My first blooming cross!! Is it worth registering?

eristal(9)May 26, 2009

I just had my first successful cross bloom! Part of me thinks it is nice enough to register, and another part of me thinks it may be too similar to something else. I would love feedback, especially from you expert hybridizers out there... you know who you are.

The cross is x violacea x caerulea. I know this has been done, but I think this may be different enough to warrant it's own name. It has somewhat wavy ends on its filaments which are only tipped bright blue.

It has made it through 21 degrees F winter, and is starting to put on quite a show this year.

Pictures are on Picasa.

Thanks for any input!!

Eric Wortman

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures

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I'm absolutely not an expert. You might try writing some of them directly if you don't get responses. As you know, there might be various things that they consider important that the rest of us might not be aware of--and might not care about. One thing that strikes me is the variation in filament length--whether this is considered a problem I have no idea.

That said I really like the flower and I would certainly consider growing it.

Any chance you could post links to photos of some of the other P. x violacea x caerulea hybrids out there? A quick search suggests there are many. I found one that's on Myles Irvine's (passionflow's) site--P. 'Ely' by Henk Wouters. I have to say I much prefer your flower to 'Ely', although the picture of the leaves of 'Ely' is really nice.

From Myles' site--pictures of Ely:

So that people can make a quick comparison, here's a picture of your flower from the link you gave above:

I see that 'Ely' also shows variation in filament length, although none of the really short ones.

I'm also curious if you could elaborate a little bit on the flower and plant.

How big are the flowers?

Does it typically form a flower at every node (at least one of the photos shows this)?

Does it form fruit?

How easy is it to propagate? A comparison to caerulea and/or other caerulea hybrids or other common plants might be useful.

When does it bloom?

Does it have any other positive things or quirks or pathologies that are obvious?

Will you be trying to push the limits of its hardiness (giving cuttings to people in zone 7,8)?

I could go on an on with questions so I should probably stop.

I'm curious if others have any opinion of your hybrid vs. P. 'Ely'--a plant that Myles' describes as "stunning". But of course the experts do look for different things than the rest of us...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 10:05AM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

Congrats. It looks very nice.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Thank you for the responses. Too answer a few of Mark's questions:

I'm afraid the only other comparison I can find is on, called P. Valerie Bishop.

The flowers are 7.5 to 8.5 cm, about the same as it's father.

It does seem to have a flower at every node, however when it gets over about 95 degrees, it seems to abort any bud that should open that day, but keeps the rest.

I have so far only had a handful of flowers, since I posted this on the day of the first open flower. I did not attempt to cross it on the first few flowers, and it did not set fruit on it's own. In the last few days though, I have tried to cross it with likely paternals, and a couple fruits seem to be slightly swollen, but it is too early to tell for sure. The pollen seems to be light if not nonexistent, as it's mother seems to be, so it may only have maternal possibilities. The slightly swollen fruit appears to more eliptical than round, resembling P. x violacea fruit more than the rounder P. caerulea.

I have yet to take any cuttings, though now that it has flowered and I like it, I will be taking many cuttings as soon as blooming slows. As far as ease, my wife Crystal, (also a member in this room), has trouble with very few Passies rooting for her. After years of trial and error, she seems to have it down.

Af far as when it blooms, it started the day of my post, and I have no idea when it will stop. I would guess that in my area, when the heat gets to be more consistently 100+, (July/August), it will take on the trait of P. cearulea and slow or stop blooming. In a climate with less ridiculous heat, I would think it would be a much longer bloomer, as seems to be the case with P caerulea.

The leaves seem to vary between 3 and 5 lobes, not that that is extremely quirky. The most obvious thing to me is the variation in filament lengths, and the vibrant blue just on the slightly wavy tips. Mostly nothing that you can't see in the pictures.

As far as hardiness limitations, I won't be purposely sending it to colder zones, but I certainly am always open to new Passiflora trade routes, and if someone wants it, I am not going to be hoarding it. I would be proud to have people want my cross. One caveat is that I want to wait until I have registered it, (if Les thinks it is worthy). One note on hardiness though, is that with it's parentage, I highly doubt it would have trouble down to about 15 degrees for a very short time. I have had both parents make it through a long period of frost a few years back with it down to 19, and they had no trouble recovering as if it was any other year, (not all of my plants were that forgiving).

As you can tell, I am happy to talk about my new first hybrid, so go ahead and ask more questions if I haven't answered them already.

Thanks again for the interest,
Eric Wortman

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 5:01PM
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passionlove(z 9 FL)

Wow that is awesome and looks beautiful!
From what I can tell from the photos, your flower looks more reflexed like the violacea, but the Valerie Bishop sites more like the caerulea. What do you think? I'm no expert either, but it may be different enough to register, but you'll probably have to do more research and ask some breeders. Out of curiosity, how long did it take to go from seed to flower?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:16PM
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I agree about the parentage similarities you point out above. As far as from seed to flower, there is a bit of a story behind that:

About 7 years ago, I decided to experiment with hybridizing Passifloras. As a major amateur, I only had one set fruit and it was this cross, but multiple fruits. It took months for my seeds to finally germinate, and when they did, I didn't know how to take very good care of them. Only 2 survived from this fruit. The other fruit's seeds I never planted as of this point. One of the plants I gave to a Passiflora trading buddy without seeing it bloom. I am unsure what happened to that one. The other one I over-babied. I kept it indoors on a windowsill with morning sun, and though it grew, I never knew it bloomed until the next year when I decided to move it outdoors and noticed a fruit on it. There were no viable seed inside, but obviously it bloomed. This was it's first year, so you could say it bloomed very fast from seed.

Up to then, I had thought my cross a flop and was going to make it "sink or swim" outdoors. Prior to this fruit discovery, I had thrown the rest of the seeds from the other fruits out in the yard. All of a sudden I have dozens of seedlings sprouting up. After 18 months outside intermingled with other passifloras on a fence, I realized that they were blooming. I hadn't noticed because they looked like just very slight variations of P. caerulea. Needless to say, I was disappointed that my cross turned out to not be very distinctive at all.

At this point, I decided to neglect my first seedling from the other fruit, assuming that it would be just as non-distinct as well. After a few years of heavy neglect in a 4 inch pot, and Crystal and I becoming much more educated and experienced with Passifloras and horticulture in general, we decided to make one last attempt to take care of it and make it bloom. If it turned out like the others, I was going to pull it up and give it away.

Oddly, when we actually planted it, fertilized slightly, and generally just took care of it, it grew like mad, started making buds, and just recently, blooming. And it ends up being a distinctly different flower!! (In my opinion). WOW!! I was so excited.

Now Crystal and I have half a dozen new hybrids that have previously never been registered that we are waiting impatiently to bloom. And we are already starting fruit for the next round. We are rapidly running out of seedling space!

Anyway, thanks for the comments,
Eric Wortman

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 1:37PM
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that bloom is _gorgeous_! for what it's worth (coming from an amateur of course :P) I think it's definitely worth registering! the curled and blue tipped filaments are very distinctive - the flower has a kind of grace about it. I absolutely love it!

if you can get some cuttings to root, I would LOVE the chance to try to grow it in a northern climate. I could trade some cuttings from my limited passiflora collection, or some brugmansia cuttings - brugs and passies are really the only tradeable thing I have of note :)

please let me know :)


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 11:50PM
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I would be happy to send you a rooted cutting after registration and rooting is complete. I wouldn't require you to send me anything, but it would certainly be nice. Email me a list of your current Passies that are large enough to take a couple of cuttings from. Also, you said "northern climate". Where are you located?

Eric Wortman

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 1:53PM
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I've e-mailed you!


    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 6:21PM
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What a gorgeous flower! Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 11:57AM
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passionlove(z 9 FL)

Wow Eric..took a long time and a lot of patience on your part. Yeah you should register it! Good luck with that and let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:05PM
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