self fertility in Ledebouria

Wed, 11 Feb 2004 17:14:09 PST
Hello to all:

New plants of Ledebouria galpinii are in bud here in the windowsill, but
this is the first year so I can't tell you if this lovely species is self
fertile.  I can  tell you that some clones of L. socialis are self fertile
and produce variable seedlings, while other clones are at least self sterile
under my conditions as windowsill plants, even with hand pollination.  The
self fertile clone of L. socialis which I have had for several years is in
bud now also and will have flowers until June.  As I recall it is only in
May and June that seed sets from my hand pollination.

The seedlings from the self fertile clone of L. socialis are variable and I
loose quite a few from unknown causes.  My intention is to select for
increased leaf patterning and coloring, increased floral color, and
miniature or compact growth.  So far I have one seedling with dark
red-violet leaves and bulb scales  and several seedlings which appear to be
miniatures.  Only one of these seedlings has so far flowered, and it had
flowers paler than the parent clone, where most of the color comes from
violet anther filaments.

I plan to store some pollen this season, may have more to report later.

As I understand it L. socialis, as Scilla socialis, was named, published,
and illustrated first, then came the clone which was then thought a species,
Scilla pauciflora, and then many many years later came the publication of
the form with violet undersides to the leaves, Scilla violacea.  The problem
and delight of this species is that it has many variations in size, and leaf
pattern in  the green-leaved form and also many variants in the forms with
violet tinted leaves.

Unfortunately Venter's monograph on the Ledebouria of South Africa has not
been published.


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