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Abstract

The genus Zephyranthes and the related genus Habranthus in the family Amaryllidaceae are commonly grown ornamental bulbs having new world homologies. Inter-specific and inter-generic hybridizations are complicated by the fact that some of the species are apomictic, cross incompatible, or have widely variable 2n chromosome numbers. A simple, inexpensive method of pollen storage was tested to evaluate the production of hybrid seed. Intact anthers harvested after pollen release and stored at 4°C were used for pollination. Emasculated flowers were pollinated at noon on the first or second day of anthesis. Hybrid crosses were labeled and seed collected when formed. All available parents were used in hybridizations except when species were known to have apomictic or pseudogamous seed development. Hybridization data were recorded for seedpods having successful seed set as well as those that aborted. Development of 'normal' seedpods filled with seed occurred even though viable embryos were not always formed. Fj Z. grandiflora was successful 55% of the time, and Pink Trihybrid, a rather infertile seed parent, was successful at least 19% of the time. These data suggest that repeating many crosses ultimately produced a few hybrids in problematic crosses. In addition to producing seed of potentially interesting new hybrids, this study helped to identify successful seed and pollen parents for future breeding efforts. Hybrid seed was sown to test viability of the progeny.

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