Pollen of most plants in the Amaryllis Family, the Amaryllidaceae, can be stored for extended periods of time and still retain useful viability.
Storage should be done in a tightly closed container. I prefer using 1.5 mL microcentrifuge tubes of polyethylene or polypropylene (Eppendorf tubes). Two or three anthers are removed from their "stems" (filaments) (see Anatomy of a Flower). Place the anthers in a microcentrifuge tube, and leave open at the top.
Dry the anthers. In very dry climates, such as deserts and semi-deserts, drying in air will probably suffice. In humid climates, such as the Northeastern U.S.A., it is better to place the microcentrifuge tube with its anthers in a larger container with some drying agent such as Blue Silica Gel Crystals, for 12 to 24 hours. When dry, cap the microcentrifuge tube tightly. Label the tube with the botanical name and the date. Store the tube in a home freezer.
The length of time that a sample of pollen can be stored will depend on several factors:
Best of luck with your pollen!
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Last revised: 06 February 2010
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