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Up with hobbyists!

  • Subject: Up with hobbyists!
  • From: "Roth, Barry" BRoth@BROBECK.COM
  • Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 16:05:28 -0700

Although my previous post was strong on a wish for rigor and big data, there
are historical cases in geranium breeding where excellent results may have
been obtained without either.  The story used to be that one large grower in
coastal southern California did little or no planned hybridizing but instead
saved open-pollinated seeds from his acres of commercial varieties, bloomed
them out, and when one looked good for his purposes (largely mass sales of
big-blooming red zonals) he propagated and introduced it.  (Ed, can you
confirm or negate that report, which I probably got third-hand?)  I can
believe the tale, because his cultivars looked quite similar to me -- but,
then, I wasn't into the subtleties of commercial "reds"!  Of course, the
"rigor" came in when he evaluated the new seedlings for their potential.

A related story involves the zonal hybridizer Holmes Miller of Los Altos,
California, who originated numerous wonderful and distinctive cultivars.
The story (to use that word again) on him was that, relative to the number
of plants he introduced, he did not make huge quantities of crosses.
Instead, he was able to be very selective, based on his understanding of the
parent plants, so that his rate of success was high.

Finally, cultivars with complex hybrid ancestry often contain lots of
cryptic or unexpressed characters in their genetic makeup.  These can result
in surprises -- some of them, at least, on the good side.

So, I think all the above argue on behalf of the adventurous hobbyist.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Olson Moore [mailto:H20wrx@AOL.COM]
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 12:02 PM
Subject: Re: TPB, some more thoughts...

In a message dated 9/19/02 11:35:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
mirror@3RIVERS.NET writes:

> .. up with hobbyists (!) who look to create something new.  ...Shoot,
> doesn't every breeder secretely hope for that?
> Maria
>           professional hobbyist


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