Hybrid purity question

deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)October 31, 2009

I have a completely fantastic bellflower, Campanula persicifolia 'Takion Blue', which I've posted about on a few other forums. Sorry if you've read my posts elsewhere and are tired of hearing me! It is still putting out lots of blooms and buds and we've already had several frosts up here (no killing frosts yet). It is so pretty, and I will have more!!! I'd like to try to harvest the seeds from it, but I have some questions.

Since it is a hybrid I know there is a chance it won't come true from seed and I'll get a "normal" bellflower. BUT, don't Campanula persicifolias have to pollinate with other Campanula persicifolias? If this is the ONLY bellflower blooming, and has been the only bellflower blooming for a couple of months, does that mean the only thing that could have pollinated it is itself? I have two side-by-side, so they can also pollinate each other. I am waiting for the seeds pods to dry and be ready. I did, however, deadhead these two because I wanted blooms coming as long as they would. I haven't deadheaded in four to six weeks now, and it's still so full of blooms that apparently all my deadheading did was remove seed pods that could have been ripened by now!!

If I am able to get a ripe seed pod, what are my chances that they will be true viable 'Takion Blue' seeds? I have already checked on the web about seed production, and 'Takion Blue' seeds are sold by many companies, so that must mean that there is a way to get good seeds and the flowers are not sterile.

What say you experts?

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Hi Deanna,
Lots to answer : )
First, because Takion Blue seed is sold by a lot of companies does not mean there is a way to get good seed or that your flowers are not sterile. The seeds they sell are the special cross of parents that cause Takion Blue babies. So your Takion Blue is the baby, and it will create its own new babies. That is of course if Takion Blue is not sterile and makes good seed. Chances are it will make good seed since it is not from differing species of parents(that's a whole nother thing to discuss some other time.)
Second, some plants are self pollinating. I found many bellflowers to be self-pollinating. I'm not sure if runs true for the whole genus, but it seems so. Your two plants planted side by side probably had some mixing going on also since I'm sure pollinators were visiting both plants.
Third, if you save seed, your babies will vary. Being C. persicifolia, the variances will be more subtle than some other flowers would show. So you can get wonderful babies, If you want the same exact Takion Blues, you will need to buy more seed or plants.
Hope that helps,

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 10:30PM
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Thanks for the answer. I appreciate so very very much your thoughtful and helpful responses to my questions! I hadn't thought of sellers crossing the parents to get 'Takion Blue' seeds.

I haven't been able to find info on the web at all regarding how it was hybridized, who did it, etc. I'm rather stumped. In addition, many of the sites selling 'Takion Blue' talk about it as if it is a normal flowering bellflower. The reason I love mine is because it has bloomed WAY WAY WAY past the normal time, and will obviously continue to produce buds until a killing frost. However, the internet sites I have checked (and I have checked MANY) all talk about it as if it were a normal flowering bellfower. I know some plants can go gangbusters in blooms for a couple of years and "wear themselves out" so that they produce only few blooms in subsequent years. Will my 'Takion Blue' do this? I suppose if it was planted at such a time that it would bloom late that I could expect longer than normal blooms, but this one has truly bloomed for many weeks. Either all the 'Takion Blues' aren't long-blooming (a seed variation?), the websites aren't accurate, mine will peter out and be normal bellflowers next year, or I have some really amazing and unusual plants!

It will be very fun to figure out how all this stuff works itself out!

Thanks again, Remy,

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 1:41PM
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Hi Deanna,
I don't think your Takion Blue will wear itself out. It should increase itself clumping out slowly. Most bellflowers are known to be good repeat bloomers with diligent dead heading. You must be more fastidious than me : ) Hybrids though are normally know to have qualities not found in the straight species. They could have bigger flowers, better bloom, more compact growth, different color, etc. So you could be very well right that this variety produces many more blooms than the the straight species.
I love bellflowers. I'll have to keep an eye out for Takion Blue.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 8:39PM
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Campanula p. 'Takion' series is BRED by American Takii. They are a Japanese breeder best known in the industry for creating Dreamland Zinnia, Tropicana Canna and Telstar Dianthus. Their seeds are distributed worldwide by many companies, but they actually PRODUCE the seed. This is a great variety, big improvement over the straight species, and IS an F1 Hybrid.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Takii

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 12:44PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I found a notation on this hybrid at Dave's Garden: "plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed".

If it truly doesn't set seed, that could be why it blooms for such a long period.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:42PM
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All hybrids have that notation on Dave's Garden. It has nothing to do with any particular cultivar.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 9:55PM
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So far I have only been able to get seeds from one of the flowerpods. I know they will not be true, but I will sow them and see what we get, just for fun. The other flowers seem to not be setting seeds. This is so sad, but I need to review my botany-- at this point, based on what little I remember, I'm assuming that the flowers may not have been pollinated. It is late in the season, after all. I'll keep looking for any ripe pods until our first killing frost. I'll wintersow my one pod this year and if it produces something then next year I won't deadhead the real 'Takion Blues' so frequently and maybe get more fun seeds.

And...I WILL be finding a vendor to sell me both 'Takion Blue' and 'Takion White' seeds!! I'm in love!!


    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 8:40AM
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