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confused about terms - plant sterility and pollen

FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116

Hi, I am (still) trying to get clear on what various plant terms mean. I understand that many hybrid plants are 'sterile' and am trying to understand how seed production is related to pollen. Geranium Rozanne for example is sterile but apparently is great for pollinators as it produces large amounts of pollen.

The 'Telegraph' states "Although sterile (its inability to produce seed means it never tires of flowering), bees still raid it for its protein-rich pollen".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/how-to-grow/top-10-all-weather-perennial-plants/geranium-rozanne/

I am wanting to know how to buy *hybrids* that will be good pollen producers for pollinators. Clearly, finding out whether they are sterile or not is no help as sterile plants can still happily produce lots of pollen. Most bedding plants are sterile and don't produce pollen, but the two are not related.

I've read other GW threads that suggest sterile and non-pollen producing are the same thing. Which is confusing - and not accurate, it seems.

http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/wildlife-gardening/are-sterile-plants-any-good-for-wildlife/4976.html

I know that buying species varieties is a safe bet re pollen, but I am interested to about the type of hybrids I commonly encounter in nurseries, plant swaps and garden centres. There is a lot of mislabelling that goes on online and in centres, now that plants for pollinators are trendy. Red plants are labelled as good for pollinators, for example, despite the fact that pollinators can't see them.

Is there any good site you can recommend where I can learn the detail of sterility/pollen - without getting massively technical?

Thanks

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,185

    HELLO FIREFLY,

    THE ARTICLE COULD HAVE BEEN CLEARER. "POLLINATORS" MEANS BEES.

    THE POOR OLD PLANT IS A MAN MADE FRANKENSTEIN CREATURE. IN NATURE IT WOULD NEVER EXIST. 

    IT MAKES POLLEN BUT IT DOESN'T KNOW THAT IT IS WASTING ITS TIME.image

    Last edited: 04 September 2017 12:22:33

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116

    Hi, sorry, which article could have been clearer? I'm interested in putting useful, pollen-rich plants in the garden - for bees, beetles, hoverflies etc. It seems that this can include sterile plants.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,185

    THE LINKS, NOT THE ARTICLE.

    POLLEN IS POLLEN IS POLLEN TO A BEE. IT DOESN'T CARE WHETHER IT IS FERTILE OR STERILE, IT STILL CONTAINS ALL THE FATS, SUGARS AND AMINO ACIDS THAT THE BEE NEEDS.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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