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Crossing Hybrids..

Posted by Krstofer Sunset 8 (ish) (My Page) on
Fri, May 6, 05 at 2:20

Right now I have Caerulea, Lady Margaret, Alto-Caerulea, & Lavender Lady in bloom. Everyone but caerulea seems to be having a problem producing pollen- The antlers on all are shriveled.. So I've been taking the pollen from the caeruleas and rolling around pollinating every other flower in sight.

So far, I *might* have had success with one Margaret as it's startin' to swell. Nothing else has 'taken' even though I've polinated 50+ flowers in the past week or so.

Out of frustration & curiosity, is this a common problem? All I want is to cross something. I don't care if it's been done, and I don't care if it hasn't and ammounts to nothing anyway. I just want to be able to say "I've done that".

Do I just have a bunch of duds in bloom right now, or what?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Crossing Hybrids..

Krstofer, I know the feeling! I have successfully raised plants that have flowered from Lavender Lady (Amethyst) using Caerulea pollen. The flowers aren't marvellous but I did it! My better cross was with a Violacea (unnamed) with Cincinnata which seems pretty hardy and never, ever, stops flowering. This year I have got seeds planted that are Kewensis/Racemosa and Kewensis/Caerulea. Like you I don't really care what I get it is just the satisfaction of being able to say 'I did it'! Just keep at it - you are bound to succeed some day. By the way there is a photo of the Violacea/Cincinnata on I haven't bothered with photos of the Amethyst/Caerulea as little difference with the parent plant - slightly paler sepals on most of the plants and weaker flowers. Best of luck and keep us posted.

RE: Crossing Hybrids..

At this stage (I know it's early) It appears I've been successful with one caerulea X lady margaret, and one caerulea X lavender lady. I say 'appears' because while the ovaries are swelling, it will be awhile before they're ripe & I get to see if they contain seeds.

But things look good so far. Makes my success rate about 5% right now.

Nice pics you have there, btw.

RE: Crossing Hybrids..

I too can relate to where your coming from,I got a Lady Margret crossed with Belotti,last year,only 3 seeds in the fruit,and it stayed on the Lady Margret vine for a very long time,fell off the vine about December.I immediately planted the seeds,all germinated within 60 days,and grew to about 2 inches,with several leaves,them lost all there leaves,and now the stems are starting to dry up.I was wanting a larger flower in lady M,but with the fragrance of Belotti,I've heard that the pollen from Belotti is not fertile,so I don't if that has something to do with the seedlings not wanting to continue to grow or not,but the seedlings stayed the same for 90 days,not growing any more ,just at a stand still until they started to loose there leaves and the stems was a thrill while it lasted,will continue to cross hybridize.

RE: Crossing Hybrids..

Many hybrids are sterile and will neither set fruit with viable seed or produce viable pollen. It is normal for the anthers to be misshapen and deformed. Caerulea pollen will work wonders..but don't use it till after midday to be sure that is has fully ripened.

DBrya1 a very interesting cross to have managed..its unusual for them to come up and then just not grow. Perhaps they were in conditions they did not like...they all need a very light soil for the roots to establish to start with. I suggest you keep repeating the cross and give more info re growing conditions.


Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora hybridizing

RE: Crossing Hybrids..

Here's what I've been doing:

I've 2 geneticly different caeruleas growing right next to each other. I was having problems getting fruit from the big one (cloned from a wild plant in Burbank Ca) even when I hand polinated it. After reading Myles' article above, I now know why. Anyway, the local OSH store had some, so I picked up a 1 gal baby for $5. They're both in bloom now, and if I cross them I get fruit every time.

So they're my source.

I have a pill-bottle & some floral snips. When a flower opens, I get my pill bottle which is full of antlers from the previous flowers. Using a q-tip I polinate the new flower, then snip the antlers off into the pill bottle. The end of the q-tip is bright yello with pollen.

Then, when a flower on one of the other plants opens I get the pill bottle again and liberally paint the stigmas with the caerulea pollen. Like I've said, seems to have worked a couple times.

Now I don't know how long the pollen stays 'good'- yesterday I noticed that I've so many antlers in the bottle that the pollen appeared moist & 'clumpy' so I dumped the whole thing on a piece of glass for the night so it could all dry. I don't want it to turn funky.. haven't a clue if dry couple-day-old pollen is still good, but for sure moldy pollen is bad. Today I'll scrape it all back in there.

We'll see if anything works.. Every afternoon I go out looking for new flowers to polinate. Usually there's 2 or 3 on the lavenders (I have 2) and maybe 1 or 2 on the alto-caerulea. Looks like lady margaret is done for now, but there's still lots of buds a week or 3 away from opening.

Some of the lavender antlers look a little yellow as if they have tried to produce pollen.. But failed miserably. If I kept better records (keeping none now as I'm just shot-gun polinating with one polinator) it would be interesting to see if those set fruit more often than the 'antlers completely shriveled' flowers. Something for the 'in the lab' types I guess.

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