Posted 01 June 2008 - 12:52 PM
Hello David & all,
I'm by no means an expert on bromeliads, but I have grown Brocchinia reducta and Aechmea fasciata from seed. I have not grown Brocchinia hechtioide, but I believe they have complete flowers, and that are at least capable of setting seed.
From my experience both plant genera (I have not grown all species / hybrids from either genus!) are self compatible and can be pollinated using a single clone. I would think a person would get stronger plants from seed using separate clones, but I have not been lucky enough to have the option of trying.
Getting viable pollen to the stamens is a part of the difficulty with getting bromeliads to set seed. If the temperature, light or humidity are not right, the pollen will not ripen.
Pollinating the flowers at the correct time of day is the trick. Timing for pollination is dependent on cultural conditions the pants are in. I have followed directions of other growers and attempted to pollinate bromeliads at 4:00am without success. It seemed my plants flowers opened and the pollen was ripe in the early afternoon.
It seems in Florida, USA our seasons and temperature ranges are so diverse it is just a matter of time to achieve the correct conditions for successful pollination of most bromeliads.
I have read many times that Ananas "Pineapple" do not set seed, or are sterile, yet I am presently growing several vigorous plants from seed that I obtained from the fruits. The seed of "Pineapple" is difficult to find, but they are small 1-2mm, red hard seeds, just under the outer coat or rind.
Brocchinia reducta have numerous dry brown samara, contained in capsules that hopefully Brian will get good photographs of when his plants seed capsules ripen. B. reducta seed is viable for months after harvest. I would guess that B. hectioide has similar fruits and seed.
Growing bromeliads from seed is a topic for another post.
Sorry for going on,