Alstroemeria seed sent to BX: Background

Roy M. Sachs
Fri, 23 Aug 2002 11:18:46 PDT
A rough history of the alstroemeria seed distributed in BX 4:

In 1990 I purchased 3000 seed from Fred Meyer, a breeder of 
alstroemeria located in coastal southern California, and was able to 
obtain 60+ seed bearing plants from Leonard Carrier, another nearby 
alstroemeria breeder.  I know nothing about the origin of their 
plants, nor even the names of the species (they could have 
concentrated on hybrids already in the trade) that contributed to 
their breeding programs.  Both men are deceased and the whereabouts 
of their notebooks is not known to me.

 From this beginning my goal was to select for vigor in the field, 
full sun and partial shade, and unheated, summer-shaded greenhouse in 
a relatively hot, dry summer climate (temps in excess of 40 C are 
common for long stretches in the Sacramento valley)

About 1500 seedlings from Meyer's seed were planted in the field and 
greenhouse; seed from the most vigorous of these plants, about 300, 
constitute the largest segment of the plants growing in Davis and 
also at more coastal location (along the Russian river, 12 km inland 
from the Pacific where average max temp in the summer is 26 C).

None of Leonard Carrier's plants (some with beautiful florets) 
survived more than 3 years in a Davis greenhouse (unheated), but seed 
were collected for at least 2 years and seedlings of these 
collections survived in the field and greenhouse, although none had 
the distinctive colors of the parents.  They are now mixed with the 
Meyer plants.

So the seed bearing populations that I have in Davis and along the 
Russian river are some mix of these germ plasms. They are 
open-pollinated (self- and cross-fertile; to the extent that I have 
done selfing and crossing I can say this).

The largest portion of the seed come from the Russian river plants 
because the bee/hummingbird activity is greatest at this location.

There are some deep purple/magenta and raspberry red colors (as well 
as some with less pigmentation that i call "whitish") in a few 
seedlings but the majority produce florets in the light pink to dark 
lavender range, not nearly as attractive of what I see in the Dutch 

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