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Re: Athyrium color??

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Athyrium color??
  • From: Duane Petersen dpetersen11@cox.net
  • Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 20:15:09 -0500

I agree with Judith, that many times 'Pictum' is oversold as to variation, however, that 1 in a 1,000 genetic combination that produces the truly unusual fern is well worth the wait. Some combinations are very common. The green painted occurs between 1 or 2 times in 100 spores. Others, are far less common. When they do occur, tissue culturing is the best answer. In the early days of tissue culturing, the chemicals used often caused their own variations, some of them temporary. Now, however, many of the ferns I sell are tissue cultured ones, and they seem to have a beautiful consistency, not found when the plant is raised from spore. For the causual gardener, it makes little sense to try to sow a few thousand spores in the hopes of finding something new or different. Tissue culture give us all the opportunity of experiencing that truly unique fern, for very reasonable prices. While there are times the hype does not live up to the product, I say "horray" for tissue culturing. It's the easiest and best way to get unique ferns to market rapidly and in large numbers. D. Petersen

Marge Talt wrote:

Thanks, Judith. I was wondering about this, myself, as I have
acquired a few variations on that theme and most seem to not be a lot
different than 'Pictum' - one is larger; can't remember which right
now - taller and more erect, but colors all seem similar. Of course,
I am not growing them in a line for comparison, but let's just say
I'm not seeing enough striking variation to make the different clones
jump out from their locations in the garden:-) All are as lovely as
'Pictum' and I enjoy them, but as I watched them this year, I did
wonder why I wasn't seeing something different enough so I didn't
have to keep unearthing the tag to see what I was looking at. Your
explanation answers my mental questions...

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor: Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Variegation on the Green Theme - Part One
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From: Judith I Jones <judith@fancyfronds.com>
Terra Nova put this on the market from Thurman Maness who is a


hobbyist. I didn't think much of this form to begin with. It is


probably an inconsistent character, such traits are often noted one


and not another. But big business has found that american

gardeners will

buy any "new" form of japanaese painted fern. The race is on to

see how

many can be named befroe the public wises up. I do think that


Lace' and 'Silver Falls' are nice typical variations that one can

get in any

large sowing of 'Pictum'.
Judith I. Jones

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