Isn't everything a hybrid?

Diver_DougMay 31, 2014

Okay, I'm pretty new to all of this so excuse me if I'm ignorant, but I'm thinking that EVERYTHING is a hybrid. My understanding of a hybrid is that it is simply taking the pollen from the flower of one plant and transferring it to the flower of another plant which will result in hybridized seeds which, if planted, will produce a hybrid plant. Presumably this has been happening for as long as there have been flowers and bees...so isn't everything a hybrid, including things like "heirlooms"?

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zen_man

Hi Diver_Doug,

Everything is not a hybrid. Some species of plants have their floral parts designed so that their pollen automatically gets fertilized on their stigmas. I think Sweet Peas are an example, but there are many such.

If a bee transfers pollen from one plant to another plant of the same variety, and both plants are essentially identical, the result is not a hybrid, since both parents are of the same variety. Normally, a "hybrid" is thought of as a cross between two plants that differ in one or more ways.

Sometimes the seed companies will refer to the progeny of a hybrid as "hybrid" because it was derived from a hybrid cross. That practice borders on false advertising, because some customers may think they are getting F1 hybrid seed when, in fact, they are not.

ZM

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:13PM
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