Regarding your first pic of an orange
bud: was it silly of me to just assume that Golden Gleam was yellow?
...or this completely underwhelming seedling?
Yow. And I thought I was brutal.
It could be that Butterlord, even though having pollenless parentage, has no recessive pollenless genes by the (un)luck of the draw. Certainly a better bet, though, and I might have done the same thing. On the other hand, the grandparent "reappearance" is not so uncommon, so I am told.
Interesting that Mont Blanc, not being pollenless, would have pollenless gene(s) that are dominant. http://garden.org/thread/view_...
Tim Zimmerman (here in Minnesota) has been doing a lot of breeding work with pollenless asiatics, especially trying to get larger flowers. Years ago, at a Minnesota Lily Society meeting he featured a talk on his hybridizing efforts. It was quite interesting, but heck if I can find my notes on it now(!). I am sure he could convey some useful information if you are pursuing this line of breeding. Tree mail me, and I can give you his email.