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  • Subject: [IGSROBIN] Crosses
  • From: Ed Olson Moore <H20wrx@AOL.COM>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 10:18:33 EDT

Hi everyone-

I have been collecting information on crosses between pelargonium species.
Richard Soar, co-founder of the BPGS Geraniaceae Group, kindly  e-mailed  a
list of his successful crosses, which I will add to the list. The majority of
the listings are taken from scientific literature, and are of crosses
attempted by researchers, whether successful or not. Some of these crosses,
along with other scientific information, were used to help determine what
section a species should be placed in. Where available, this info includes
number of flowers pollinated, number of seeds set, number of seeds
germinated, whether or not the seedling survived, and f1 fertility. To date,
the list includes over 200 attempted crosses.

Who cares about interspecific crosses, you might ask. Everyone interested in
pelargoniums should. Species-species crosses and species-hybrid crosses are
the future. These crosses contain new genetic information that will expand
the hobby by producing even more unusual pelargoniums. Interspecific crosses
are responsible for every plant you are working with now. To quote from an
article in the Proccedings of the Third International Geranium Conference
(1992) - with apologies to those who have already read this - "of the more
than 250 species, less than 10 have contributed to horticulture". Think about
it - you could produce the next rage - the "geranium" everone wants to have
in their collections. To anyone who has never tried a species-species cross
or a species-hybrid cross, I challenge you to try - I guarantee that you'll
be hooked with the first little success.

I'm sure there are many people who are currently working with these types of
crosses. I'm also sure that some people would prefer not to share their
information. If no one shares, no one advances. Having my name on a plant in
the future , after I'm gone, is not as important as seeing this hobby explode
with new pelargoniums, while we're all here to enjoy them! Anyone who has
information that they are willing to share, bring it on. After it is
compiled, this information will be available to everyone.

If you have only attempted a cross once, and it failed, there still might be
good information in that attempt - for example,  if fertilization took place
and seeds started to develop, but aborted at some stage. That might be a
starting point for someone else's project. Obviously, the more attempted
crosses, the better. I recently attempted 50 crosses, using the same two
parent plants, and only collected 7 seeds. Yes, I'm crazy. Don't be
discouraged by my fanaticism - that was a cross between plants in two
different sections and having two different basic chromosome numbers. To me
those seven seeds are like gold. And I don't even know if the seeds are
viable yet. You could succeed with just a few attempted crosses. Remember
that any information could be important. If the seeds set but aborted after
so many days, for example, that's important.

Hybridizing isn't difficult - it's fun!! I'm looking forward to being swamped
w/ e-mail.


Ed Olson-Moore

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