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Re: Tetraploid features

  • Subject: Re: [IGSROBIN] Tetraploid features
  • From: "Roth, Barry" <BRoth@BROBECK.COM>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 22:56:42 -0700

Sandy Connerley [mailto:sandym@NORTHCOAST.COM] wrote:

>What I would like is the form of the tulip flowered Patricia Andrea or
>Pandora in a dwarf.  I don't know for certain but have been told
>Patricia Andrea or Pandora are tetraploids.  Do you know of a list of
>which are which or do you just look at the structure/size of the plant?

This is really plumbing the depths of my memory, but I think you're right.
I grew P. Andrea for a while and it did have a robust, thick-leaved plant.
Sorry, I don't know of any master list.  Some older dealer lists used to
separate the diploids from the tetraploids (they sometimes called the latter
"French" varieties).  "The Joy of Geraniums" by Helen Van Pelt Wilson has a
list of varieties that indicates which are tetraploids.  It's very
incomplete, but at least a start.

Barry

ps. -- Like some other members on this list, I wound up using forceps to
actually touch the ripe anther of the pollen parent to the sticky stigma of
the seed parent.  I could never make a brush work right.  Sterilized the
forceps in a jar of alcohol when changing to another pollen parent.  I took
other steps too, to avoid contamination by other pollen:  I removed the
anthers from a floret that I wished to pollinate before they opened up and
were ready to shed their pollen.  This happens before the stigma opens and
becomes receptive.  (This sequence is called "protandrous" -- the male
gametes become ripe before the female part of the same floret is receptive.
It probably reduces the likelihood of self-fertilization; although a large
flower head may have male-ripe and female-ripe florets at the same time --
not to mention a plant with many flower heads.  I imagine self-fertilization
is not uncommon in zonals in nature.)

After pollinating, I removed the petals from the floret of the seed parent.
They will drop soon anyway if fertilization has taken place.  Removing them
helps keep them from attracting any insect pollinators to mess up my plans.
Some hybridizers place some kind of bag (cheesecloth?) over a pollinated
flower head to avoid any mischief from wind-borne or insect-borne pollen.
Removing the petals probably also increases the air circulation around the
pollinated floret and lowers the risk of botrytis.

Sorry if I'm rambling on here.  There's a lot to think about.

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