... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Three F1 species rose hybrids

This first one, Rosa davidii X fedtschenkoana, is suckering already and the seedlings were only a few inches tall at the end of last season. In the picture is a sucker that's coming up about a foot away from the seedlings. It still amazes me how much these look like they should have rugosa in them. But I already have Rosa rugosa X davidii and these are definitely not the same thing.

 
Next two pictures are of Rosa palustris X fedtschenkoana. Definitely hybrid, it's intermediate between the two species in almost all characters. It's about 3 feet tall now, but no signs of flowerbuds. So, I'm hoping that it's just going to be a late season bloomer like Rosa palustris - which is usually one of the last species to bloom here.

 
The last one is such a slow grower that I might be waiting a while for it to bloom. But I'm excited anyway. It's Rosa palustris X xanthina. The bloom timing is so different for these two species that I had to freeze pollen from Rosa xanthina for a month or two, to be able to get the cross. I'm curious what part of the season this one will decide to bloom in and what color it'll be. [Rosa palustris is pink, Rosa xanthina is yellow.

Three very fragrant shrubs

Walking around the house right now, I got to enjoy the drifts of scent coming from these nicely fragrant shrubs. First is the goumi berry bush (Elaeagnus multiflora), that has the bonus of producing a heavy crop of edible tart red berries later. Looks like the bumblebees and honeybees like this one too.
 
 On another corner of the house, is this little leaf lilac (Syringa microphylla var. pubescens 'Superba' - I think it was labeled). It blooms (not quite as heavily) again each Fall.

 
And around on another corner, are these two closely related yellow-flowered, Spring blooming Asian rose species, Rosa primula (the light yellow in the back) and Rosa xanthina (the three darker yellow blooms at the bottom of the picture). 
 
You don't even need to be close to these shrubs to enjoy the scents!

Second generation hybrids from Viola arvensis X pansy

At the top of this picture are two flowers of Viola arvensis. I tried to size it to around life size when you open the picture. A whole flower of Viola arvensis is so tiny that it would fit inside a regular kernel of field/dent corn. Below the two flowers of Viola arvensis are ten different grandchildren (second generation) from crosses with pansy. Notice the extremes in variation for size and shape of various parts. The upper left one has very broad rounded sepals that stick out all around the flower.
My favorites so far, are probably the two in the bottom row (far right) - the one with dark purple upper petals and the dark yellow with cool flower form. But there's something neat about the one in the upper row, second from the left. The two lateral petals on this one are held forward curving around the lower petal, so that it kind of makes a cup. Reminds me a little of a mini-orchid.

Viola rostrata close up

I decided to do an interspecific pollination (Viola rostrata on Viola striata), so I collected all the flowers off that little Viola rostrata plant and potted up a Viola striata that had three blooms ready to open soon. Here's a close-up picture of the pretty little flowers of V. rostrata

Here's how much pollen I was able to "tap" out of the flowers
 The cross of Viola rostrata and Viola striata occurs in nature wherever these two species grow together so it's not anything extraordinary, but it'll be fun anyway. And for extra fun, I tapped a little pollen from a giant yellow pansy (with big black blotch) into the pile of pollen. As far as I know, crosses between pansies (Section Melanium) and violets (outside of section Melanium) have rarely been reported. [And the reported ones don't seem to be very well documented] So, I'd love to find a cross like that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Goumi in full bloom

Our 'Sweet Scarlet' Goumi bush is in full bloom and really smells great! It reminds me of the scent of some of the more fragrant Viburnums. Looking forward to another heavy crop of berries this year, and maybe some more bright red, sweet and tart, fruit leather. I'm gonna have to plant more of these... so productive and no disease or bug problems. The only complaint would be the work it takes to pick all those little berries.

Cool flower form Viola hybrid

Before it got too dark out, I went out and got a couple better pictures of that F2 seedling (from Viola arvensis X pansy) that has the cool flower form of Viola arvensis, only bigger and all yellow. It's definitely NOT your average round and ruffled modern pansy!

F2 of Viola striata X walteri (syn. Viola X cooperrideri)

These are some of the re-select second generation seedlings from my cross of Viola striata X Viola walteri. I'm trying to cull out the less appealing ones so that only these better ones will sow seed for future generations.
 
This is a fairly large flowered blue-purple that tends to be more prostrate growing from the start.
 
 
 This one has a more upright compact habit early in the Spring (they all make neat mats by mid-summer). It was especially heavy flowering last year.

Two white flowered ones with purple undersides of the foliage.
 
And a completely white, with green foliage - this one rebloomed fairly early last Fall.

Wouldn't it be great to get pretty foliage and flowers and rebloom all combined into one plant!