Building the foundation
Hi Joe and Everyone,
I've been making a lot of crosses over the last seven years. Most of
it was just experimenting to see what would give promising directions for
breeding interesting new types of hosta. If we define a cross as one
cultivar crossed on another (no matter how many times it's repeated), then
I've probably done between 1500 and 2000. Many of these did not take, and
many did not give me anything I thought worth keeping. Some have paid off
with interesting results, and I am now putting together breeding lines with
them. Fertility in the early generations has been a big problem. I have seen
enough to start putting together some basic rules about what results to
expect. I'll list a few basics here and Mary and others who have been making
crosses can comment on whether I am correct in these according to their
experience. If we can agree on basic rules, maybe we can start on the
exceptions to the rules.
When I use the word "streaked" I am referring to plants which show
two colors that have areas of mixed color in them. I am not referring to
plants like the recently posted 'Kisuji/Inaho' currently being discussed as
to identity. This plant shows only solid-color areas and does not give
streaked seedlings (I tried).
The following are the rules that I have formed based on my own
Rule 1. Streaked mothers always give streaked offspring.
This assumes at least 50 seed that
germinated. Percentages of
streaked seedlings will vary, and may be
tied to the amount of each color
in the mother plant.
Rule 2. A gold pod parent will give 30 -70% gold seedlings
regardless of the pollen parent.
Few golds will give white seedlings that die
after 1 or 2 leaves.
Variegated gold-centered plants behave as
Rule 3. Most, probably all, species will give 1-5% gold seedlings
from green parents.
These seedlings in turn follow Rule 2.
Rule 4. Lutescent golds have some sieboldiana in their background.
Lutescence in gold seedlings is a sieboldiana
Gold seedlings from parents without
sieboldiana in their background
are always viridescent. Not all with
sieboldiana are lutescent.
Rule 5. Any plant can give an occasional variegated seedling.
To the others out there growing seed------
Does this set of rules fit with what you've seen? I realize that much
of this has already been reported on by others. I am not claiming to have
invented these rules, this a just for the purpose of pooling our knowledge
and seeing if we are all getting the same results.
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