After my last post, you might have guessed I’ve been busy hand pollinating a few haworthias earlier. I just finished harvesting the last pod from my most successful cross, most of which are – I believe – Haworthia Truncata x Maughanii (mother plant, on the left) and Haworthia Cymbiformis Planifolia (pollen plant, on the right), both of which are smaller offsets that had just been rerooted in three inch pots last summer.
I worked with a brush, so this may not be exactly precise, but it’s my best guess. Interestingly enough, I managed to get five pods to set on the maughanii x truncata, but none to set in reverse on the cymbiformis.
I wasn’t sure, given their smaller size, how many seeds to expect per pod; normally seeds are sold or auctioned in sets of five, ten, or fifteen, depending on the rarity of the plant; for me, I managed to get a range of seven to twenty from one pod – twenty being the lowest pod on the stem (and the largest flower); on average, it seemed to be about eight to ten.
I’ve seen various tactics for catching seeds (Which are rather small) ranging from small bags over the pods, to a cut length of drinking straw; I went the old fashioned way and just checked morning, noon, and night to see when the pods were starting to dry and split on their own, at which point I immediately snipped them and poked them apart over a white ceramic plate. Once I had all the seeds out, I gave them a quick rinse in a diluted peroxide solution, and then into a paper envelope to dry for five to six months – which, I’ve been told, gives you the best germination rates as that mimics the natural off-season “rest” period.
It was suggested to me by a breeder (who I’ve purchased seeds from in the past) that the cross reminded him of Anakin (Darth Vader, on the left) and Padme (on the right) – making the offspring “Panakin”. I’ll keep that in mind if the crosses come out remotely interesting, although a google search of some similar crosses (I can’t find any examples of this same cross exactly) make me think it may be more interesting as a novelty unless I get a really lucky quirky set of genetics taking dominance. Time will tell!