The Plant Breeder's Life

Pollen collected from the male parent anthers is used to pollinate the female (staminate) flower. The plant is carefully tagged where the cross is made and seed can later be collected. This would be the result of a controlled cross.

Adding pollen to the emasculated (female) flower. Image by Dale Lindgren

The tag is tied to the petiole holding the female flower. The tag tells the plant breeder who the male and female parents are and the date they were crossed. Image by Dale Lindgren

Penstemon seeds harvested from a flower. Image by Dale Lindgren



Dale the plant breeder collected pollen from dozens of stamens from the same male plant on Friday and performed many crosses. On Monday he wants to do more crosses. However, the male plant is no longer producing flowers. He should?

Looks Good! Correct: Pollen is made of specialized cells and it must be alive to perform successful crosses.

Assume that Dale’s wife wants the family to go on a three week summer vacation. Dale needs to make several hundred native plant crosses each year. Dale’s answer to his wife is?

To review this concept go to Flowering Principles: Flower Development and Time.

Looks Good! Correct: Timing is everything in the life of a plant breeder.