-time gardener!


Here is a photo of the double pod, lightly wrapped with wire to prevent loss of seed if they opened before I expected:

Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/05128e


And a pic of some of the seedlings. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, best my phone would take under the lighting conditions.

There's a green one at the top, with an "albino" to the right of it. Below them is a seedling struggling to shed it's hull, and finally at the bottom a seedling with it's arms in the air singing "Let it go, let it go..."

Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/0e1881

Interestingly, neither obesum is variegated, but of 16 seedlings that have sprouted, 4 are albino. What's up with that?

Ron
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
[Last edited by rattlebox - May 22, 2014 7:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
May 22, 2014 1:12 PM CST
Inbreeding often makes albinos. Some people have been successful at grafting seedlings somehow, to save the albino, but for the most part, sadly, they starve and die without chlorophyll.
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
May 22, 2014 4:28 PM CST
I have read that variegated Adeniums tend to "throw" albino seedlings, though that would likely be a process different from genetic albinism, more related to the process whereby many variegated plants will send out an albino stem or branch.

The situation here looks like a typical genetic recessive. In animals when offspring are produced from non-albino parents that both carry the albino gene, statistically 25% of the offspdring will be albino. Of 16 seedlings, 4 are albino, 25%.

I find the apparent presence of an albino gene in plants quite interesting.

Ron
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett

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