For the pros....selfing a species

kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)March 31, 2010

For the pros on the list...

If you self an H. species (not a hybrid), do you get the species?? There are fields of H. Johnsonii in Texas....all selfs and offsets. They all look like H. Johnsonii. My H. Evansiae is going to bloom. If I self it, can I call the seedlings H. Evansiae since it's a pure species and not a hybrid??

Thanks in advance. Just 2 days to wait! YELLOW!!! Will post photos!


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Kristi,H.X Johnsonii Is a primary hybrid of two different species of Hippeastrum. It looks virtually the same every time seeds are planted,because it has become "stabilized" in what it will pass down geneticly. Stabilization occurs when a cultivar is selfed and the seeds are grown,time after time, without the introduction of pollen from other cultivars or species.
If I remember correctly, Evansiae will not self,nor will it accept pollen.My memory is far from good,so check it.It does offset very well.If it Would self,as some species do,then the resulting seedling would be Evansiae.There are always exceptions to every rule concerning genetics,so I would try to self it, knowing it is impossible. You would have lost only a little pollen,if it doesn't work. Without a doubt, all offsets are the same as the mother bulb.
Parodii,a cousin of Evansiae is also yellow and has been used in the development of recent yellow hybrids.Incidently, not all Evansiae are yellow. Some are pink.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:26PM
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Hi Kristi,

Yes, if you self-pollinate a clone of a true Hippeastrum species (e.g., H. evansiae), fertilization occurs, and viable seed is produced within the capsule, the progeny will also be the species. Unfortunately, many species are self-sterile.



    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:28PM
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Hi Del!

Sorry, I did not see your thorough reponse before I dashed off a quick reply.



    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Blanca, you don't ever have to apoligize for posting similar information. It only reenforces the facts to those trying to learn.Besides that, My post probably wasn't evident,because of the closness of the time.I don't mind people helping other people, whether I am at the same time or not.I quite often learn from your replies.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Thank you, kind sir!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 11:10PM
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If you selfpollinate a species Hippeastrum or (cross)pollinate two different clones of a species Hippeastrum then you will receive the species Hippeastrum, again. But every seedling is its own individual clone because, as the existence of differet clones of them parents already suggests, they are slightly different in their genetic makeup.

"Chico" and "Reggae" represent extraordinary clones of the species Knight Star Lily H.cybister. (I cannot fully exclude that I am totally wrong on this point but nowhere did I receive contradicting information) They can be attributed as "extraordinarily beautiful selections" out of H.cybister (they were created by Fred Meyer, who depassed in 1999), but they are ("simply") H.cybister clones.

As to the primary Hybrid H x johnsonii, created through crossbreeding H.reginae with H.vittatum [I either forgot which was the seed producer and the pollen spender respectively - or the information is not available at all]I assume that these are exclusively propagated vegetatively, thus the uniformity of the "Johnsonii Herds"! Progeny from selfing this nice heirloom hybrid should absolutely yield all kinds and stages of intermediate forms between H.vittatum and H.reginae.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 1:38AM
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Good question Kristi!

I agree with all of the above and would only suggest one thing though. Like papilios, Xjohnsoniis and evansiaes have different clones. It would be good if you would take note and document your specimen plant and try to know which clone it is or at least it's source. Like my evansiae that came from a bulblet seperated from a bulb sourced from Alan Meerow. Mine has rejected self pollination and other attempts on pollinating it. I had a lot more success with my Japanese yellow hybrids.

My Xjohnsoniis come from a friend in TX who grows them all over her backyard. She never gets them to set seeds at all after years of attempts, selfed or not. The ones she sent me here did accept pollens from some of my Japanese hybrids. It's seeds are very dark and thicker than the regular Hippie seeds. Almost half as thick as Worsleya seeds.

Now this is what I have learned from sticking with the "clivia crowd" that could possibly explain the clone of fertile Xjohnsoniis that would produce Xjohnsonii seedlings looking like the parents. LINE BREEDING would eventually give results like this. This is the criss crossing and selfing of that same batch or plants for several years (siblings and parents). Just like how Del explained above..."genes getting stabilized".

Good luck and pollinate away!!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 2:58AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Well...I will try and pollinate my H. Evansiae. I have no idea of the source. The tag says it's yellow, so we'll see. The bloom is 1-2 days from opening. Funny, I didn't even think about the Johnsonii not setting a single seed pod last year (I got them in bloom...dug them from a friend's field). They are getting ready to bloom too, so may have to investigate that further. I have only made 3 crosses this year of the hybrids. Really want to see what last year's crossed turn out like since I have 100+ of them!

This "hobby" is not for impatient people!

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 7:02AM
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I decided not to write a book, in the previous post,so I didn't say several things.There may still actually be clones of the original species primary hybrid,but here in the US there are large plots of X Johnsonii which are stabilized. Like Papilio,and others, some will self, or pollinate within the clone,some clones will not. All over the southern US, Puniceum and Striatum grow in yards with no care whatsoever. So do many early hybrids,including X H.Johnsonii. Some H.X Johnsonii appear a little different than others. This cultivar offsets almost as fast as bacteria,so I doubt that tissue culture mutation has come into play.
Here in Florida,many people hand all these varieties down,having no Idea what their names are. They grow in many old yards,with no care,among weeds,grass,or in bare,very dry sand. The fact that some of them survive is a small miracle. I don't remember which was the pollen parent of H. X Johnsonii.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:41AM
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I'm posting less following a flooded home (washing machine)
It has been said that to help selfs set seed you might try taking pollen from another Hippy, microwave it, to kill the viability, then mix with self pollen.
It is my understanding H. johnsonii was taken to the Houston area shortly after the hybrid was created. Kristi is from the area. Following this winter's hard freezes should be a good time to look for those clones that survived as they should be less tender.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:10PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Thanks Pat...the tip about nuking pollen is great! Will try. Have a day or 2 to plan.

Sorry about the flood. WM hose is a great fear of mine. Yup...these were dug out of the woods just north of Houston. Survived days of freezing weather beautifully and are blooming earlier this year than last.
Will post photos when they bloom.

Happy wet'vac-ing. SORRY...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Johnsonii is reportedly the very first hybrid ever recorded, if memory serves me correctly.

I dug up my first Johnsonii at my sister's ranch in east central Texas in the winter of 1991. They were growing under a huge Walnut tree, and at that time, there were only leaves with no blooms.

Between 1991 and 2006, there were no seed pods despite many blooms. In 2007 (I hope this is correct, no time to look), Hans-Werner convinced me to self them. It was a great year to try this because there were many days without our normal heavy March rains.

I couldn't believe my eyes! There were seed pods, and they actually ripened. I planted many, but none appear to be ready to bloom this year. Even as seedlings, many of these babies multiplied like rabbits.

Like others have said, I suspect that the fields are filled with bulblets rather than seedlings.

The good news is that Johnsonii definitely produces seed with self, Amputo and Pink Floyd. I don't recall trying any others, but I hope to do so when life settles down a bit.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 5:16PM
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Of the few bulbs I got from my friend, I never thought about selfing them when they bloomed. I didn't think I had the need to do so as they multiply fast anyway.

This is my friend's backyard and this XJohnsonii is the clone I am talking about that does not self or sets seed over there.

Ill take pics of it's seeds and post them next time.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 5:49PM
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I promise you that they will self and can be hybridized. It is simply that they don't seem to do so naturally.


Here is a link that might be useful: Johnsonii

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:28PM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Yep, it all makes sense to me from the above posts so I will simply add one thing....that field of Hippis is absolutely wonderful :o) Dan

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 7:08PM
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Here are the pics of some of the Xjohnsonii seeds that I harvested. In my experience Xjohnsonii can accept other's pollens. Just very picky though.

Xjohnsonii X Viva Papilio seeds
Thick, rounded and dark/blackish color

Xjohnsonii seeds (left) with Gilmar seeds (right)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:46AM
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