hardy glads and other geophytes.

Diane Whitehead voltaire@islandnet.com
Tue, 06 Mar 2007 11:53:02 PST
Yes, count me in as being interested, Adam.

Hardiness is not just for cold places.  It is also for gloomy wet  
places as Brent mentioned.  There are winter-growing bulbs that do  
just fine in our cold wet winters though:  Arums like italicum and  
nigrum, Narcissus, Cyclamen.  Antifreeze in their leaves?  Though  
Arum nigrum looks as vulnerable as lettuce.

I have plans to hybridize gladiolus. I am interested in unusual  
flower shapes and scent.  I have some seedlings coming of Gladiolus  
callianthus x papilio (the reverse cross produced no seeds).   I  
tried uysiae pollen I collected in South Africa this year on papilio  
but got no seeds.

There was a talk about hybridizing gladiolus at the IBSA Symposium  
last September by John Pilbeam and Anthony Hamilton from the U.K.  
They are building on the breeding done by Tom Barnard who used  
tristis, carinatus and virescens.  He hadn't used orchidiflorus, and  
Anthony thought it would help give a good blue.  He has scented blues  
from blue carinatus x green orchidiflorus, and one of them "The Blue  
Orchid" was launched last year.  He handed out a few cormlets but I  
don't know whether any of us from North America got one.

He has wonderful blue and whites from further generations from  
Barnard's tristis x carinatus.

Last fall he introduced Midnight Sun, which starts yellow and turns  
orange, with a purple edge.  He has a red one that remains scented  
all day.

He doesn't like ones he calls "artsy" - like watermeyeri.

He has claret coloured flowers from dark blue x papilio.

There are quite a few breeders of primulinus hybrids in the U.K.'s  
Gladiolus Society.

Diane Whitehead
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8, cool Mediterranean climate
mild rainy winters, mild dry summers

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