Diane Whitehead
Tue, 20 Jan 2004 20:07:45 PST

Snowdrops have not been hybridized, but discovered, either in the 
wild or self-sown in someone's garden.  Some are very distinct - with 
a very unusual shape, no green markings, the beginnings of yellow, 
etc.  If some hybridizers did take up the challenge, I am sure we 
would have much more diversity.  Just think of Shirley poppies in 
their myriad of colours - there was one slightly different poppy in 
the millions growing in English fields, and one parson patiently 
sowed and selected till he transformed the flower.

The reasons we don't have lots of deliberate hybrids are:
small size
early flowering

You will note that the favourite plants hybridized by amateurs all have:
big flowers with very accessible reproductive parts, and are
summer flowering

After all, who wants to grovel in the mud to make crosses?

I do know of one person who is hybridizing: Dr Joe Harvey, but he is 
doing it mostly to establish affinities.  Once he has proved that two 
species will cross, he doesn't bother to carry on further.

Diane Whitehead  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8
cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
sandy soil

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