Lilium Black Beauty

Kenneth Hixson
Mon, 17 Aug 2009 17:05:36 PDT
Jim M
  Lilium ‘Black Beauty’.
>From a hybridist’s point of view, ‘Black Beauty’ is one of the most
> important hybrid lilies ever raised. Many of the first generation of modern
> OT hybrids (hybrids of Oriental and Trumpet lilies) have this lily in their
> background. 
> How can that be if it is sterile?

The easiest to work
> with from a breeding point of view are apparently the tetraploids. 

  It’s possible, Kenneth, that what you have is one of the somewhat more
> tractable tetraploid forms. 

For what it is worth, I was referring to the original diploid Black 
Beauty, which I got directly from Leslie Woodriff (Fairyland Lily 
Gardens).  Over the years it built up into a colony of about fifty
stems, the best stem of which had over fifty flowers.  It isn't
sterile, though everyone says it is--but it sets seed very rarely,
which is the difference I was trying to imply.  It only needs to set 
seed once and produce a single fertile seedling to be fertile---and to 
be a major advance.

I've had the tetraploid form (which was created by more than one person,
though I'm not sure they should be considered different if they are the
tetraploid form(s) of the same original).  I didn't find the tetra BB
to be a very good plant or parent, and its' seedling, Leslie Woodriff,
is useful primarily as a pollen parent.  After about the fourth or
fifth generation fertility becomes much better.  I currently like
'Scene Stealer' for red OTs--though every time I think that name I can't
help thinking "seen stealing".  Act Two, presumably Scene Stealer's 
child, hasn't been great so far, but then maybe that's just how I
grow it.

There are a considerable number of OTs around now, and some of the
newer ones have reasonable fertility.  Lacking a greenhouse, I've
primarily played around with the ones that resemble the aurelian/
trumpet lilies.  Many of the ones that resemble the orientals bloom
later and often don't ripen their seeds until November, and need
frost protection.


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