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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Viola X cooperrideri project

First picture is of Viola walteri, which has really cool silver and green, patterned foliage (purplish underneath). Unfortunately it never really thrives here and the light purple flowers are relatively tiny and only sparsely produced.
 Here's the F1 offspring of the local Viola striata from pollen of Viola walteri. Natural hybrids like this have been called Viola X cooperrideri. The F1 doesn't show much of the foliage pattern of Viola walteri but it does get vigor and flower power from Viola walteri. It starts out every Spring as a neat little clump and morphs into a carpet of foliage 2-3 ft across by summers end.
 Here's an especially neat F2 self-sown seedling (several years old) that is close to Viola striata in appearance.
 This newer white-flowered F2 seedling has the best approximation of the foliage pattern of Viola walteri. It differs from Viola walteri in flower color and size and also even though it looks a little floppy (from just being dug and moved) it looks like it's got lots of the vigor coming from its Viola striata ancestry. Next Spring it'll probably be a lot more impressive clump.
In addition to working towards cool foliage and neat habit, I'd like to see if I can select for extended bloom (later into Summer and earlier in the Fall). The floriferous white F2 has already bloomed extra early each Fall relative to the F1 and other F2's.

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