Oca: Flower forms

I use the descriptors established by the International Institute of Phytogenetic Resources for the oca (Oxalis tuberosa) profiles on this site.  They define three flower forms: round, starlike, and pentagonal.  Here is what each of them looks like: Round is defined as 75% or greater overlap of the petals. Round oca flower Starlike is defined […]

Potatoes: Potato flowers (Part 2)

blank

The stats for my first post of potato flower pictures showed a lot of people doing web searches for potato flowers.  So, by indirect but popular demand, I bring you part two.  There are also some general updates about our potato season toward the bottom. Black Irish potato flowers Azul Toro potato flowers Maris Piper […]

Oca: Seeds up close

Ten freshly minted oca (Oxalis tuberosa) seeds awaited me this morning, the results of cross OC13-S10x04-05, Hopin x Unknown Orange.  Although I’m sure this will soon lose its thrill, it was nearly as exciting as the first few seeds that I collected.  Ten seeds seems like a pretty respectable yield, although, according to my research, […]

Oca: Maximizing seed yield of crosses

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) flower morphs

When my oca (Oxalis tuberosa) began to flower, I set out to learn as much as possible about crossing, since I was aware that oca has a rather complicated tristylous incompatibility system.  In brief, that means that it has three types of flowers, each bearing two types of stamens, each one of which corresponds to […]

Oca: Mission accomplished

First oca (Oxalis tuberosa) seeds at Cultivariable

I’m sure you remember George Bush’s speech on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, backed by a giant banner that declared “Mission Accomplished.”  This demonstrated that any mission can be accomplished, so long as you define the goals narrowly enough and also that even accomplished missions are likely to be part of a much longer campaign. […]

Oca: Of pods and pollinators

Small bee pollinating oca (Oxalis tuberosa)

I suppose there is a risk of boring you all to death with the non-stop oca (Oxalis tuberosa) posts, but most of my garden time right now is focused on trying to get seeds from our oca plants and removing a plague of slugs from our potatoes.  I thought about doing a post on the […]

Potatoes: Potato flowers

blank

One thing that you miss when buying your potatoes at the store is the wonderful display that they put on when they flower.  Flowering is good news for the traditional potato grower, as it signals the beginning of tuberization.  It is also good news for those who want to grow from seed, since the plant […]

Oca: Flowering & crossing update

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) dropped flower

Well, the good news is that our oca (Oxalis tuberosa) is continuing to flower in good numbers, with 20-30 new flowers opening every day across seven varieties.  I have been doing my best bumble bee imitation, transferring pollen from one end of the garden to the other in the hope of producing oca seeds.  Unfortunately, […]

Oca: Cross pollination chart

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) cross compatibility chart

Here is an early effort at a crossing chart for varieties of oca (Oxalis tuberosa) available in the US.  It still needs a few varieties to be filled in, but it doesn’t seem likely that I’m going to get them to flower this year.  I’ll eventually update the chart when I learn the flower types […]

Oca: Short-styled flower up close

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) short-styled flower

I’ve noticed that pollen doesn’t seem to mature at the same time for the different tiers of anthers in oca (Oxalis tuberosa) flowers.  Sometimes the longer stamens seem to have loose pollen, while the shorter stamens don’t.  I spent some time looking at oca flowers under the microscope to see if I could find a […]