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Arilbred Growth Habits

Jeff Walters wrote:

:  arilbreds I find most attractive, however, are the ones with bold signals
:  and a marked tendency towards species form. I have recently acquired some
:  of Hager's and Shockey's introductions, which seem to be doing well so far.
:  I am growing most of my arilbreds in the same bed with TB's - not
:  intermingled, but in separate blocks on the edge of the planted area where
:  I can limit the water they get in the summer.

I'm not sure how much is genetic and how much is coincidence of selection, but
as a group the ones with bold signals also tend to make very compact clumps.
There are some gorgeous ones that are worth the pampering for their display
value -- just as there are some TBs worth the extra effort it takes to grow
them.  So I don't mean to discourage anyone from growing them for their garden &
show value.  

I'm getting more and more nice, large signals now in my more gardenable line --
but they've been a long time in coming.  I've done this through outcrosses
between my breeding stock with open growth habits and varieties from other
hybridizers that have spectacular flowers but sometimes suicidal growth habits.
For many years, I've tested imports by leaving them in place for two years --
because if they can't take it, I don't want their genes in my line.   

"Someday" I expect the gardenable arilbreds to outnumber the problematic ones.
In the meantime, if the hybridizer recommends annual transplanting I suggest
that's the pathway to the best results.

But I'm not sure what is meant by "marked tendency toward species form" because
there are so many different forms found in the aril species.  Personally, I go
for diversity....

Sharon McAllister

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