Saturday, July 21, 2012

Striped Anthers!

Well actually, I suppose the anthers themselves are not striped, but I noticed a peculiar thing with this new striped Hulthemia seedling: it has 2 different colors of anthers. It seems that the lighter colored anthers are emanating from the regions containing the lighter colored stripes. Both the anthers and the filaments appear to be lighter colored. 

I don’t recall ever seeing this on other striped roses. Have you?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And The Heat Goes On - Enduring Blotches

I have been known to curse our “dry heat” here in Bakersfield, not for it being dry, but for it feeling as hot as Hades sometimes! With regard to breeding for the Hulthemia blotch, our heat has been a blessing. 

One of the best Hulthemias on the market is named ‘Eye’s For You’ (please click on the link to see it at it’s best). It has a gorgeous bloom, with a very large and very dark purple blotch that suggests strong fragrance – and it doesn’t disappoint! It was bred in England by Peter James. The rainier, and cooler climate in England generally does not offer as much opportunity to assess Hulthemia seedlings’ blotch heat stability. So this post is not about disparaging 'Eyes For You'. There is another advantage that rose breeders in England have over those of us in Bakersfield. It is in selecting Hulthemias with better black spot resistance.

Below are photos of Hulthemia blossoms that I shot 4 days ago. All of the plants were growing in the same general vicinity outside of the greenhouse, and the blooms were all at the same stage of opening. All but one was from my Hulthemia seedlings from 2011. The other Hulthemia was ‘Eyes For You’. Can you guess which one it is?

It is the one in the middle.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012 Striped Hulthemias

Last year I shared a post about a striped Hulthemia (code named “N210-1”, a seedling that sprouted in 2010) that showed up among a batch of open pollinated Hulthemia seeds, meaning that a bee must have carried the pollen from a striped rose to the Hulthemia from which the seeds were collected (see The Hulthemia in the Striped Pajamas). Although I had been trying for a couple of years to get a good striped Hulthemia, none were as good as that open pollinated 2010 seedling.

Trying to improve on that one, I made many crosses last year between that seedling and several of the Hulthemias. I also did many crosses between the various Hulthemia seedlings and ‘Fourth of July’, and a couple of my own striped seedlings. I am happy to report that we have seen some improvements.

The first photo below is of a new seedling from 2011 resulting from a cross of N210-1 with mixed Hulthemia pollen. It was the only striped Hulthemia seedling that I kept last year and although the blotch was not that impressive, I kept it because there were no other good ones that compared with it. The mature bloom in the photo below, taken this morning, shows the blotch being much better developed than when I saw it as a new seedling last year. Its blotch as a new seedling was not as good as the blotches seen in the petals from the newest 2012 striped Hulthemia seedlings (seen further down in this post). I am hopeful that these will have blotches that will similarly improve as the seedlings mature.

In the next photo, several of the 2012 new striped Hulthemia petals can be seen.  We are starting to get more interesting colors.

The petals in the last photo shown below, are of of the best striped Hulthemia from this year.  It resulted from a cross between one of my striped seedlings and a Hulthemia code named "M62", one of the cleanest Hulthemias that we have had to date.