polinated some hellis again

John Yates

Carnivorous Plant Addict
seen a few post on heli flowers , now back with my G/h up i can start pollinating again ,here is H.inoasii and H. purpurascens that have been self-ed and pods about 1/2 way there there ripening stage ,may ripen quicker now the temps are getting hotter here in our summer , good to get back to pollinating them again .



Just remember the pollen is only released after the stigma is no longer receptive (protogyny). So wait until the stamens of the first flower are ripe and collect the pollen. By that time usually the second flower can be pollinated so put the pollen onto the tip of the stigma.
Just like pepper, tomatoes, Cyclamen or similar flowers the pollen is stuck within the anthers and is only released when a flying pollinator lile a bumblebee contacts the flower. So best use some buzzing tool to release the pollen: Either a tuning fork, an electric shaver or whatever with a high frequency. I use an electic toothbrush that I bring in contact with the stem which produces a whitish-yellow cloud of pollen deposited onto a black paper that I hold closely underneath the flower at the same time. Then gently dip the tip of the stigma of the other flower into that. You can store the pollen dry for a while. Just repeat the dipping the following days to be sure. It worked if the ovary/capsule starts swelling after a couple of weeks.
Good luck!


Staff member
@John Yates looks like you got a good number of seeds! Excited to see how they germinated.

I think Eric summed up the pollination process fairly well!

John Yates

Carnivorous Plant Addict
thanks guys , yep its what or close to what i would have posted for the pollination and pollen extraction , just some finer points as always :) , each specie releases its pollen at different stages , eg:- H.ionasii like to have very mature anther,where H. purpurascens was differently less mature looking in its pollen release , where others may like to have less or similar mature anthers to release its pollen , have not worked out if it sun or humidity or temps that do this , i just have to be very vigilant and know that ones i have release at particular stages of maturity, its give it a bit of buzz with tuning fork and see , personally like the tuning fork directly on the anthers repeatedly as some times extended attempts release's the pollen ,some times it takes 10 to 12 attempts to get the anther to release, put the buzzing fork directly on the anthers , it works best for me that way ,having to hit the fork repeatedly is a pain but results all ways have been good this way for me , so just keep trying , green anthers usually dont have mature pollen they need to be a bit yellow dry-ish looking , and hybrids can be all over the place, keep the flowers dry , as wet flowers dont release pollen well , thats only round pollen extraction times , has no effect on them other wise, I use a art brush to apply the pollen to the stigma with a fine tip i cut myself with sharp scissors , and moisten slightly ( the tip) before putting the brush tip into the collected pollen ,this allows the pollen to stay on the brush tip better for me,( same as using the petal dew on the nep flowers for pollen intake at the receptors ) often the pollen is hard to see when using baking paper as a pollen storage platform, so know where it is by marking it as often you may get only a very small amount of pollen extracted, its all you need really ,
flower's are usually receptive for short periods of time , often is again why many cant get pollination,timing is very critical here , personally I have found they are often best receptive around when the flower peals are open just enough to allow bee or wasp in, so it looks like a circle opening up , must take a photo to show you, but all my flowers are gone now so will try remember when flowers happen next , so i open up the flower to see the stigma more visually , the receptors look more open( receptive) you can apply the pollen over the next day or so several times if needed but have found once or twice in 3 to 5 hrs is usually enough , the way to know if it successful is the stigma with change to a darker colour quickly in just a minute or less ,some times in less then 30 seconds , it goes almost blackish or dark brown then its done, pollination successful ,the stigma sucks up the pollen and then close of the receptors turning the stigma receptor dark , indicating pollination is done ,sound simple but took me several seasons to perfect this , so once again may need to find what works for you , hope this guide may help a bit , any question in application or aspects of this procedure just ask will try to help
pollen storage, have found the baking paper the best product to keep the pollen on, as it will not spoil the pollen and keep it dry , I use a larger piece of baking paper than needed so i can fold it up and put into a air tight container for fridge storage, this pollen can be stored this way for for many months while waiting for other flowers to come to maturity for next pollination, or can be put in freezer for several years and come out perfect for long term pollination , have done this many times, dryness is the key to this to be successful , the clip down rubber seal containers are the best for this application , have stored in the baking paper in the fridge in my lab fridge the pollen of many heli pollen's for months with pollen straying dry and viable ,got to love that baking paper , folding it into many folds is the way to do it if you don't have a container , keeps it nice and dry ,hope this helps a bit to
cheers john
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Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
I waited until the pistil withdrew and the anthers looked a little dryish. I used a tuning fork and saw some puffs of pollen and collected a pinch of creamy pollen on wax paper. Put it into the freezer waiting for the next flower to open.