Lycoris origins

James Waddick
Thu, 06 Aug 2009 07:53:37 PDT
Dear Anita and all,
	Another interesting topic.
	I agree with Tony that it is fairly easy to guess parentage 
of hybrids if you are familiar with parentage. Most first gen hybrids 
seem to be intermediate.

	L. squamigera sure looks like a 1st gen combo of sprengeri x 
longituba, but , based on karyotype, this might be a tricky cross 
only occurring rarely.  L. squamigera is generally believed to be a 
natural stable hybrid, but has been recorded from a few location in 
E. China centering around Zheijiang Province. It has long been in 
cultivation in China and brought to Japan centuries ago. Owing to its 
beauty, vigor and ease of multiplication it has spread far and wide. 
As a sterile plant it is essentially a clone. You just don't see 
anything intermediate between squamigera and anything. It is a 
hybridizing dead end.

	L. chinensis and L. longituba have nearly identical 
karyotypes and as you might expect there are numerous hybrid 
intermediates as 1st gen seedlings are fertile and easily back cross 
to either parent. You can readily ID plants that show a lot of one or 
the other with a mix of characters in delightful ways. These are 
hyridizers' dreams with many possibilities.

	Japan has fewer native species, but most of these have nearly 
identical karyotypes. The Japanese have developed a series of hybrids 
mostly between L. sanguinea and the introduced L.sprengeri. These are 
available from Dutch bulb dealers (in association with Japanese 
suppliers?) under a variety of fanciful names.

	China with more species and more karyotypical variation has 
produced an array of natural stable hybrid species such as x 
haywardii, X houdyshelii and others.  There are a couple of Chinese 
species which are little grown, but of suspect and probably hybrid 
origin such as L. caldwelli, L. straminea and possibly L. incarnata.

	With a pretty good color palette, size and form , the genus 
has a lot of potential for lovely garden plants.

	With a little attention to plant details, it is fairly easy 
to guess relationships. Reality takes longer.

		Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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