Saturday, September 22, 2012

Best 2012 Hulthemia Seedling

Though only time will truly tell whether this seedling is really good, this one appears to be the best new Hulthemia seedling from the 2012 growing season. As previously discussed, blotch size increases and intensifies as Hulthemia seedlings mature. This photo was taken when the seedling was only about 6 months old. I expect that the blotch will be even better next spring.

The parentage includes ‘Cal Poly’ crossed with a Hulthemia seedling on the seed parent side, and the pollen parent was from a mix of Hulthemia pollen coming from the best Hulthemia seedlings of last year. Because of its plant habit and clusters of blooms, I suspect that the pollen parent was O225-1 (a photo of this seedling can be seen in the previous post).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Harvest

Harvest is almost finished. Most of the rose hips are at least starting to change color, from green to yellow/orange, but some have remained green. Nevertheless, I have been ready to harvest, so ready or not.....

 The tags that were used to mark the crosses are discarded when the hips are harvested. I did more crosses this year than I had intended, but I think that happens nearly every year.

Some varieties may still appear green on the outside of the hips despite being ripe on the inside. In the second photo below of hips of K58-1, you can easily see the orange (ripe) coloring beneath the surface where the peduncles have been snapped off.

One of the Hulthemias I had to harvest a bit early. It has had an apparent bad case of “dieback” (I mentioned this trait last year in “Hulthemia Traits, the Good and the Bad”. Most Hulthemia varieties do not suffer from dieback, but for those that do, it can be quite severe. In this case, it appears to have killed the plant. Earlier this Spring, it set hips very nicely and all of them were developing as expected and then, all of a sudden, the plant appeared to just die! All of the shriveled hips were harvested in hopes that something would germinate next year.

I suspect that a fungus is responsible for the dieback. In the photos below, you can see blacken areas on the canes. This apparent fungus seems to kill the canes similar to the way that downy mildew kill canes, by girdling them. It seems to be present during the hottest weather rather than in cooler weather when downy mildew is active. I have no idea what it is.

The Hulthemia highlighted in the post referenced above in “Hulthemia Traits, the Good and the Bad”, has the code name O225-1. Although it gets a bit of dieback, it survives it and puts on a nice display. The photo of it as seen below was taken on 9-9-12. It clearly has good heat stability since the blotch hasn’t faded in our very hot Summer of 2012. This one produces hips with an alligator skin surface (seen further down), and has a good germination rate.

There are always a few crosses that are unsuccessful. These do not produce hips, but instead turn brown and dry-up on the plant. This failed cross (seen below), was not unexpected since the pollen parent was Rosa minutifolia. Of the several crosses that I made with it, only one hip formed on ‘Pearl Sanford’. However hopeful that I may be for that cross to be successful, I am taking bets that none of the seedlings that germinate (if any do!), will be true hybrids with R. minutifolia. Only one other time have I seen a hip produced with pollen from R. minutifolia and all of the seedlings that sprouted were clearly not hybrids, indicating that the seeds probably resulted from self pollination. The hip can be seen below in my set-up for sorting hips. It is the single hip in the pot all the way to the right.