Pollinators in slow motion

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 17:52:58 PST
Rick wrote,
  today  I pollinated  C. niveus x C. reticulatus,
>C. tommasianus roseus x C. niveus,  Crocus baytopiorum x C.
>chrysanthus 'Blue Pearl' etc etc.
>Just wondering if other members  are cross pollinating, and what
>results they may have had.

You could not have cross-pollinated anything today with Crocus 
niveus, because it is fall-blooming. You must have another big white 
crocus misidentified (C. malyi?).

Also, I don't know that C. baytopiorum would cross with 'Blue Pearl' 
(which is not C. chrysanthus, but either a selection of C. biflorus 
or a hybrid of that with C. chrysanthus) as they are in different 
sections and have different chromosome numbers. And if you have 
enough C. baytopiorum to work with, you should just self it, because 
it is precious.

Before embarking on a crocus hybridizing project, one should try to 
obtain the out-of-print (and ridiculously expensive, if you ever find 
it) "The Crocus" by Brian Mathew, which will help one verify the 
identity of one's plants in the first place, and understand their 
relationships. It is quite startling how many different chromosome 
numbers can be found in this genus. Brian Mathew told me he didn't 
think crocuses hybridized much, but other experts have told me they 
feel that hybrids are somewhat likely in a large collection. I think 
I have had volunteer hybrids in Section Crocus, with C. 
cartwrightianus as the seed parent.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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