Gladiolus xgandavensis

Jim McKenney
Tue, 23 Aug 2005 05:57:48 PDT
John, you mentioned something in passing which intrigues me. I was under the
impression that Gladiolus xgandavensis was the first group of hybrid garden
glads. But you say that Gladiolus xgandavensis was itself crossed " with
existing garden hybrids, already a melange of genes from G. oppositiflorus,
G. cardinalis, G. cruentus and possibly others. So one can surmise that the
original Ghent gladiolus were already diverse in the 1840s when they were
distributed by the van Houtte nursery;"

In other words, Gladiolus xgandavensis was not the first group of hybrid
gladiolus? Can you tell us more about this? For instance, do those earlier
hybrids have group names? Also, was Gladiolus xgandavensis produced by
crossing two wild Gladiolus, or did it arise by crossing then existing
hybrids with Gladiolus dalenii? And are you saying that the original crosses
which produced Gladiolus xgandavensis were soon supplanted by hybrids
between the original xgandavensis hybrids and then existing hybrids, these
more highly hybridized plants being the ones introduced by van Houtte as
Gladiolus xgandavensis of commerce? 

I'm not trying to put you on the spot; no one may ever know the answers to
some of those questions. But in pointing out the existence of hybrids
earlier than Gladiolus xgandavensis, you have caused me to rethink my
understanding of these earliest stages of hybrid Gladiolus development. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I would like very much
to acquire stock of Gladiolus 'Green Woodpecker'.

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