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

Thursday, September 12, 2013


This annual sunflower is the pollen parent I'm trying on Jerusalem artichoke this year. Wish me lots of luck!


  1. My H. tuberosus and H. annuus 'Russian Mammoth' ended up in bloom at the same time and I tried transferring some pollen. In probably unrelated news, I got a batch of seeds off my H. tuberosus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenabbey/10142322163/).

  2. I didn't have overlap this year of tuberosus and the Giant sunflowers. I hope you get some hybrids. I only used the pollen of this red-eye-zone annuus on tuberosus and Gapland Gold. I haven't harvested either of them yet to know if I got any seeds.

  3. Just posted a few days ago (Oct 30, 2013) that I harvested 70 seeds from the Jerusalem artichoke flowers pollinated by this sunflower. Maybe I'll get that red-eyed perennial this time.

  4. Oh and I found 5 seeds on the nearly sterile Gapland Gold. Had to pick through hundreds of flower heads to find them. Whew!

  5. My H. tuberosus and H. annuus 'Russian Mammoth' cross has produced something of interest. I did collect seeds from the cross, but many shattered to the ground and were not recovered. Just last week, I noted that some of those lost seed have taken it upon themselves to grow wildly without any care.

    One of the resulting plants looks like a typical H. tuberosus, but with nice anthocyanin-red stems that the H. tuberosus parent didn't have (selfing, with genetic recombination?).

    One of the other resulting plants looks like exactly what I would expect the planned hybrid to look like. It has a single stem, with very slight secondary meristem activation. The leaves are intermediate in size, with the broadness of the H. annuus parent and the leaf-edge continuation down the petiole of the H. tuberosus parent.

    I'll be posting more about the plants once they both come into bloom.

  6. That's great news Darren!!!
    I haven't gotten my Helianthus cross seeds planted yet (still in fridge) but hope to get them started soon. It's been a hard year to get garden stuff done.
    I look forward to hearing more about your hybrid seedlings as they mature. Cool stuff!!!

  7. My perennial x annual sunflowers have prospered. I've posted some photos and discussion at: http://the-biologist-is-in.blogspot.com/2014/10/genetics-in-sunflowers.html