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akebia pollinators

 
tel jetson
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I like akebia fruit. last year I hand pollinated the vines here, and it worked fine, but it isn't my favorite thing to do. anybody know which critters pollinate these things in their native habitat?
 
Brad Davies
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I'm interested in this also. I just ordered some Akebia seeds, but havn't planted.

Found some info, but didin't see a pollinator listed.

http://www.paghat.com/akebiafruit.html

http://www.paghat.com/akebia.html

http://www.rainyside.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4579

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/edible/msg0917401811557.html

Now I'm wondering... perhaps because it's a non-native maybe there aren't local pollinators for it...
 
tel jetson
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yeah, I've seen all of those. I don't think they offer any nectar, so I'm not sure what the payoff is for the pollinator. lots of critters eat pollen, but that only accounts for visits to male flowers. the female flower is an inch or so away from a cluster of male flowers.
 
tel jetson
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taking a break on the deck just now, I heard some activity and strolled over to have a look at the akebia. there is a crowd of honey bees taking some pretty serious interest in the flowers. doesn't seem to be any pollen in their baskets, so maybe there is some nectar. they certainly smell good right now.

not the best photo, but there's a bee on an akebia flower.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
tel jetson
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they're only on one variety right now, so the cross-pollination necessary for fruit doesn't seem likely. and I haven't seen any visits to female flowers yet.
 
tel jetson
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just saw a visit to a female. looking closer, it looks to me like some of the female flowers have a couple of stamens growing. hmm.
 
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