The making of a Butiagrus

ScotTi

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I have had requests on how to. So I will do a easy step by step. I will put the date with the steps taken to give you a time line. If you want to make the reverse cross it can be done reversing the S.rom as the mother Butia as the father. The problem with that is you will be working the steps at much higher heights unless you have a short mature S.rom. Please note: I will be using pollen from a Butiagrus on the Butia, but the steps will be the same. This usually results in a less seed set than ButiaxS.rom. If you have any questions on the steps feel free to ask.
 
3-5-2011 Step #1- You will need a Butia coming into flower. You will also need a S.rom coming into flower in a few days. You can use stored S.rom. pollen but I go with fresh pollen.
 

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3-5-2011 Step #2- To make things really easy. Reduce the size of the inflorescence when it drops from the spathe. I do this within 24 hrs of the drop. Pic #1 normal inflorescence. Pic #2 reduced in size. The reduced size is your call. I remove 2/3-3/4 of the inflorescence to make the removal of male flowers easy. The reduced size of the inflorescence will also make it easy to cage the seed later. (more on the cage later in the steps) The best seeds will form at the bottom of the inflorescence so removal of the top part of the inflorescence is best. Also more male flowers ( that you will need to remove) are located at the top of the inflorescence.
 

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3-5-2011 Step #3- Remove the male flowers. I use my thumb nail to break them away. Pic #1 showing inflorescence with male and female flower buds. Some male flowers will be open, most will be in the narrow bud stage. Pic #2 with male flowers removed. Female flowers will be the bulbous shaped buds you see.
 

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3-5-2011 Step #4 - Take a garden hose and spray the palm down good to wash away any male pollen that may have fallen.
 
3-5-2011 Step #5- I use a cotton pillowcase to cover the inflorescence. Tie (as you would a shoe) at the bottom with string or twine. This will keep away unwanted pollen. Note: A easy way if you have no other Butia growing or flowering (you can remove the flower stalks before they open) in the area, but have flowering S.roms in the area. You can stop at Step #4 and let nature take over. You may not get 100% hybrids but you will get good results. Bees do fly a good distance and the wind can carry unwanted pollen.
 

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3-6-11 Remove pillowcase ( I do this daily) and check for any missed male flowers. Remove any male flowers if any. (If you take your time at the first male flower removal you will not have any) I wash down the palm again. Recover the females as in Step #5. When I remove the pillowcase daily I am also checking to see if the female flowers have become receptive. The female flowers will be receptive in a few days. The receptive time will vary due to weather conditions.
 
Here is a little tip I forgot to mention. I remove any other spaths that have the chance of opening flowers in the next week or so.
 

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Very informative Scott - Thanks for the information.

Dean, I wish more palm nuts, if they have these parent palms would do their own. I find it rewarding to say " I did it". I just want to show them it is easy,fun and rewarding to make them from the start.
 
Great information and extremely informative Scott! The only question I am left with surrounds the donor pollen. Should my Butia flower at a time when my queen is not throwing an inflorescence/infructescence (not sure which of the two is correct or what the difference b/w the two is) - is there a way to preserve the pollen for use when Ms. Butia and her female flowers are calling for some pollenation love?

Best Regards,

Rich
 
Great information and extremely informative Scott! The only question I am left with surrounds the donor pollen. Should my Butia flower at a time when my queen is not throwing an inflorescence/infructescence (not sure which of the two is correct or what the difference b/w the two is) - is there a way to preserve the pollen for use when Ms. Butia and her female flowers are calling for some pollenation love?

Best Regards,

Rich

Rich, Yes the pollen can be preserved. Cut the flower stalk from the pollen donor palm (cut it with-in a day or so of spath opening) place upside down in paper sack in a dry place. The stalk can be shaken for a few day so the pollen can fall to the bottom of sack. Pollen should be stored in refrigerator for a couple days to help dry out the moisture. Pollen can then be placed in a air tight container and placed in freezer. When the female flowers become receptive the pollen can be dusted on the female flowers. I have never used this method, to much trouble and I can usually find a donor for the pollen. Scott
 
If you have a problem with squirrels or other seed eating critters you will need to have on hand some wire mesh. This will come in handy to protect your seed on the tree later.
 

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3-7-2011 Removed pillowcase and checked again for a stray male flower, did not find any. I again take a hose and wash down the palm again. I will also mix Isopropyl Alcohol with water at a rate of 50/50 in a spray bottle. Using the spray bottle, spray the general area of the leaf base fibers (not the flower buds) this will kill any male pollen that may be left around. Females have not become receptive at this time. I will get a pic of the receptive females when the time comes. Did a quick count of the female buds, have around 200. Replaced the pillow case.
 

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Scott,

Is there a general rule of thumb or average time between the spathe opening and steps you outlined above - and the female flowers becoming receptive? In my ideal scenario, I find a donor palm throwing a new inflorescence at the same time my cleaned Butia's female flowers are ready to receive the pollen - shake and do the horizonal mombo pollen dance - and there is no need to try and store/preserve the pollen.

Best Regards,

Rich
 
Scott,

Is there a general rule of thumb or average time between the spathe opening and steps you outlined above - and the female flowers becoming receptive? In my ideal scenario, I find a donor palm throwing a new inflorescence at the same time my cleaned Butia's female flowers are ready to receive the pollen - shake and do the horizonal mombo pollen dance - and there is no need to try and store/preserve the pollen.

Best Regards,

Rich

Rich, I have found 4-6 day wait time for the females to reach the receptive stage. The time frame is dependent on tempertures. After looking at the female flowers yesterday I think they may become receptive today. That will be a good thing as the palm donor inflorescence is opening this morning. I was looking around the hood for a back up donor yesterday and found no S.rom in flower or ready to flower in the next few days. I had changed my mind and was going with S.rom as pollen donor, but will go with the Butiagrus who will be in flower. This will reduce the seed set tremendously as Butiagrus have very little male pollen. I have not used this Butiagrus as a pollen donor before and do not know what to expect from its pollen. But the show must go on.
 
3-8-2011 Checked for receptive females. The females are not receptive, but should be any time now.
 
3-09-2011 The female flowers are reaching the receptive stage. In this pic you can notice the yellow stigmas now out of the ovary.
 

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3-09-11 Looking at the pollen donor palm. I will be using a Butiagrus.
 

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3-09-2011 The inflorescence that will be used for the deed in need. Some male flowers are open now, but many await.
 

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3-09-2011 I am using a small bottle tied to the mother Butia to hold water for the inflorescence. I have never used the bottle for water before, but what could it hurt? The cut end of the infloresence is placed in the water filled bottle. The infloresence is placed over the female Butia flowers in wait.
 

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3-09-2011 The inflorescence is recovered with the pillowcase and tied at the bottom with the twine again. What goes on in side that pillow case ( I will let them have privacy) is up to them. I will not open the pillowcase for at least 1 week.
 

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Forgot to show a pic of the water bottle. The water bottle is located below the tied pillow case so it will be easy to keep filled with water. The boys may need a drink.
 

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Here are the high/low temps the Butia has experienced in this flowering cycle from inflorescence drop to the receptive stage. March 5th- 78f/56f, 6th- 77f/61f, 7th-70f/55f, 8th-80f/52f, 9th-82f/66f.
 
Any need to shake the donor inflorescence while cloaked in the privacy of boudoir/honeymoon suite or will the presence of the male pollen under the sheets be enough to seal the deal?

Rich, There will be some shaking going on. I do not shake when using a S.rom. inflorescence. When I use the Butiagrus inflorescence I usually shake daily. Scott
 
Forgot to show a pic of the water bottle. The water bottle is located below the tied pillow case so it will be easy to keep filled with water. The boys may need a drink.

In the first 24hrs the inflorescence drank 1/2 the bottle. That is with .58" of rain from the sky.
 
Ok - really stupid question here....If the goal of stored pollen is to dry it out prior to it being used to do the deed....would you not be jeopardizing the timing of the S. rom pollen releasing from the inflorescence relative to the timing of the B. cap female anthesis becoming receptive?

As you can tell - I'm new to this
 
Ok - really stupid question here....If the goal of stored pollen is to dry it out prior to it being used to do the deed....would you not be jeopardizing the timing of the S. rom pollen releasing from the inflorescence relative to the timing of the B. cap female anthesis becoming receptive?

As you can tell - I'm new to this

Rich, I think the goal of drying the pollen is only for storing the pollen for some time. If you are in the process of drying the S.rom pollen and the Butia girls become receptive, use the pollen. BTW the Butia is now pushing a new spathe. The flowering will be a couple of weeks out and will not effect this seed set. I will use S.rom pollen on that one as S.roms look as they will be in flower then.
 
Checked the females yesterday 3/17, I will leave them covered a little longer. Temps in the past week: 10th- 67f/55f, 11th-63f/48f, 12th-72f/43f, 13th-74f/45f, 14th-76f/48f, 15th-78f/54f, 16th-85f/63f, 17th-83f/59f. In the past week the pollen donor inflorcence has drank 1/2 of the water daily.
 
3/20/2011- The pillowcase was removed. The girls have past the receptive stage and the the girls are now caged. The next flowering on this Butia will be a new cross for me. I will be using pollen from my Allagoptera arenaria. I have waited for the flowering of Allagoptera for a few years and finally I have flower spaths coming out.
 

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Scott - congratulations and very eagerly awaiting the next spathe and the A. arenaria experiment. Sign me up for the customer list for that hybrid seed set and what will be extra rare around these parts.

Somewhat related - is it common for Butia c. spathes to take upwards of three weeks to open? I've been anxiously scouting our community for Syagrus r. donor pollen flower bracts and I've had about 3 candidates open and pass my ideal prime scenario. I've been checking Ms. Butia each day and I'll be darned if that spathe won't open :(. I guess it's like watching water boil - it always takes longer when you're anxiously awaiting....

Thanks again for the great thread and pictorial!

Rich
 
Rich, Butia spathes take their time. Here is a pic of the next Butia spathe (1st pic) that has pushed up about 2" in the last week. This is the one I want to use the Allagoptera (2ed and 3rd pic) pollen on. I may have to save the pollen or try another cross. The Allagoptera flower stalk is growing faster than the Butia. If I have any luck with this I will be happy to share some seed with you.
 

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3/26/2011- The seeds are growing and no seed drop to report yet.
 

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Hi Scott,
The Step by step How to pollenate with pictures is great. I'm hoping to do my own some day, I planted a mature Pindo palm last October but I'm not sure how long it will take for it to grow a spathe?
 
Scott,
The picture of the seeds growing 3/26/2011.
Will the seeds only grow if the pollen was accepted?
Or could some seeds grow that didn't accept pollen but eventually fall off?
 
Scott,
The picture of the seeds growing 3/26/2011.
Will the seeds only grow if the pollen was accepted?
Or could some seeds grow that didn't accept pollen but eventually fall off?
Tatsuo,
I have had them drop after a few weeks if the pollen was not accepted. If I get 2 more weeks without them falling off, all will be good. :) The fruit are getting larger daily and if all is well, will be ripe in June.
 
Hi Scott,
The Step by step How to pollenate with pictures is great. I'm hoping to do my own some day, I planted a mature Pindo palm last October but I'm not sure how long it will take for it to grow a spathe?

I bet you get a spathe soon if it is a mature palm.
 
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