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11778Re: [AZ] A National Treasure - Key is in the dormant bloom buds

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  • Mike Creel
    Jan 1, 2009
      I have a Nancy Waterer rooted from cuttings from Fred Knippel, if I remember correctly, and some seedlings of a cross of R. luteum and an RSF atlanticum Robert Barnard.  I had another yellow Ghent rooted named Arpege, but I think I have lost all of thos cuttings.
      I think the key to identifying both species and hybrids is in the dormant bloom buds, making an ultra close examination with botanist hand lens and camera.
      I am about to come up with something I think definitive that might prove useful in separating atlanticum from viscosum (species that are similar in multiple respects) based upon close-up photos of the winter dormant buds (from multiple plants in my woods garden) and examination with a standard botanist's hand lens.  I have been working on this over the past few days with my emphasis on comparing viscosum and atlanticum flower buds, and also photos of canescens, periclymenoides, flammeum, prunifolium and others. But I have also taken photos of known hybrids like Choice Cream (an atlanticum X austrinum cross by Galle) and to me the combined bud characters of the two species is apparent.
      Coming up with one or more effective methods for photographing and lighting the bloom buds (on plants in the garden and on my maple kitchen table) has been a bit of a challenge, but I now have some photos that pretty much replicate the view of a bud through a hand lens.  I need to develop a single standard set-up for taking photos of all the buds. 
      Outdoors using a tripod on a still day with afternoon, not glaring, light works very well for bud photography using the super-macro setting on my Canon S2, a setting that will focus from zero to 3.8 inches, allowing that enough light reaches the subject at 1/60 of a second or slower. 
      A second method I find effective is to place buds with a length of lower stem flat on my kitchen table and shoot from the side (using light from an overhead chandlier of fluorescent lights) with the camera propped against the table so it is not prone to movement, using shutter speeds too slow to be handheld and a smaller aperature than wide open (2.7 F).  The aperature priority setting on my camera is useful for this.  I wish I could set up a rig for holding the camera, buds and lighting.
      Shortly I will send to the group my best photos of atlanticum and viscosum buds and remark on the differences I observe.  I realize that a much larger sampling of buds (than is available in my woods/yard) would be necessary for a true scientific finding, BUT so far the shapes, hairs and other characters of buds from the two species DO show specific differences.
      Mike Creel, Lexington, SC

      --- On Thu, 1/1/09, sjperk5 <sjperk5@...> wrote:
      From: sjperk5 <sjperk5@...>
      Subject: [AZ] A National Treasure
      To: azaleas@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, January 1, 2009, 10:00 AM

      For you who liked the movie consider reading pages 84-86 in Galle and
      asking yourself the following question:

      Is that small white fragrant R viscosum used in the the Viscosepala
      hybrids really a R. atlanticum?

      Is this why 'Viscosepala' blooms so near the time of R. molle and R.
      atlanticum rather than later as one would expect from cross with

      Or is the cross as documented?

      Is 'Nancy Waterer' which has no freckles in the blotch really
      caleducaleum X luteum as hinted at by Galle instead of molle X

      Our 'Nancy Waterer' sets OP seed on a regualr basis.

      John Perkins
      Salem, NH

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