Fritillaria hybrids

Robin Hansen
Wed, 12 Mar 2008 19:11:29 PDT
My frits, too, are having their happiest spring in years, think it must be the prolonged cold we have had here on the coast -- weeks and weeks of it.  

A question for Jane and whoever received Erythronium  x multiscapoideum or ??  Multiscapoideum itself is blooming but there is an erythronium you thought might be  a hybrid, Jane; it is spectacular!  The leaf pattern is quite a bit darker and more defined and the leaves, stems and buds are all flushed a wonderful rose.  It's not quite in bloom yet and I will get photos as soon as possible.  

Has anyone had this one bloom?  And if so, do you have any clues as to identity?  It does seem more vigorous than the species.

Robin Hansen
Southwest Oregon
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jane McGary 
  To: Pacific Bulb Society 
  Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 3:03 PM
  Subject: [pbs] Fritillaria hybrids

  The fritillarias are getting going well now and I'm having the annual 
  anxiety of trying to verify their identities. Oh for a monograph! I wish I 
  were not so intimidated by the thought of posting photos on the PBS wiki -- 
  every time I try it, I seem to do it wrong.

  The big surprise today was the first flower in a pot of seedlings of F. 
  pluriflora, seeds from my own plants. It appears to be a hybrid with the 
  pollen parent probably being F. striata, which flowers nearby at the same 
  time. F. pluriflora flowers are held upfacing or at an oblique tilt, 
  whereas this one has fully pendent flowers like F. striata. The tepals are 
  slightly reflexed at the tips, like striata but not like pluriflora. It is 
  deep pink, like pluriflora, but shows the "dotted line" tesselation of F. 
  striata, and also that species' white style. It does not have the sweet 
  fragrance typical of striata. I have sent photos to experts for their 
  opinions. These two species both come from California, but are widely 
  separated geographically.

  I'm eagerly awaiting the first flowering this year of another plant that I 
  know is a hybrid, because I made a deliberate cross with pollen of F. 
  eastwoodiae onto what I think is F. gentneri (or a very large, flaring F. 
  recurva, which is basically ... gentneri). I did this because I had only 
  one clone of the latter, so could not get pure seed of it, and was curious. 
  F. eastwoodiae itself is sometimes claimed to be a natural hybrid of F. 
  recurva x F. micrantha, but it is very stable and fertile, and I suspect it 
  should be viewed as a good species.

  I've previously written about bee hybrids here between F. biflora and F. 
  purdyi (both ways), and Ed Rustvold of Berkeley, California, has sent me 
  material of plants he thinks are this cross. Diana Chapman and I have 
  apparent hybrids of F. liliacea x F. agrestis that were made by bees here 
  -- no improvement on the former, unfortunately, as they are green instead 
  of white and smell bad.

  I prefer to grow wild species, but these garden hybrids are fascinating 
  too, and the purdyi x biflora cross is both attractive and unusually 
  robust, probably a better garden plant than the somewhat miffy F. purdyi 
  but preserving its black-and-white tessellation and shiny surface texture. 
  It also produces many offsets AND viable seed -- I may see the F2 flower 
  this year.

  So if you'd like to be a lily breeder and don't have much room, consider 
  their little cousins.

  Jane McGary
  Northwestern Oregon, USA

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