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Jonathan Haycock

Waite Arboretum: Possible Jubaea hybrid seed?

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Jonathan Haycock

The Payneham Jubaea chilensis is a very fertile palm, producing copious amounts of pollen and subsequent fruit. 

The Jubaea chilensis at Waite Arboretum appears to be self-sterile, offering tiny quantities of poor quality pollen per inflorescence and up until today, hasn’t dropped a single fruit over the last 2 years despite pushing almost year round spathes.

A while ago, I noticed a limited number of fruit forming on the Waite Jubaea. They were more elongated than the round fruit typically seen on this species.

I picked up the ripe windfall, cleaned the fruit to reveal seed that is again elongated, but also smaller than regular Jubaea.

Due to the previous sterility of the Waite Jubaea, I’m wondering if it has been open pollinated by the various Butia or Syagrus next to it? Plenty of helpful insects/birds around plus Adelaide has been exceptionally windy this summer.

I’ve always thought that seed morphology of a pure cocoid palm species does not change whether it has selfed or received pollen from another species. Rather differences show up in the subsequent F1 hybrid parent. 

Could it be seed morphology is an indication of possible hybridisation? Is the Jubaea actually a hybrid? Or am I reading too much into this :lol:?

3EB827CD-384C-4BD4-B99C-BBE24085E2FA.jpeg
Waite Jubaea chilensis seed left, Payneham Jubaea chilensis seed right

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Payneham Jubaea chilensis 

54261FE7-1160-4831-A4BC-4D4617694365.jpeg
Waite Jubaea chilensis 

Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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Fusca
11 hours ago, Jonathan Haycock said:

I’ve always thought that seed morphology of a pure cocoid palm species does not change whether it has selfed or received pollen from another species. Rather differences show up in the subsequent F1

I believe you are correct about your statement above.  I think what you are seeing is just variability in seed within the Jubaea species.  What you are showing in your photo of the Waite Jubaea chilensis seed looks just like Jubaea seeds I've received in the past.  Not saying that they are not hybrid seeds but I don't think there's any way to tell if seeds are hybrids or not until you grow them.

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Jonathan Haycock

It’s an interesting topic and there appears to be some conflicting views on whether Jubaea seed changes morphology if pollen from another species is introduced. 

A palm enthusiast reminded me that Butia eriospatha seed pollinated by Syagrus romanzoffiana “Santa Catarina” are much smaller than pure Butia eriospatha seed. This is also my experience.

 

Edited by Jonathan Haycock

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