Written by Wijaya - Medan, Indonesia
Edited by David
Date: 21 January 2009
How can you tell if the pollen on a Nepenthes inflorecense is ready to be taken or “milked” (harvested)…
Watch carefully for ants as they will gather around ripe pollen. The petal of the flower bud will also fall back.
When the pollen is ripe, the flower will start to emit a distinctive smell.
When you touch the pollen sacks on the anthlers, the yellow powdery pollen will drop of and stick on your finger.
Not all pollen on an inflorecense will ripen at the same time, so you will need to select and collect only the ripe ones. Cut the flower buds and air dry them on a tray for half-a-day. It is easier this way as fresh flowers and pollen have moisture on them and it would be difficult to collect the pollen directly from the anthlers when it is wet.
After this, place the pollen on a piece of wax paper and fold it up. Remember to write the species name and the date you collected the pollen. They are then ready to be stored in the refrigerator. Please note that you should store the pollen in the refrigerator and not the freezer. The pollen will stay fresh for up to 6 months.