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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Viola arvensis X Pansy hybrids again

Viola arvensis X Orange Pansy:
 and close up of flower:
 Viola arvensis X Red Pansy:
 and close up of flower:
 and a reminder of just how small Viola arvensis is in comparison... here's a flower of Viola arvensis next to a flower from that purple edged F1 from Red Pansy pollen. The whole Viola arvensis flower could fit on just one of the petals of the hybrid.
Even so, the F1 flower could fit on just one petal of a typical pansy. The size is definitely intermediate between the two parents.

Some irises before bloom...

Here's a classic example of why Iris aphylla contributes such branching to its descendants. This is either Iris aphylla 'Wine Red' or Iris aphylla 'Transylvania Native' - I'll be sure of which when the blooms open. Note also the nice purple spathes around the flower buds.
 Here are four of my best seedlings for purple foliage bases. Still have a long way to go to get all purple...
The variegated form of Iris pallida that is always catching people's eye. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Viola arvensis hybrids

First picture shows a single flower of an F1 Viola arvensis X Red Pansy. To the left of that Johnny-Jump-Up sized flower is a normal Viola arvensis flower for size comparison. There are two more normal Viola arvensis flowers at the right and left edges of the picture. I've pulled these non-hybrid seedlings out now. These F1 are those ones I posted about back in the winter surviving minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit with no snow cover. Notice the flowerbud in the lower left part of the picture looks like it'll have a little purple edging maybe.
The F1 seedlings ofViola arvensis X Orange Pansy have buds not quite open yet. They should all be yellow-flowered if it goes like the same cross I did years ago.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Violet hybrids

First picture is of the F1 Viola striata X walteri just starting to open a few blooms. I've had two F1 plants for over 10 years and they make a nice ground covering mat about a yard across each year. I trim the dead off in winter or early Spring and they're good to go for another year.

They are almost completely sterile but do make occasional seedlings that vary in color and growth habit. The next two pictures are of two that I'm keeping an eye on as possible "improvements". This first one has bunched up nicely and has more of the upright habit and white flowers of Viola striata. It's also shown a pretty reliable tendency to repeat in the Fall.
 This second one has abundant pale purple flowers (washed out by the strong sunlight in the picture). I like the way it holds them well about the foliage. The growth habit is not so upright which could be a plus or a minus.

Koi in Hagerstown City Park pond

We've seen about 5 or 6 of these pretty koi among the normal brown carp in the Hagerstown City park pond. It still amazes me how clear the water is with all these fish in it. There have got to be hundreds of them.