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HYBRIDIZING...


THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT OF ALL IS YOU MUST RE-POLLINATE...2 OR IDEALLY, 3 DAYS IN A ROW, OTHERWISE, ESPECIALLY WITH THE POLYPLOID VARIETIES, YOU WILL GET FEW IF ANY SEEDS.  

NEWLY PLANTED BULBS, ESPECIALLY WITH THE POLYPLOID VARIETIES, WILL GIVE YOU MUCH BETTER SEED SET.  WITH DIPLOIDS THIS IS LESS IMPORTANT.  ON ALL VARIETIES THE POLLEN QUALITY, ON THE OTHER HAND, SEEMS MUCH BETTER WITH BULBS THAT ARE ESTABLISHED, WHETHER IN THEIR 2ND YEAR OF LIFE OR YEARS BEYOND...

FLOWERS THAT HAVE NEWLY OPENED ARE NOT YET RECEPTIVE.  I THINK IT IS BEST TO WAIT AT LEAST A COUPLE DAYS AFTER ITS OWN ANTHERS HAVE OPENED --YES, THERE WILL BE SOME SELFING, BUT THE FLOWER SEEMS TO BE HORMONALLY "PRIMED" BY THIS AND WILL THEN CROSS MUCH MORE READILY.  

IN AN IDEAL SITUTATION, ONE WOULD THEN BE OPENING & POLLINATING AN ADDITIONAL FLORET OR TWO EACH DAY WHEN REPOLLINATING THOSE FLORETS ALREADY CROSSED IN THE PREVIOUS DAYS.


The types of crosses I am making are absolutely unique...

Now for an explanation of some of the parent material I am working with, and after that some of my results:

First, an important discovery, contrary to much published information in China and elsewhere.  The well-known variety, Chinese Sacred Lily, which I commonly refer to as "Single Chinese", is NOT STERILE, but has the fertility level typical for a triploid, a few seeds of varying sizes per pod, but MUST be re-pollinated 2-3 days in a row (during weather at least in the 70's) to get any seed. 


The tetraploid form of Australian Paper White is an incredible improvement upon the original diploid form.   The flowers are MUCH larger, they have vastly better substance, and seem much more rounded in shape as well.    This is the very most likely pollen parent (otherwise it was another tetraploid Paper White) of Toru and the other siblings registered by Max Hamilton in New Zealand, which he grew from a quantity of seed I sent out one year from Autumn Colors x various pollens, the tetraploid paper whites being the only tetraploid pollens used that time.  

Last year I flowered my first seedling from Autumn Colors x hexaploid Chinese Sacred Lily, creamy with golden cup--this year another has bloomed also, this is light yellow with light orange cup, both flowering in December 2008, and then a third has flowered in early January 2009, this third one is by far the best as there are already 3 flowering shoots, as well as a couple more sideshoots.  Like the other two, they have large florets with the very thick wide crown of the Chinese type, and very heavy substance.  They have very abundant pollen and inherit  the incredible scent of the Chinese type.  

Bright Spot, although a backcross of Matador with the poet or Division 3 w-r type, bears abundant fertile pollen.  I have
Altruist x Bright Spot--due to be named, really an amazing late-blooming plant, like a glorified Bright Spot, this is later, larger and taller in all respects, with more yellow in the perianth and a much more intense color in the cup.  It is very distinct from any I have bred using Matador or Yellow Butterfly pollen onto Division 3's

As I make crosses, these goals are in mind:  

Tetraploidy:  I am working for more widespread tetraploidy in tazettas, just as we see in the modern hybrid daffodils ("regular daffodils"). Tetraploid plants have larger florets, thicker substance to improve lasting quality, also the ability to give fertile offspring in crosses with the regular daffodils. 

Different fragrances:  Certain varietes such as Chinese Sacred Lily and related wild forms, especially from the eastern Mediterranean,  have a range of exceptionally nice fragrances.  Currently these are all bicolors--white with a golden yellow cup.  I would like to breed this scent into the yellows as well as into the Matador hybrids.

Doubles:  First, some bad news...Golden Rain when used as a pollen parent onto other tazettas (mostly I have used it on diploids such as the Autumn Colors group) gives either singles or "bullheads"--bullheads are deformed distorted monstrosities that are almost or entirely green in color with no scent and make abnormally huge fat buds of countless petaloids that often do not even open, let alone into a normal flower.  I have seen this deformity occur only very rarely in other varieties, twice in my life as a mutation in Double Chinese, and it is reported to occur occasionally in commercial stocks of Cheerfulness. 

And now for some very GOOD news...Constantinople, (which is NOT the Double Chinese Sacred Lily pictured on my website, but occasionally reverts back to a single form virtually indistinguishable from Single Chinese), routinely bears powdery, fertile pollen on the tips of the many little segments in its tightly filled double center.  So far I have flowered a couple of seedlings, for the first time this year, from crossing onto the Autumn Colors group.  These appear to be diploid, so should be fertile.  They bore abundant pollen and had normal-looking stigmas(!) as well, but were picked to facilitate pollen collection so I won't know about actual seed-fertility til next year. 

One of the Autumn Colors seedlings flowering for the first time this year had 44 florets on the stem--this was not a fasciation of 2 stems either--who else is breeding for this many florets per stem??









Copyright by Bill the Bulb Baron