alocasia/elephant ear - how to pollinate????

Beverly Erlebacher bae at cs.toronto.edu
Tue Sep 23 11:27:21 EST 1997


In article <6076dh$g8k at dfw-ixnews9.ix.netcom.com>,
Jeff Shimonski  <tropica1 at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>Many of the Aroids have imperfect flowers. Alocasia, Dieffenbachia,
>and Aglaonema have female flowers on the bottom half of the
>inflorescence and male flowers on the top part. The pollen is
>usually produced before the female flowers become viable thereby
>assuring outcrossing. You can save the pollen in an airtight container
>in the fridge and when the female flowers heat up, brush them
>lightly with the pollen. With a little practice you'll have more seeds
>then you know what to do with.

We've got a few Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) here in the office, and I've
found that I can get them to set fruit just by running my finger over the
male flowers and wiping it on the female flowers on the same spathe.  THis
is worth trying if you don't have the time/energy to store pollen.  No idea
if it works for Alocasia.

Btw, to get a really nice-looking large pot of small Elephant Ears for very
cheap, buy the vegetable called "eddoes" in a West Indian market.  This is
a small-tubered variety of taro (Colocasia esculenta) I believe.  I've grown
it in a pot in a bucket of water on the patio, and it actually produced about
three times as many eddoes as I started with, here in Toronto.  It's a beautiful
plant with purple petioles and attractive patterns on the leaves.




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