CA native experts needed

Rodger Whitlock
Mon, 09 Jun 2003 06:11:00 PDT
On  5 Jun 03 at 21:58, John Ingram wrote re Delphinium nudicaule:

> Another question, have these ever been hybridised with the "modern"
> Pacific Giant strain to produce a heat tolerant, "So Cal sun"
> tolerant, drought tolerant plant and if so, why is it not in our
> gardens?

A Dutch horticulturist spent many years trying to breed true yellow,
pink, and red garden delphiniums, crossing Dd. zalil, nudicaule and
cardinale with the usual blue/white garden strains. When he retired,
perhaps twenty years ago, the breeding stock and program were moved
to the RHS garden at Wisley.

IIRC, there were significant genetic barriers to crossing these 
various species -- different chromosome counts and such. Moreover, 
the best plants proved difficult or impossible to propagate 
vegetatively, even using tissue culture techniques.

I haven't read anything recently about this program and do not know
what its current status is, though I believe at one time seed was
released for trials.

Also note that the focus of the program was on color, not heat- and 

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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