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.

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