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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2004 - glossy kale beginnings

Here's the first of the "history" posts - where some of the current projects began. These are pictures from 2004. These were the original crosses that started my glossy kale lines. Since then I've been intercrossing and selecting for glossy, for more purple expression, and for cold hardiness (by default).

The first picture shows the 'Blue Scotch' kale (on the left) that had overwintered twice and a single offspring of it from pollen of an ornamental dark purple "flowering cabbage". The hybrid was really vigorous but didn't express much purple. Luckily it was carrying all of the necessary genes and has passed them on to its descendents.
The second picture shows three seedlings of 'Green Glaze' collard greens. This old obscure variety was the source of the glossy trait in my current lines. The seedling on the left was from a cross with pollen of 'Blue Scotch' kale. The center seedling appears to be a selfing. The one on the right is from pollen of that same ornamental dark purple "flowering cabbage".

I'm still working on breeding out the non-glossy (normal) gene, and I still see lots of seedlings that show the loss of chlorophyll in new leaves when the weather gets cold (a trait that came along from the ornamental cabbage). But they've come a long way.

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