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Re: Hybridizing

  • Subject: Re: [IGSROBIN] Hybridizing
  • From: maria guzman <mirror@3RIVERS.NET>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 13:49:52 -0600

>Thanks Ed,
>    Is there a list of which species, etc. are related to regals and which
>are related to P x hortorum?

Maria here - I'll jump in and answer as well:

Pelargonium acraeum is believed to be  one of the ancestors of P x
hortorum, as well as P. iniquans, P. zonale, and P. frutetorum.
The ancestry of regals is murkier: perhaps P. cucullatum, P. grandiflorum,
P. capitatum, P. fulgidum.

>    How long do you keep your seeds before starting them?

I plant my seeds as soon as they are ripe.  I don't know how long they
remain viable, but fresher has to be better - unlike cactus.

 >    Do you keep them in envelopes in a can or how?

If you store seeds for any length of time it's best to refrigerate them in
an airtight wrapper so they stay quite dry.  If storing for a LONG period,
put them in the freezer.

>How soon do you weed out the seedlings?  For instance, if you get a
>good flower but the leaf is not what you wanted, do you wait to see if
>it will sport a different leaf or do you destroy it and go forward?

It ain't going to sport a different leaf.  Keep it and cross back to one of
the parents.  It may have recessive genes for the characteristics you're
looking for.  I'm just about to do that with one of my seedlings that's
flowered for the first time.  I did throw out quite a few ordinary-looking
F1 seedlings I took with me to New Mexico last year because I didn't have
room to grow them on, let alone do any more crosses.  In retrospect I
really regret this.

>    Where can one read on the numbers and sizes of chromosomes?
>Thanks so much.
>Keep it up!!

Well, this just came in for starters:

>I can't locate the handout that Gary and I did years ago but found some
>notes with chromosome numbers for some of the more commonly grown species. I
>have found that almost all species and cultivars are self-fertile with few
>exceptions. Following are chromosome numbers (x=2n):
>P. acetosum  18
>P. australe  18, 22 (undoubtedly more than one species is lumped in)
>P. betulinum  22
>P. capitatum  66
>P. citronellum  22
>P. cordifolium  22
>P. crispum  22
>P. cucculatum  22 (all three subspecies)
>P. denticulatum  44
>P. fulgidum  22
>P. grandiflorum  22
>P. graveolens  88
>P. grossularioides  38
>P. inquinans  18
>P. odoratissimum  16
>P. peltatum  18, 36 (includes tetraploid forms)
>P. quercifolium  44
>P. tetragonum  22
>P. tomentosum  22, 44 (includes tetraploid forms)
>P. zonale  18
>P. x hortorum (zonal hybrids)  18, 36 for tetrploid forms
>I hope this helps.

I've come across a number of hybrids (miniature) that seem to be quite
sterile.  They don't self-fertilize, make seed, nor does their pollen cross
with anything else.  I think these may have an odd number of chromosomes.
Then again some hybrids won't accept pollen but will fertilize another
cultivar.  Or sometimes vice-versa.  I haven't kept meticulous records and
I only tried hybridizing one season so this isn't exactly scientific but my

I'm going to do an ongoing search for chromosome counts, and a lot more


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