Re: Pollinating VFTs

From: Paul Temple (
Date: Mon Aug 09 1999 - 11:25:03 PDT

Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 18:25:03 +0000
From: Paul Temple <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2863$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Pollinating VFTs


>but just how does one pollinate a VFT?

Yes, all the methods you used are fine. In nearly 20 years of keeping CP's,
and always retaining VFT's, I finfd the most reliable way to pollinate is to
bend flowers of different plants together such that the pollen on the still
attached anthers touches the stigma of another plant. I find this produces
significantly more seed than either using brushes (or their equivalents (e.g.
Q-Tips) and far more pollen is visibly transferred in this way.

>Also, what is the difference between the flower stalk going black because
>it is dying, and going black after it has been pollinated?

Flowers (and leaves) regularly go black and die on VFT's. Flower stalks
seem particularly unsure of life if they arise very early in the year.
But after pollination, the blackening area should be very limited to the
old flower area and base of the flower, not to the rest of the stalk.
However, you won't know this is the limit of "blackening" until quite a
while after pollination. A better clue is that the flowers cruch up
like a tightened fist and then, somewhat later, will blacken. If any
part of the flower stalk goes black below the point at which all the
flowers join, you're out of luck.

Once successfully pollinated, you can leave the VFT alone. You needn't pick
the seed pods until they begin to burst. Once slightly burst you will see
small black seeds that shine even in moderate light looking like tiny black
gems, arguably prettier than VFT flowers. The seeds will remain attached to
the pods for a long while so you needn't rush to pick them before they
scatter. Just make sure the very long flower stalks do not bend over, dumping
the whole of the seed head into any nearby water!

Hope this helps a bit.



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