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

Sunday, June 23, 2013

(Rosa rugosa x Rosa glauca) X Rosa rugosa

Not a great picture, but it does at least show how this particular seedling is reblooming in typical rugosa fashion - see new blooms at upper right and regular season hips not quite changing color yet but pretty well developed in center. It's from backcrossing rugosa pollen onto the F1 hybrid rugosa X glauca. That F1 is not reblooming but has nice blue-gray-green foliage. My hope was to regain the rebloom of rugosa and keep the nice foliage color. Well, I got the first but not the second. The foliage looks almost identical to typical rugosa. Maybe at least this one's dragging along some interesting hidden glauca genes. And whenever my rugosa X glauca recover from being moved and get to blooming again, I plan to try the backcross again but with bigger population of seedlings this time, because even among the half-dozen that this one came from, there was one (wouldn't you know it would die) that was nicely glaucous even at the seedling stage. Maybe I'll use one of the double-flowered rugosas I just got this year as pollen parents when I do the backcross, to stack the deck in favor of the seedlings being even more interesting.

Rosa palustris and the first F2 to bloom from bracteata X (rugosa x palustris)

First picture shows Rosa palustris topping out at around 7 feet tall (see yardstick in the foreground)after being hacked back pretty hard last year. It's just starting to bloom. Second picture is close-up of the bloom. I included these two pictures because the first F2 from Rosa bracteata X (rugosa x palustris) is in bloom and it sure takes after palustris a lot. Makes me wonder if it might be a backcross to palustris.

Below is that F2 seedling. See the foliage that looks a lot like palustris. The flowers are a lot like palustris too but a little more pale. If I didn't know it, I wouldn't even suspect bracteata was a part of this one's ancestry - not much apparent influence from that species is showing. And the rugosa part isn't really obvious either.

Rosa bracteata X (rugosa x palustris)

I've decided to start referring to these four bracteata hybrids by number [BH1, BH2, BH3, BH4].
They've definitely gotten over the brutal move and are starting to build up their mature character again. I'll show an overall / whole bush shot and a close-up of each of these four below.
BH1 is the one I used to call the "pink monster". It has inherited the most obvious influence from rugosa especially in its foliage appearance.  

BH2 is a white with a lot of palustris look in the foliage.
BH3 is another white with foliage that shows a lot of the palustris influence.
BH4 is a very pale pink. It usually doesn't show in pictures I take, but I tried really hard to get it to show in the close up below.

Haven't tried a lot of controlled pollination o these but I've got the first F2 open pollinated seedling blooming right now out back, and will have to get pictures and post about that one soon.

Iris blooms

CRICKET SONG and the "pink volunteer" should open in a day or two, but in the meantime these ones have been taking the stage. And remember the normal season bloom for all of these, was late April / early May. Pods of seeds are actually starting to dry down alongside these repeat stalks.
The first picture, I'd thought was two stalks of one seedling, but looks like it's actually two different seedlings with one stalk each (a lighter one and a medium purple). These are from CLOWN PANTS x Iris pallida Latil and had been planted as a clump of seedlings altogether in one spot. Guess I'd better get in there and separate at least these two out.
 The second picture is an unregistered sibling of my two registered diploid reblooming MTB irises. Since it didn't even have a garden name, Bill Chaney (who I'd sent a piece to) has dubbed it "Smiley's Sister".  The falls usually tuck under even more with time open, but don't look too awful when freshly open like these.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Good year for iris repeat bloom maybe...

With all the rains and fluctuating temperatures, it looks like it's going to be a good year for "outside-of-normal-season" blooms on the irises. CRICKET SONG normally blooms again in September or October, but when conditions are right it'll send up stalks sporadically thoughout the summer. The first picture shows one of these stalks and lots of big healthy new fans that are a good sign that there will be plenty of Fall bloomstalks to come. I cut off all the old spent flowerstalks except for the ones with hand-pollinated seed pods maturing. There are three of these from pollen of Brad Kasparek's rebloomer Z Z ZANZIBAR. My goal with this cross is to build up lots of rebloom genes in one line.
Another one that usually blooms again in the Fall, is this one from a stray dropped seed. I call it "Pink Volunteer" and it looks like it's from one of the crosses I'd done on CRICKET SONG or EASY SMILE (two reblooming siblings). I sometimes don't catch the seed pods before they start to crack open and scatter seeds. This is the first time it's ever sent up a summer stalk. It's the small stalk in the center at the bottom. There's also a maturing seed pod on one of the normal season stalks in the picture. It's taller and partially hidden behind that tall leaf in the middle.
 A new one to ever rebloom for me... this is a seedling of CLOWN PANTS from pollen of an Iris pallida clone labeled "Latil". This pallida clone is reported to rebloom somewhere (France?) and CLOWN PANTS is the pollen parent of my two registered diploid MTB rebloomers, CRICKET SONG and EASY SMILE. So, it's not a big surprise that this one's decided it might want to be a rebloomer too.
In addition to two stalks soon to open on an unregistered sibling of CRICKET SONG and EASY SMILE that an iris friend has dubbed "Smiley's Sister" (sorry didn't get a picture yet), there's a really out of character late stalk on PALTEC. This is a really cool wide-cross iris - between a bearded iris and the Japanese crested roof iris Iris tectorum. It's never done this for me before, and as far as I know isn't reported to be a rebloomer. So I guess this one's just a welcome fluke. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rosa palustris X 'Home Run'

Here are some close ups of that healthiest palustris X 'Home Run' seedling. Once-blooming and no hips set at all last year - this one's going to be tough to move forward. Usually the flowers look like the crumpled one on the right, but occassionally they'll open nice and neat like on the left.

Peanut Hybrids

We grew three kinds of peanuts last year and the year before. In the bags, are 'Black', 'Virginia Red' and 'Bramling Pink'. On the table in front of the two lighter colored peanuts are some apparent hybrids (from pollen of the 'Black') . We've got these planted separately to see how they'll vary.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rosa soulieana X arvensis

I can't remember offhand the direction of this cross - I'll have to check my old records. But I moved three of these to the new house a few years ago. This one is the strongest of the bunch and for now has escaped the Rose Rosette Disease that seems to love soulieana and it's derivatives as much as it loves multiflora. Neatly intermediate between the two species, it has a wiry rambling habit and lots of foliage color (grays, reds, blues, purples).

Rosa carolina and F1 carolina X gallica

I can never get the pictures to turn out of these pale pink ones. But here goes anyway...
First here's Rosa carolina. It's a knee-high slightly suckering shrub that differs from the Rosa virginiana clones I grow in that it repeats on the tips of the new basal shoots and has less shiny foliage.
 I took this picture with my phone (so it's kind of blurry and dark) but I was trying to show comparison of the foliage of carolina (top) and it's hybrid offspring from pollen of Rosa gallica. I'm holding the flowering stem of the hybrid at the bottom of the picture. The hybrid has bluer even more matte foliage with a little different shape. It also got more petal width and a slightly different fruit shape from gallica, while carolina definitely dominated the color. It took this one many years to build up some steam, but now it's proving to be pretty vigorous and strongly suckering. And the last two years it's rebloomed sparingly too.
Next two pictures are just of the hybrid...

Rosa palustris X 'Home Run'

Definitely the strongest of the batch, this seedling is really building up some size this year. Still don't care much for the flower form (kind of crumpled) and a relatively sterile once-bloomer isn't the greatest asset to a hybridizer either, but there might be some clever way to make use of this one. It should be carrying genes for repeat bloom and it is pretty healthy and vigorous. Oh and has sticky scented buds. I'm putting pollen from super-fertile rugosa 'Alba' onto all the blooms right now to see if I can get anything at all to set.

'Fragrant Cloud' X Rosa carolina

Really settled in now and showing how happy it is to have a little grass mulch around it - here's one of my favorite hybrids - it's from the Hybrid Tea 'Fragrant Cloud' pollinated by the shrubby little native tetraploid, Rosa carolina. This hybrid is the seed parent of the one I call "3/4 native" (from pollen of Rosa virginiana) and "MR1" (the mildew resistant once-bloomer from 'Carefree Sunshine' pollen).

Rosa davidii X virginiana

Holy moly! This one has decided that it's going to follow in the footsteps of the pollen parent and has taken off suckering like crazy! Probably a hundred or more blooms last year and only one fruit with a single seed - so pretty infertile. I wonder if the pollen might be more successful???

Rosa rugosa X 'Hazeldean'

There are a few late buds opening on the Rosa rugosa X 'Hazeldean', so I held a bud from Rosa rugosa 'Alba' up to one so you can see the color difference. Sure not strong on color, but at least it isn't just white. I'm trying the rugosa 'Alba' pollen on these late blooms to see if I might be able to get any seeds at all to set.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

T5: Iris timofejewii X Iris variegata

I was afraid I'd lost this one. I got it years ago from Terry Varner's Ohio Gardens. It's been a lot of fun to use in crosses. And I can't believe I never noticed before - it smells a lot like root beer. I'll have to try some more crosses with the sweet grapey pallidas and see what comes from that mix.

Species cross iris

Iris junonia X Iris aphylla 'Wine Red'
Only a few were big enough to bloom this year, but here's the lightest. There were several others with more gray-lilac blend and one tall, large-flowered one, but that one was a little floppy textured in the heat. It bloomed fine in cooler weather. Anyway, a fun cross to see some blooms from and could be more fun to work into some Tall Bearded lines.