Flasking Definitions & Vocabulary
Species (singular and plural are the same): This is surprisingly difficult to define so I chose the easiest interpretation from Wikipedia: "A group subordinate to a genus and containing individuals agreeing in some common attributes and called by a common name."
Genus (plural is genera): Species that are believed to have the same ancestors are grouped together, and this group is called a genus. All organisms have two-part names (binomials); the genus is the first of these, the species is the second.
Hybrid: A cross made with two species (primary hybrid) , or a species and a hybrid or two hybrids (complex hybrid).
Clone: An orchid whose genetic information is identical to that of the parent orchid from which it was created. This can happen via division or mericloning.
Capsule (Pod) Parent: The plant that was pollinated and held the capsule.
Pollen Parent: The plant that supplied the pollen to form the capsule.
Reciprocal cross: A cross where a capsule is set on each of two plants, each using the other's pollen.
Outcross: Two clones of the same species that are not closely related used to produce seed.
Sibling cross: A cross made using plants that came from the same parents.
Backcross: Seed set using a seedling and one of its parents.
Selfing: Only one plant involved to produce seed. The pollen from the plant is used to pollinate itself.
Spontaneous: Capsules appeared without human intervention. I very rarely sow these since it is always possible that it is a hybrid with something that was in bloom at the time.
Flask: The sealed container used to hold the plants for growth in a sterile environment.
Mother flask: The first flask into which the seed is sown and hopefully germinated.
Spread flask: The second step in flasking where the now germinated seeds (called protocorms) are moved into multiple flasks so that the protocorms have room to grow into plantlets.
Replate flask: Plantlets (small plants bearing leaves) are moved onto medium to grow.
Final flask: The last stage where the required number of plants is placed in a growth/rooting medium to continue growing until they reach a good size and have roots suitable for deflasking.
Protocorm: A tuberous mass of cells that is the embryonic form of orchids. The stage befor leaves begin to form.
Ploidy (Treated/Untreated): This the number of sets of chromosomes in the nucleus of a cell. Crosses that have been marked on my website as "treated for ploidy" have been treated chemically at the protocorm stage with a chemical known to change the chromosome count in the hope of getting tetraploid (4N) plants. See a more complete explanation on my page Ploidy.
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