Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Unexpected results from mini X species cross

R. Hugonis is one of my "fascinations" and has been for some time. I raised my 1-72-1Hugonis hybrid some years ago and enjoy its flowering each spring. I've raised a few seedlings from it, but it wasn't until 2013 it began providing some really interesting results. 

I posted previously about the red, single, repeat flowering seedling. This germinated at the same time as that seedling, only from a different cross. Pink Petticoat is a very health, prolific miniature bred by Gene Strawn and introduced by Pixie Treasures back in 1979. I polled several folks several years ago, whose opinions I highly respect, about what minis were the healthiest for them, and which yielded good, solid seedlings. Pink Petticoat was a universal favorite. 

I pollinated Pink Petticoat in earnest with everything I found interesting. This seedling was a very early surprise! It definitely has first generation hybrid vigor! None of the other seedlings expressed anything approaching its vigor. This is the plant one year from germination. It's planted in (and rapidly outgrowing!) a seven gallon nursery can. 

The foliage is beautiful and completely healthy in this climate. All the plant parts are quite large. 

I search it daily for evidence of any buds, and was thrilled to find ONE a few weeks ago. It's taken its time opening..from this...
to this in three weeks.

After two rather hot days (mid nineties) and watering the can daily, this greeted me this morning. 

There wasn't any scent to perceive in the cooler morning air, but two hours later, it had a nose full! Quite sweet with tones of lemon zest and it lasted through several "sniffings". The color seemed to enjoy the increased heat and light, too. 

There are a few anthers which appear to contain some pollen. The stigma also appears as if it might accept some pollen. 

I like how decorative these first sepals are and how they give this bloom the "high-shouldered look". 

1-72-1Hugonis is nearly prickle-free, except for the odd cane expressing enormous, red prickles. Pink Petticoat has prickles, but not an over abundance of them. This seedling expresses heavier prickles toward the lower portions of the canes. The top growing ends are nicely low in them.

After being unable to find the Double Hugonis and it had seemed impossible to bring Dr. E. M. Mills back into the country, I figured I would have to create my own double version of Hugonis. Of course I will be keeping an eye on this one!