No matter - an increasing number of the other oca seedlings are starting to flower, so I've decided to try and ascertain what kind of stylar arrangement each individual has. This should make it a little easier to cross pollinate them and produce more botanical seed, ready for a further round of sowing, growing and selecting.
As of yesterday there are 15 seedlings in flower, with another four likely to do so in a few days.
Of the flowers I have examined so far, two stylar morphs are present. Consulting my CIP oca descriptors I find these are 1) brevistilia and 2) mesostilia - that's short-styled and medium-styled. I haven't seen any long-styled flowers yet, although I'm pretty sure that some of the potential parents in my possession display this trait. The following image will hopefully make apparent the differences.
The flower on the left has the stigmas positioned at the base of the flower, below both whorls of stamens and is thus short-styled. The flower on the right has the stigmas between the whorls of stamens and is therefore mid-styled.
Breathless update: I've now discovered a seedling (0905 to be precise),with the third type of flower, called in CIP lingo "longostilia", or long-styled. I didn't have my camera with me, unfortunately.
So far the short styles outnumber the medium styles by roughly 2:1, which seems strangely significant and will no doubt prompt me to go and do some research on the mechanisms of inheritance of heterostyly in oca. What better way to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend?
Due to the attention lavished on my little darlings, (perhaps I should call them ocarinas), I didn't get round to planting the tubers of the other varieties until a bit later. So, although some are starting to form flower buds, they're not as precocious as my own little brats. I've got a fairly good idea of which varieties are the likely parents of my brood, so I'll be interested to see what floral arrangements they have (and I'm not talking ikebana or wedding bouquets).
Some seedlings have reddish sepals, as seen in the following photo: