Fritillaria hybrids

Kenneth Hixson
Mon, 25 Apr 2005 12:50:37 PDT
>Jane wrote:
>As interesting as these hybrids are, especially if they are better garden 
>plants than their parents, most people who grow frits are intent on having 
>the true species, so I am rather embarrassed to have sent out possibly 
>mixed seed. However, I hope that anyone who grows exchange seed from 
>garden sources is aware of this possibility and verifies the seedlings 
>before passing on their seeds in turn.
         Expectation is the key.  Someone who expects to get true
species will be unhappy if that isn't what they get.  However, I'm one of
the people who doesn't try to grow many Fritillaria, simply because I can't
give them the care they demand.  Hybrids of certain species on the other
hand would probably be attempted,  in hope that they would thrive with the
conditions I could give them.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I buy seed of
"mixed garden hybrids" and select from the seedlings those that suit me/
will grow in my garden.
         I also admit that at one time I sent seed of Iris chrysophylla to
seed exchanges, assuming it was true as it was over a hundred feet from
any other pacific coast iris, with shrubbery between.  Then one year I
thought I needed a few more plants and planted some of my seed.
None of them came true, and now I wouldn't share any pacific coast iris
unless I had collected it in the wild.  That would be done with reluctance,
so now no seed is donated, except hybrids.
         Some people only provide hand pollenated and protected seed,
while others send whatever appears on the plant.  Either one is acceptable
to some but not all buyers.  The buyer needs to know which.  I know
species of Liles, Rhododendrons, Roses, which will give apparently
true species even when hand pollenated with foreign pollen.  In one 
Lilium regale was hand pollenated with foreign pollen for nine generations.
The seedlings still appeared to be true L. regale.  Thus, if I saw seed
offered as L. regale x (something), I would only order that seed if I wanted
L. regale.  True hybrids can be  produced, but I don't know the procedure.
The reverse cross,  (something) x L regale, on the other hand is often a
true hybrid.  There are species of rhododendrons I'd be glad to have hybrids
from, and would be glad to have open pollenated seed, but the rhody society
no longer offers open pollenated seed.

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