Intergeneric and interspecific hybrids

John Bryan
Thu, 10 Jun 2004 15:56:22 PDT
Dear Jim:

I just checked in W. J. Bean, he states Magnolia X soulangiana was first
raised in the garden of Mr. Soulange - Bodin and first flowered in 1826.
The seed parent was M. denudata fertilised by pollen of M. liliflora
Cheers, John E. Bryan

John Bryan wrote:
> Dear Jim:
> Magnolia denudata is from E & S China, has flowers which are white to
> ivory and leaves to 15 centimeters in length. M. liliflora is more
> widespread has flowers which are white flushed with pink to claret and
> pink and garnet beneath, the leaves are up to 20 centimeters in length.
> There are also other differences between the two species, such as seed
> pod size. M. X soulangeana has the habit of M.denudata but is more
> slender. If my memory is correct, the first crosses between these two
> species was made in France, I think in a nursery in Angers. Cheers, John
> E. Bryan
> Jim McKenney wrote:
> >
> > Dear All:
> >
> > When, in the early nineteenth century, the handsome Magnolia now widely
> > known as soulangiana appeared, it was described as a hybrid between
> > Magnolia denudata and M. liliiflora. Magnolia xsoulangeana proved to be
> > very fertile, and soon there were lots of little xsoulangeanas in gardens
> > everywhere.
> >
> > It surprises me that in the century and a half since, so few people have
> > questioned the significance of what really happened. In the early
> > nineteenth century, M. denudata and M. liliiflora were part of the received
> > canon. Because they are readily distinguished (but then, so are wolfhounds
> > and chihuahuas), no one called into question their status as distinct
> > species.
> >
> > Some of us would say that the vigor and fertility of M. xsoulangeana is all
> > the proof anyone needs to assert that M. denudata and M. liliiflora are in
> > fact the same species.
> >
> > In a post to this list months ago, it was mentioned that there are orchid
> > hybrids the ancestry of which involves plants from eight different genera.
> >
> > Some of us would say that that suggests that those eight purported genera
> > are actually just one very polymorphic species.
> >
> > What better proof of relationship and similarity can there be than the
> > ability to produce viable, fertile progeny? People are too much hungup on
> > what things look like. And that hangup seems to apply not only to those
> > looking at gross morphology, but also to those looking at chromosomes, dna
> > or the results of the latest and greatest technological innovations.
> >
> > I wish that those about to name genera and species - notho or otherwise -
> > would keep these things in mind. Once a name is validly published, it
> > becomes a part of our cultural virus load: it will always be there,
> > weighing us down, and there is no way to get rid of it.
> >
> > Jim McKenney
> >
> > Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where luckily there are no
> > viable, fertile progeny to distract me from my present interests.
> >
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