Tuesday, May 29, 2012

'First Impression' Seedling

I have had the seedling shown below, code name "K147-2", for the last 5 years, and so far I have had very little luck in moving it forward in breeding anything worthwhile.  It is my cleanest Hybrid Tea type seedling with regard to powdery mildew, black spot, and downy mildew.  In our Bakersfield climate it doesn't appear to get any disease whatsoever.  

It is from a cross of 'Gemini' X 'First Impression'.  Someday I hope to match it with the right mate.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

'Darlow's Enigma' Seedlings Update

'Darlow's Enigma' has become my favorite hybrid musk type rose to use in breeding.  It is very clean, with only a bit of powdery mildew, it blooms profusely, and it has very good fragrance.  As a rose breeder, it has probably become my favorite due to its ability to set hips in crosses made with modern roses, and because it has a very good germination rate.  I first reported on my experiences with 'Darlow's Enigma' seedlings in an earlier post this year: Early Notes on Darlow's Enigma Seedlings.  

To recap, these seedlings all resulted from open pollination, there were 133 seeds from 25 hips, with 37 germinations.  Of these, 2 were clearly from pollinations with foreign pollen, because the leaf shape and texture was so different from the rest of the seedlings.  There were probably a couple of others that resulted from open pollination with 'Blue Mist' (a polyantha rose bred by Mr. Ralph Moore that I have that is growing intertwined with 'Darlow's Enigma') since the flower shape and coloring of them was more like 'Blue Mist' than 'Darlow's Enigma'.

Most of the seedlings have been culled - they grew too tall, didn't appear to be remontant, had too much powdery mildew, or had lower flower production.  There are now 7 that remain.  Since they were growing too vigorously to keep with the other seedlings, I decided to pull them out of the greenhouse seedling beds and transplanted them into 3 gallon pots (see photo below).  

Two of the survivors have many petalled pinkish blooms that I think were open pollinated from 'Blue Mist'. Another one that was saved has larger single blooms and is the seedling mentioned in the first post that had the glossier foliage.  The remaining 4 survivors were probably the result of self pollinations.  All of them have been blooming profusely, mostly nonstop, ever since they first started blooming 2 months ago as brand new seedlings.  The photo below shows how large the sprays can be even on these new seedlings.

The question that I hope to be able to answer next year is: "How well does 'Darlow's Enigma' accept expression of the Hulthemia blotch?"  I have been applying mixed pollen of the "best of the best" new Hulthemia seedlings from this year's batch.  I am happy to report that most of the pollinated blooms are producing hips.

I have a confession to make: it took me nearly half of the breeding season to realize that it was much easier to place a tag around the stem of a spray of 'Darlow's Enigma', than to place a tag on each one of the small peduncles!  For anyone who has tried pollinating 'Darlow's Enigma', you know how hard it is to place a string tag around one of its peduncles.  They seem to exude a resin with just enough stickiness to make it very difficult for the string to slide easily around the peduncle.  Yes, I broke off a couple of newly pollinated blooms trying to slip the string tags around the peduncles.  Now, each spray gets its own pollen parent tag!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New 2012 Hulthemia Seedlings

There are a few new Hulthemia seedlings that have bloomed this year that have gotten my attention.  Below, I have included photos of two of them.

The first seedling shown below highlights how a lighter coloring around the blotch gives it better definition.

The next seedling, although it doesn't have a lighter color area surrounding the blotch, because the blotch is so large, it appears almost like a target.  If maturity causes the blotch to become 3 times as large and more intense (which is usually seen as Hulthemias mature), there will only be a smaller fringe of lighter pink when the seedling blooms outside next Spring.  I am hoping that this second seedling has good blotch color heat stability - we should know if that is the case in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

English Style Hulthemias

Yes, I am trying to get the Hulthemia blotch into all styles of roses, including "English Roses".  Last year there were a few seedlings that showed some promise along these lines.

The seed parent for this cross, code named "K155-11", is seen here and was itself a seedling of ('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'Julia Child'.  It is a "half-sister" seedling to 'Thrive!' since they share the same seed parent: 'Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love'.  Like 'Thrive!', K155-11 has been extremely clean in our climate and I have seen no disease on it.

The pollen parent is a complex Hulthemia seedling that has ancestry that includes 'Persian Sunset', 'Chewtiggle', and 'Bull's Eye'.  It has a nice purple blotch.  It's downside is lack of vigor.  It has been a smaller plant, but is building a larger plant size slowly.  It's code name is "L83-6", and is a sister seedling to 'Eyeconic Pink Lemonade'.  It is shown below.

Combining the above two parent roses resulted in the seedlings below.  There are a handful of other seedlings from this cross that I am continuing to evaluate, but I think these two are the best.  As you can see, the blotch is not very large, but I think the darker color at the base of the petals may give more of a depth to the blooms that otherwise might not be there.