sofia20November 18, 2004

Hi all,

I was curious to know if seeds normally gathered from nature are most likely to produce identical plants or hybrids. Sorry for my ignorance on the subject but I 'm growing fragrant plants and one of my seed sources hinted on the fact that a specific plant hybridizes easily and now I find myself looking with new eyes at all of my seedlings!!

thanks, sofia

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Walter_Pickett(5-6 KS)

That depends so much on what seeds you are talking about, and where you got the seeds. I wouldn't generalize about this.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2004 at 6:35PM
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jimster(z7a MA)


With wild plants, hybridization means crossing of species, which is a little different from hybridization of garden plants. With garden plant hybrids, we normally are talking about crossing varieties or cultivars, although crossing of species is sometimes performed in garden plant breeding.

Certain species of wild plants are known to produce natural hybrids. But, in most cases, wild plants do not form hybrids for various reasons such as geographic isolation of possible hybridizing partners or bloom times which don't correspond.

Most often, seed collected from wild plants will produce plants which are of the same species as the plant from which the seed was collected, and the characteristics of the offspring will fall within the range of genetic variation of the population from which it was collected.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2004 at 9:37PM
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thanks for the info,
my seedlings are gardenias and probably I was over reacting because one has narrower leaves than the rest and another lighter colored leaves but it is obviously due to difference in watering or sun exposure since they are still really small ..leaves are only about 1.5 cm long :-)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 6:07AM
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It's quite possible your differences are environmental, not genetic, but don't write off the possiblity that these are genetic differences. While hybrdization work with wild species usually focuses on crosses between species or between wild material and cultivated lines, there's no reason variation can't occur in wild plants. I'm not familiar with gardenia's flower structure, but unless it's a closed flower which can only be self-fertilized (in which case the offspring will certainly be quite uniform), then a certain level of variation in seedlings can be expected. Differences will usually be subtle, but they're there. Lots of cultivars of various things have been selected from the wild, and many were not interspecific crosses, just good individuals of a particular species.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 10:45AM
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