Amaryllis 'Multiflora' breeding questions

Michael Mace
Sun, 25 Oct 2009 21:30:48 PDT
I've had another fun season this fall playing with the Amaryllis (or
Amarygia) 'Multiflora' bulbs I received from the late Les Hannibal.  It was
a mediocre bloom season, with a shortage of really dark pink flowers.  But
still I have enough bulbs that I got a fair number of flowers to play with.

I wanted to post a couple of observations/questions and see if the true
Amaryllis experts on the list would like to share any wisdom...

--Has anyone ever tried crossing A. 'Multiflora' with Brunsvigia marginata?
I have seen several comments online from people who have crossed them with
B. josephinae, and I've made that cross myself.  But I can't find any
discussions of crosses with B. marginata.  I managed to get some marginata
pollen this fall, and it looks like the crosses with the Amaryllis may have
worked -- I got a number of small white, pink, or straw-colored seeds, much
smaller than the usual 'Multiflora' seeds.  Some of the seeds were already
sprouting in the pod.  That's how the seeds from the B. josephinae crosses
looked, so I'm very hopeful.

Based on how long it takes for me to get these bulbs to mature, it'll
probably be as much as a decade before these crossed bulbs bloom.  So, has
anyone made this cross before, and if so can you tell me what to expect from
the flowers?

--I am now starting to get blooms from the first crosses I made among the
'Multifloras' from Mr. Hannibal.  The results are interesting.  For example,
I thought that crossing a dark pink and a medium pink would produce fairly
dark pink flowers.  But instead that cross produced some mid-pink flowers
and some pure white ones.  From my dim memories of high school genetics, I
presume that means there are some recessive genes in there.  But that's
about all I can tell.

Any comments from the experts?  Are there any rules of thumb on what sort of
flowers various crosses will produce?  Is it the white or the dark pink
that's recessive?  I presume it's the white.  And how does the yellow throat
in the flower play in the mix?  I have both pinks and whites with and
without strongly yellow throats.



PS:  I am harvesting a lot of seed this year and will send some to the BX.

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