Nerine breeding

J.E. Shields
Fri, 15 Nov 2002 10:41:53 PST
Hi all,

I have been observing the seedlings as my seeds from the cross Nerine [bowdenii wellsii X krigei] have sprouted.  I note that the first leaves, as they start to get longer than about an inch or so, are developing the longitudinal spiral twist characteristic of N. krigei.  The young seedlings of the cross I did a year ago, N. [filifolia X krigei], also showed this trait.  Seedlings of N. krigei itself show the same trait but in a more pronounced way.  Seedlings of N. filifolia do not seem to show it.

Seedlings from seed of N. bowdenii from Rhoda & Cameron McMaster's "The Croft Nursery" are showing leaves that are straight and quite a bit wider than these from Nerine [bowdenii wellsii X krigei], but they are also 5 months older at this point.

I had been warned that some bowdenii clones are parthenogenic, and that I might be getting just apomictic seeds from my cross.  After all, the pollen of  N. krigei that I used had been in my freezer for over a year.  I'm pretty confident now that I'm getting what I wanted.  This is quite encouraging.

Also encouraging are two scapes coming up on bulbs of Aad Koen's hardy bowdenii clone.  I'm still mulling over what to put on these flowers when they open  N. krigei?  N. bowdenii wellsii?  N. filifolia?  I also have seeds germinating from this past month of N. [filifolia X bowdenii wellsii]; if this cross is good, the leaves of these seedlings should be significantly broader than those of filifolia by this time next year.

N. 'Manina' bulbs have not so far shown any signs of blooming.  I believe it is a near-white flower that ages to a pinkish color.  Does anyone know if it is fertile?  I can't remember who commented on it awhile back.  It's a moot point until it shows some signs of blooming anyway.

A pot of N. undulata is sending up one scape; this is quite a bit earlier than usual, although I'm, not sure the word "usual" is applicable to nerine blooming times.  Beck Heath mentioned once that they had a clump of N. undulata that grew and bloomed right outside their office window, in Virginia.  Maybe I'll try killing a few undulata outdoors here some year.

It is such a joy to have too many choices available!  Most often in the past, my Nerine breeding has been limited by what particular variety had a scape up!

I'm looking forward to the germination of the seeds from N. 'E.B. Anderson' that Uli Urban kindly sent to me, and to the growth of bulbs that may be from Tony Norris' original Drakensberg collections 20 years ago.

Since one Clivia is showing a scape starting already, I think my Nerine season may overlap the start of my Clivia season in the greenhouse.  It could be a delightful Christmas season, whether Santa Claus comes here or not.

Jim Shields
in central Indiana

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW    http//
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA                   Tel. +1-317-896-3925

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