Pacific Giant Delphinium selfed?

sambal(z8 Seattle WA)February 10, 2008

Last season I grew a few Pacific Giant Delphiniums. Two of the plants did very well, both of them a light blue with a white bee. They were growing in the same lg. container. At the end of the season, I gathered a number of seeds. I now have a dozen plants ready to transplant. I have read that commercial seed growers collect seed from open pollinated P.G. Delphiniums. So,is it safe to assume the traits are set. Should I expect light blue plants identical to their parents? thanks, Sam An aside. These seed were gathered this autumn and germinated readily without any special treatment. There is truth to the warning that fresh seeds germinate far faster and easier than older ones.

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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

I have exchanged some emails with Sam though we talked about more theoretical stuffs.

Sam, maybe we can work a little on this one more specifically. Could you give us more information? How did you get your original two plants? Are they given to you as plants? as seed? If seeds, are they from the same package? If you purchased the package yourself, could you provide the link to the seed package description?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 6:08PM
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sambal(z8 Seattle WA)

Dave. I grew the plants from a packet of Lily-Miller Pacific Giants Delphiniums. It is a mix. These seeds are available under several company names. They are commonly available on seed racks in the garden section of 'big box' stores and groceries. The two plants look identical. When I posted the question, I didn't realize that although they came from the same mix, they could very likely have different parents, as the growers of P.G. Delphs. collect seed from open pollinated plants. I gathered ALOT of seed. As they can reach 4 to 7 feet and require at least a foot of space between plants, I only sowed approx 15 seeds, which are due to be potted on today. However, I am going to sow more today because, as you mentioned in an email, once the plant starts to bloom, I will know what color, size, etc. it is and can then remove it from the limited garden space that I am working with. One thing I have already learned from this 'experiment' is that FRESH delphinium seed germinates readily without any pretreatment, while the older seed sold in packets, usually require a period of cold stratification before they will sprout. If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to send some seed! Thanks, Sam

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 3:26PM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

Seattle must be nice right now. Overhere I just plowed 4 inches of snow today.

Please keep us posted. I am very interested in the outcome. The package that I saw at Walmart yesterday on P.G. Dephs show red, purple, blue, pastel blue in the picture. If yours were cross pollinated, it is quite possible that you get different colors from the blue parents.

Yes, grow as many as your space permits, knowing that you don't have to keep them all (do record them all though) because the statistics tell something about their parents.

I guess now we all have to wait....

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 12:30AM
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sambal(z8 Seattle WA)

Hi D. That is what I think, too. Alot of color genes in that strain of Delphs. Yes, we are starting to get up to the low 50's during the day. I am starting to harden off my hardy plant babies. Even though I grow under lights there is no substitute for fresh air and sunshine. I need to know the thread that MM was involved in. I can't find it...guess my memory is worse than I thought. I have a bunch of pelagorium, (geranium), that is called Colorama, F2. They have nearly all germinated. They are assorted colors.. Wonder if they are worth starting another post? Be careful shoveling that stuff. I lived in North Dakota for eight years, and I feel for you! However, you have a spring and a summer, and we don't usually get summer until mid-July! Sam

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:38PM
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