Monday, April 13, 2015

Open Pollination Test

When selecting for a new seed parent, one of the characteristics that I like to see in addition to a good germination rate, is good phenotypic variability among it's seedlings.  In a previous post, I mentioned that seeds of Q199-1 germinated very well (see First Pollination of 2015).  In this post I am highlighting some of the variability that I am seeing in Q199-1's seedlings.  All of the seedlings seen in the last two photos are the result of open pollination (meaning that the bees did the pollinating and that most of the seedlings resulted from self pollination).

Q199-1 is seen in the first photo below.  As shown, it is a single petalled Hulthemia that blooms well.  It also sets hips well, germinates well, and as will be shown in the second and third photos below, produces a wide range of seedlings.  For me, this is a sign of good plasticity as a seed parent and suggests that there will be more possibilities than average in it's progeny when crossed with a wide range of pollen parents.

In the next photo there is a glimpse of this variability.  It is hard to believe that these seedlings all came from the same seed parent.

I took another photo below of some of the culls from a single day when the Q199-1 group of seedlings were blooming profusely.  It is easy to see variability of color and bloom size, but notice too the great variability of the filaments and anthers of the stamens.  The filaments range from white and almost clear, to yellow, to pink, to purple and to almost black.  The anthers are mostly yellow, but some have darker parts to them too.  One of the more obvious characteristics is that with the exception of one seedling, all of them are simple, single-petalled blooms (have only 5 petals).  This is not surprising since both parents of Q199-1 were single-petalled.  It will be important to make crosses to Q199-1 with roses having more double blooms in order to increase the petal count in it's seedlings.  Though many of the seedlings below are pretty, I think that Hulthemias look best with 10-15 petals.  Are there any of the seedlings below that you would have kept?


  1. mmm I like the yellow-cream single with the red anthers as well as the dark-eyed pink and white the one that looks really close to the parent but seem like it might be a bit brighter than the parent....

  2. Thanks Bekah! These were mostly culls. It is always so hard to decide on what to keep with limited room. I think that the only one of this group that I kept was the one with the darkest eye…

  3. glad you kept it, they are all so lovely :) Jim if you don't mind I am wondering if you pick many of your first culls mainly by interest in the flower, and if so do you believe the first blooms will necessarily look the same when the roses mature?