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Author Topic: Helleborus hybridization ?  (Read 12294 times)

biodiversite

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Helleborus hybridization ?
« on: February 13, 2007, 04:14:05 PM »
Hi everybody,
I raise Helleborus dumetorum from Slovenia, far from all over helleborus species. 3 years ago I collected the seeds with a bag around flowers, and I sowed the seeds. The seedlings are flowering, but surprise, the color of the flowers is different.
Here are a photo of the mother plant flower, green, and a photo of the seedlings, white and pink : what do you think ? There was an hybridization (for example with H. orientalis, H. purpurascens or H. atrorubens), or it's the natural variation of the species ?

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 07:53:24 PM »
Hello, I have been looking closely at your photos and the mother plant does not look like H. dumetorum to me. I have seen H. dumetorum in Slovenia (close to Maribor in the northeast) and at lots of sites in northeast Croatia, and as far as acaulescent hellebores go, it is a fairly homogeneous species.

Whereabouts in Slovenia does your mother plant come from? There are some plants in the southwest of the country which look like a more delicate form of H. odorus, and your plant looks similar to those. The flower on your plant looks too rounded in shape; H. dumetorum flowers are usually more star-shaped, with the sepals not overlapping as much as they are on your flower. The shape of the sepals on your plant was what made me think straight away that it is not an example of H. dumetorum. I have posted some photos below for comparison. These plants are in a colony east of Pakrac, northeast Croatia. I don't like to use the word 'typical' too much when I'm talking about hellebores, but... the flower shapes you see in the photos are typical of classic dumetorum. Another reliable (but not on every plant) and distinguishing characteristic of H. dumetorum is the elegant white rim around the edge of the sepals. Do you have any photos of the foliage?

The plants in your second photo are definitely of hybrid origin. Whether your parent plant from Slovenia is a form of local odorus (likely I think), or an aberrant from of dumetorum (which I doubt), neither of these species show variation to the degree where plants looking like the ones in your photo would appear.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 07:56:48 PM by Tim Murphy »

biodiversite

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2007, 08:07:39 PM »
Thanks very much for your precise answer.

The plant come to me from czech collector, but I don't know the exact locality.

I don't have any photos of the folliage, I only found an ancient and finer photo of the flower of the mother plant, if it can help you.

Now the folliage of the mother plant is cutted as it was dead, but I don't remember such a 'cannabis-like' folliage on my plant, I think folliage is closer than those of H. cyclophyllus...

Do you think my plant so could be a real H. odorus ?

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2007, 08:49:20 PM »
Yes, your plant looks to me to be closer to H. odorus (or whatever the local, more delicate Slovenian form of odorus will end up being called) than it is to H. dumetorum. I have been looking at your photos again, and the bracts on  your plant look far too small for dumetorum. Look how large the bracts are on the plants in my photos. The bracts on plants of H. odorus are much smaller than those found on dumetorum.

It is a shame that you do not have a photos of the foliage. Do you remember seeing tiny hairs on the underside of the new, emerging foliage? Young H. odorus foliage is usually visibly pubescent, whereas the young emerging foliage of H. dumetorum is glabrous. The fact that you say that the foliage looks more like cyclophyllus would suggest to me that you do have odorus. It would be difficult to confuse dumetorum and odorus foliage with one another.

It is a nice plant and I hope that you are not disappointed if it is odorus and not dumetorum. Perhaps you will post photos when the foliage emerges.

biodiversite

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 09:48:07 PM »
No for me H. odorus is great too as I don't have it in my garden.
Yes I'll try photos of the emerging folliage to have confirmation of the identification. I don't have botanical formation so I don't observe precise characters  :-[.

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2007, 09:55:02 PM »
Great, I look forward to seeing photos of the foliage.

illingworth

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2007, 12:38:19 AM »
This is our first post  since the start of the new forum format. I guess we are slow adapters.

I will attempt to put up a picture of what we grow here as H dumetorum. It is rock hardy, long lived, not very showy and thankfully only seeds around a bit. It has never appeared to cross polinate. Original seed came from Mclewen.

[img]

When you attach a photo to a post does it show on screen when you preview the post? After you attach the pic is that all you have to do?


 
Rob and Sharon,
Our garden at http://www.flickr.com/photos/illingworth/
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Lesley Cox

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2007, 02:18:13 AM »
Hello Rob, Nice to have you back. It gets easier I promise.

Yes, unless you want to say something else, just click "post" and it all happens. The image doesn't show in the preview or on the reply screen which is a bit disconcerting at first as you don't know where to write the next line. I just press "return" a couple of times and start to type again if I'm putting text between pictures.

We'll be expecting pics soon of your stunning Cypripediums et al.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2007, 06:55:45 AM »
That's a nice photo, Rob, again showing how large the bracts of dumetorum are. I have plants here from Hungary which have that conical flower shape; does your plant have a WM collection number and if so, what is it?

illingworth

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2007, 12:29:56 AM »
Thank you for the welcome back, Lesley, and for the usage tips. I really only have time to work with my pictures in the winter, and I will try to post a few in the next few months. I love to photograph our garden and try to do it all each year so I can make a chronological record of how it progresses through the seasons.  My overall intention is to have a video slide show for each of the past few years to keep our memories alive in our impending dotage.

Sorry Tim, no notes here on McLewen's collection numbers. There may be a list here somewhere and if it shows up I will let you know.

Attached is a photo of one of our H. niger with flowers that turn dark red/brown as they age. A few other nigers have this colouration  but none as extreme as this one. Is it unusual?

-Rob
Rob and Sharon,
Our garden at http://www.flickr.com/photos/illingworth/
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Lesley Cox

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2007, 02:01:09 AM »
That looks like something quite different Rob, a beauty and full of seed as well.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

illingworth

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2007, 04:36:00 AM »
Lesley, in viewing the picture the colour was not what it should have been. The green was off because of a colour cast which I have now removed. I hope. As I had posted the pic because of the colour I will give it another try.

-Rob
Rob and Sharon,
Our garden at http://www.flickr.com/photos/illingworth/
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2007, 07:09:44 AM »
Hello Rob, that H. niger is fantastic. It's not unusual to see the sepals turn a deep red like that in wild populations. In the UK though, it's not seen all that often (or at least the colour isn't usually that intense) and plants collected in the wild which have deep red sepals at the time of collection often never perform anything like as well in cultivation.

Certainly in Croatia and Slovenia, when niger comes into flower it is often as the snow is melting and this is often followed by many days of bright, unbroken sunshine. It is this intense sunlight which causes the sepals (usually on the pollinated flowers) to turn a deep pink or red. We don't get much weather like that during spring in the UK, at least not where I live, anyway. A few of my plants will show a little bit of colour around the rim of the pollinated flower, but never have I had a completely pink/red flower.

Below are some photos I took at a very nice colony of wild H. niger in Croatia, between Rijeka and Ogulin. You can see that some of the plants have flowers which have turned red after pollination.




Staale

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2007, 08:38:25 AM »
What a delight to see such beautiful plants in their natural habitat! I have never seen this red coloration in my own H. niger plants. Although the spring in Norway is normally very sunny, and with long days, I suppose maybe the sun is not intense enough. Keep the pictures coming, please.
Staale Sorensen, 120 km north of Oslo, Norway

Lesley Cox

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2007, 09:45:00 PM »
Rob and Tim, that would be a great trait to fix in H. niger, either bybreeding or selection from the wild or both. Lovely pics above, all of them.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

 


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