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Author Topic: Helleborus hybridization ?  (Read 12292 times)

illingworth

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2007, 12:33:22 AM »
The colouring of our niger flowers appears just as the stamens begin to fall off. The H. Niger photo 4 below has less colouring than the others and was from McLewen seed. I think he referred to them at the time as the Sunset and Sunrise series. The number 3 photo and the orignal red/brown flower photo I put up come from seed set on our first plant purchased years back.

Seeing Tims photos of nigers growing in the open and not woodland suggests to me we should try them here in more open situations.

If anyone would like fresh seed from these plants send me an email off list in mid May.

-Rob
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Our garden at http://www.flickr.com/photos/illingworth/
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Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2007, 07:23:02 AM »
Hello Lesley, I wish it could be stabilised! I have plants here both grown from seed and collected as plants from the site in my photos in my previous post and even though the collected plants did have the intense red sepals in the wild, at best all I get here is a pink rim around the edge of the flower. We just don't get the long spells of intense, spring time sunshine that the plants would have to endure in the wild, so there is no need for them to produce the anthocyanins necessary to protect against photoinhibiton/high light stress. I'm sure that many plants of niger have the capacity to turn the sepals red if the situation is right and conditions are ideal... but not in dull, wet East Anglia :)

Rob, that colony of niger on the open, south facing slope is one of the few niger sites I have seen where there are a large amounts of seedlings. The plants don't really get any shade from the grass, although the roots are kept cool by it I suppose. The first three photos below show the same site as in my previous photos, but these photos were taken later on in the year in the first week of June.

The rest of the photos show a very open hillside in Croatia close to the border with Bosnia where H. torquatus grows happily. The last shot shows the natural variation of flower colour at this site (and at all other colonies of torquatus).



ian mcenery

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2007, 09:54:54 AM »
Tim what an absolutely fantastic plant of torquatus. I hope one day to grow a plant that looks half as good
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2007, 06:17:17 PM »
Hi Ian, it's a stunner, isn't it? When I found this plant back in April of 2006, I thought I had made a very good mental note of exactly where in the colony it was. It didn't seem to be that hard to memorise the whereabouts of that plant; it was considerably bigger than most of the other plants at that site, it was very close to the road and it was only a few metres away from an electricity pylon.

I went back in June, eight weeks after seeing this colony in flower and do you think I could find that plant? I searched high and low but couldn't find it anywhere. It's not the first time this has happened and I have been known to struggle to find entire colonies before now, colonies I've been to on several occasions previously :)

Lesley Cox

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2007, 11:23:43 PM »
Well, we do (sometimes) have a very hot, dry spring and maybe the red colour would be produced here so come May, I'll be sending off a note to Rob - and thanks for the offer.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

biodiversite

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2007, 02:39:04 PM »
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.

There is nows leaves only besides the flowers, and there is no tiny hairs... Could the emerging leaves different ?

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2007, 12:23:36 AM »
I went back in June, eight weeks after seeing this colony in flower and do you think I could find that plant?

Isn't it amazing how fast all the grasses and other plants grow up to mask the springtime ones you hope to collect seed from?

I draw sketches and make arrangements of pebbles at the road edge, then put a short piece of coloured yarn around the flower stem.  When I bought a digital camera, I started taking  site photos. And now I have a GPS.  I'll see how well that works.  I intend to continue with the low tech recording as a backup, though.
Diane Whitehead        Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Maggi Young

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2007, 12:32:02 AM »
The combo of GPS and site photos should be pretty good, I would think? More stuff for you to carry, of course, but since it is only to easy to wander off a path further than one thinks when in hot pursuit of a plant, and in a direction that isn't clear when spending lots of time with your nose to a camera back, then perhaps a GPS is essential baggage for safety reasons!

I confess not to know much about Global Satellite Positioning whatevers (is that what the GPS stands for?) are all makes much the same or are some more reliable than others? Is a cheaper version going to strand you in Saltcoats when you wanted to be in Sakhalin? :-[
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Diane Whitehead

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2007, 05:42:52 AM »
Regarding buying anything technical:  I go to a specialty store and chat to the clerks who usually are knowledgeable enthusiasts.  I describe exactly what I need to do with the object in question, and usually one of the employees has tried all their brands and knows exactly which one will suit me.

The GPS I bought is bright yellow, so I won't lose it in the bushes.

A GPS itself is reasonably priced.  Then you can pay lots of money for add-on maps.  I don't need any of them, though.  I use a topographical map and just want to pinpoint exactly where certain plants are.  The young men at the store warned me about relying entirely on the GPS - they said to be sure to have a map and compass as backup.
Diane Whitehead        Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2007, 07:02:38 AM »
It's not particularly easy to identify hellebore species from the bracts alone. H. dumetorum and H. atrorubens tend to have extremely large bracts, but your plant has what I would call small bracts.

I think we will have to wait for the emerging leaves. We should be able to see the tiny hairs on the underside of the leaves as they push up through the soil surface, before they open out. It's not impossible for your plant to be odorus and for it to not have the hairs. Nothing is impossible with species hellebores...
Once the leaves open out, we will have more of an idea of the identity of your plant. Do you have, or could you take a photo of the whole plant just as it grows, without any hands in shot? I would like to see the form of the plant if possible.




biodiversite

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2007, 08:14:03 AM »
I'll try Tim  ;), thank you for your help.

Moreover, is it the true H. atrorubens I Have ? I'm now doubtful of the identification of my helleborus species...

Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2007, 07:25:46 PM »
H. atrorubens is the only violet flowered species (although green flowered variants do grow in every colony I've seen) present in Slovenia, so if you are sure that your atrorubens has reliable provenance (grown from wild collected seed for example), it cannot be any other species. It certainly looks right.

Problems occur when growers who are growing several different acaulescent species which are wild sourced, let those plants set open pollinated seed and then harvest the seed from each species and release this seed with the species name attached. The species are so variable that a plant grown from cultivated seed which might look a little different could either be showing hybrid qualities, or simply be showing the variation present in that particular species. In most cases it's impossible to know for sure.

There are growers who go to great lengths to make sure that cross pollination doesn't occur by hooding the flowers and whilst I'm slowly beginning to accept that practice, I don't do it myself, but then I'm in a position to travel once or twice a year to collect wild seed. I never used to let my species plants set seed at all, but I do now and do list it on the seed list. All I ask is that recipients label the offspring from open pollinated species seed as 'H. from ..........' I'm not entirely comfortable with releasing this seed, but on the other hand it seems crazy to deprive people of what will be some great plants. Those showing hybrid qualities will usually be exceptional.

Sorry for the wayward post...

biodiversite

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2007, 09:15:56 PM »
Yes my H. atrorubens is from reliable provenance.
I'm very interested in keeping the genetic purity of plants.
In my garden my few helleborus species are far one to the others. A solution you don't tell : I think it's possible a year we want to collect garden plant seeds, to cut the flowers of the species without interest, before opening, and then collect only the good ones.

If a day you have seeds from species with high cutted folliage, I would be interested  ;)

Maggi Young

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2007, 11:27:38 PM »
Quote
Sorry for the wayward post... says Tim
No need to apologise, Tim, this is of interest to many of us.

Quote
There are growers who go to great lengths to make sure that cross pollination doesn't occur by hooding the flowers
Yes, I see that Guy (Geebo) showed some hooded plants in one of his posts.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Tim Murphy

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Re: Helleborus hybridization ?
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2007, 07:13:27 AM »
Hello Maggi, my post was looking dangerously like a rant, hence my apology in advance :)
My soapbox for this subject is very well used...

Guy's contraptions for hooding the flowers in the other thread looked as if they worked very well; I must go into that thread to investigate more.

 


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