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Re: Diploid and Tetraploid: Is the explanation for Daylilies the same for Hostas?

  • Subject: Re: Diploid and Tetraploid: Is the explanation for Daylilies the same for Hostas?
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 10:51:48 -0500

Hi Ray,
       This is still pretty much undecided with hostas. There are a number
of apparent tetraploids and ploidy chimeras on the market, not all verified
yet. A ploidy chimera would be part di-and part tet-, or some other mix.
Most of the hostas that are other than normal diploids do seem to tend
towards more substance. I think we can say that for sure, but beyond that it
starts getting hard to say there are any clear differences in the garden.
Most so far seem to be slower-growing, and seem to be smaller. On the other
hand, the new 'Kabitan' sport called 'First Mate' looks to actually be a
better grower than the original.
       We really don't have enough of them that are confirmed as to their
exact ploidy at this time to draw conclusions. The making of intentional
conversions using Surflan is fairly new and those plants are just hitting
the market in the last couple years. The Mobjack ones appear to be
accidental conversions also caused by Surflan and some, at least, appear to
be ploidy chimeras. Often this is difficult to judge because they are
wide-margin sports of narrow-margined diploids which could be expected to
grow differently just because of the different amounts of the two tissues
without the ploidy change. I would say we're a good five years or more away
from answering that question satisfactorily.
                                     .....Bill Meyer

> The following is from Wayside Gardens e-mail newsletter pertaining to
> and tetraploid Daylilies. Does this explanation hold true for hostas?
> Question: Daylilies are classified as diploid or tetraploid. Is tetraploid
> always preferable, on the principle that 4 is better than 2? What exactly
is the
> distinction?
> Answer: Okay. Diploid Daylilies have two chromosomes, while tetraploid
> four. This means that tetraploid varieties are going to be bigger,
> and more resistant to adversity in the garden. Their blooms will be
larger, with
> thicker petal substance.
> So why would anyone ever choose a diploid? Well, their advantages are
> and showiness. They grow more quickly than tetraploids, and they will have
> blooms (perhaps 20 per stem as opposed to 12 to 15 for the tetraploid). So
> you live in a mild climate and want a mass planting of Daylilies,
> diploids are the logical choice. On the other hand, if you want a
> planting, or if you live in a harsh climate, tetraploids are the solution.
> Ray Rodgers, Bartonville, IL, Zone 5
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