|Orchid seedlings in one of our back up greenhouses|
A big priority for us this year has been to pollinate some of the choicest orchids in our collection. We have two goals. The first is to generate more plants for installation in the Fuqua Orchid Center. The second, and more important, is to reinvigorate our collection by producing healthy young seedlings.
|Sarah removes the anther cap from Anguloa clowesii|
|Removing the pollinarium from the anther cap|
Any plant that is maintained in a collection for many years needs to be vegetatively propagated by cuttings or division at intervals in order to provide replacement material. But when inbreeding contributes to its decline, then performing an outcross (i.e., use genetically different parents to produce seed) can be the best way to obtain healthy offspring while preserving some of the original genes. Outcrossing introduces new genes into the next generation and means that more offspring will be vigorous.
|Sarah pollinating Anguloa clowesii|
|Data-the date and parentage- is recorded on a label and on a form and then transferred to an Excel file|
|The label is attached to the orchid below the ovary|