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Re: A Question of Breeding

Glen Williams wrote:

Saying open pollination would be a lot easier.

Ah, but that would be a lie, Glen, and that would be wrong. I think we all know that lying is bad. Except for you, apparently.

Morals aside though, and truth be known, I think that's where they belong, I tend to agree with you. Except for the fact that every time I see a new plant my first question is "Where did that come from?". I think that knowing parentage can occasionally tell you something, but for me it's probably just curiosity. It can't hurt to know, but I'm not sure that it's as important as many think.

Personally, I don't have time to keep track of my crosses. I know that's a heresy to most serious breeders, and maybe that's why I don't do it, but mostly, it just seems like it's more trouble than it's worth. I think that often, the parentage tells more about the breeder than the plant.


Parentage unknown = Seed collector (apprentice to the bees)
Open pollenated seedling of 'Elegans' = Second year seed collector
Unknown x Unknown = Either of the above, or possibly accomplished, experienced, top-notch breeder who refuses to keep records
(H. aequinoctiiantha x H. okamotoi) x (H. alismifolia x H. takiensis) = someone who has a much better collection than I do - probably anal retentive

My personal preference is "unnamed seedling x unnamed seedling" because it implies that I have an established breeding program and that I actually have some idea who the parents are.

At the other extreme, Tony Avent once showed me his stud book (volumn 22, I think). It had a record of every cross he's made since he was 8 years old, along with evaluations and comments on the resulting plants. It just reinforced my opinion that this man is not a normal human being.


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