Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Hulthemia Blooms

The first 3 photos below are of more 2011 Hulthemias.  The last 2 are photos of two Hulthemias from 2010 that are blooming for the first time outside of the greenhouse.

The first seedling pictured below bloomed a few days ago, while the second one bloomed today.

The last photo of the 2011 Hulthemias, is of petals from the best striped Hulthemia to show up so far.

Next, are photos of the 2010 Hulthemias blooming for the first time outside of the greenhouse.

The first one is of a mini single.  It stays very compact and seems to put on a good bloom display.

The last Hulthemia pictured below appears to be a spreading shrub type.  The blotch eye-zone is quite distinct and with good saturation of the blotch coloring.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hulthemia Petals - New and Old

Today, there were many new seedlings blooming for the first time necessitating much culling.  There were many Hulthemias that had to be culled today, and many more that will be culled in the next few weeks as the seedling greenhouse explodes in color with new blooms on new seedlings.  In the first photo below, you can see the Hulthemia seedlings that didn't make the cut.  Each petal represents an individual seedling.  As can be seen, many of the petals are similar.  If plants and blooms were seen, the differences between seedlings would be easier to appreciate.  The petal/blotch represent just one trait of interest in determining which seedlings to discard, and which to keep.

The next photo represents petal for petal, surviving Hulthemia seedlings that bloomed today.  Of course it remains to be seen which will be more floriferous and which will have greater cleanliness, so it is possible that ultimately none of these will survive.  For now however, they continue to grow in the greenhouse seedling beds.

The final photo in this post is of petals of Hulthemias that have survived the test of time.  These represent some of the best that have grown in our greenhouse over the last 5 years.  From these, pollen was harvested that will be used tomorrow in crosses with the objective of developing still better Hulthemias.  One of the petals below comes from a new Hulthemia that is being introduced by Star Roses that is being named 'Eyeconic™ Lemonade'.  Some of the others are still under evaluation.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Two Better 2011 Hulthemias

The two Hulthemia seedlings that I will highlight in this post are more interesting to me than the previous two seedlings that I have been writing about.  These two, exhibit very good blotches despite this being their first blooms.  As mentioned earlier, with maturity blotches increase both in size and in intensity

The first one, code name "O225" appears to be a smaller shrub type.  It's pollen parent is one of my favorite earlier Hulthemias carrying the code name "M62-1".  It was one of the best Hulthemias that germinated in 2009.  Unfortunately, it has very low fertility, therefore I was quite pleased to get a few hips from crosses done with it last year (most of the crosses failed).  The seed parent was 'Pearl Sanford'.  This new seedling shows more evidence that when a repeat blooming (presumably tetraploid) Hulthemia that has an excellent blotch (presumably having more than one copy of the blotch gene(s)), is crossed with a non-Hulthemia, it is still possible to get a good blotch.

As seen in this seedling, I prefer Hulthemias that have a lighter area around the blotch because it sets off the blotch very nicely.  It is harder to appreciate the blotch in seedlings that do not do this - as will be seen in the next seedling.

The next seedling is very unusual, and it appears to be a micromini.  This is the first time that I have had such a small Hulthemia seedling showing such a dark blotch on it's first bloom.  It comes from a complex line, where the seed parent has 'Persian Sunset' in it's background, while the specific pollen parent is unknown (I used mixed pollen from seedlings coming from a cross of 'Cal Poly' X "L83-4").  L83-4 is a cream colored Hulthemia having a fairly larger purple/red blotch.

In the above photo, it is difficult to appreciate the size of the blotch, or even the size of the seedling bloom.  The blotch is even more difficult to appreciate due to the color of the anthers.  They are unusual in that they are a deep red.  For that reason, in the following photo, I removed the anthers and used a centimeter measuring stick to provide better clarity.

As you can see, the bloom is very small, and with the anthers removed, it is much easier to appreciate the blotch.

To be complete, I also removed the anthers from the first seedling and present a photo of it below:

Not knowing whether either of these will be fertile, I have collected the anthers of both and will use their mixed pollen in crosses onto some of my Hulthemia seed parents over the next two days.  I have learned from experience that many of the Hulthemias with the best blotches seem to have lower fertility - that is why I like to mix their pollen.  Curiously, although the bloom size difference between these two seedlings is quite large, the anthers appear to be approximately the same size.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011 Seedling Update - Seedlings Blooming!

Well the two seedlings that we have been watching have bloomed!  Neither one is very impressive.  The first seedling does turn out to be a Hulthemia, although you cannot tell readily by just looking at the bloom.  If you do look carefully though, you may notice a small blotch at the base of the petals. 

It is much easier however, to distinguish the blotch after the petals have been removed.  Smaller blotches tend to get hidden by the anthers.

The lighter petal reverse seen on this seedling is characteristic of most of the Hulthemias.  In my experience, the blotch has always been present only on the upper surface of the petals.  This is different from the "Halo" roses produced by Mr. Ralph Moore, where the darker coloring of the halo often shows through to the reverse side of the petals.

Although the blotch is quite small in this brand new seedling, it will be significantly larger in the mature plant.  Generally speaking, the blotch gets about 3 times larger and with deeper coloring in the second Spring bloom.

Additionally, this seedling may have too many petals.  In the first blooms there are at least 15 petals.  I would expect 5-10 more petals in a fully mature bloom.  Blooms having 20-25 petals or more will not allow the blotch to be presented in the most attractive way.

I have decided not to discard this one yet.  I do like the vigor of the plant and so far it appears clean.  There is very little powdery mildew in the greenhouse at this time, but it will soon be here in full force to help differentiate which seedlings to keep and which seedlings to discard.  If this one gets powdery mildew, it will be culled.

The second seedling is clearly a single like the pollen parent.  The red coloring is somewhat washed out.  It's only redeeming qualities are sturdiness, well branched habit and possible good blooming power. The buds to the left and right of the open bloom belong to this second seedling.

This seedling will most likely be discarded, however, I have decided to watch it a bit longer to see what the next bloom cycle looks like.  As with the first seedling, if this seedling gets powdery mildew, it will be culled.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

2011 Seedling Update - Seedlings About to Bloom

The 2 seedlings from the last post are again pictured below.  The first bud of the first seedling turns out to be a bud where one of the sepals was trying to become a leaflet.  I usually snap these kind of buds off because the bloom is typically mishapened, making it more difficult to properly judge the bloom.  In this case however, I decided to let the bud develop to show the progression from bud to bloom.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this is from a Hulthemia cross, even so, chances are that there will not be a blotch, or if there is a blotch, it is likely to be a smaller blotch since only one of the parents is a Hulthemia.  I have noted that blotches are usually bigger and more intense when both parents are Hulthemias.

The next photo is again of the second seedling in the previous post and is not a Hulthemia.  It will be interesting to see whether it has fully double blooms like the mother (seed parent), or is a single like the father (pollen parent).  The pollen parent has been exceptionally clean, so I hope that there will be some seedlings from this cross with better cleanliness than 'Pearl Sanford', the seed parent.  

I expect both seedlings to bloom in the upcoming week, so check back here again next week if you want to see whether they are culled!