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16040Re: Strange R. occidentale article

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  • occidentale
    Mar 1, 2011
      I collected sample material for both Hall and Ranney from SW Oregon, NW California and the Mt. Palomar area of Southern California. I also sent the material from cutting grown plants in my garden. Mike McCullough also sent Tom material. His email of 8-31-09 is below. I can send the spread sheet if anyone wants it. There are 44 R. occidentale, one natural hybrid and one R. macro.
      I will be doing a program at the Convention in May, R. occidentale An Outlaw species. I have about 60 photos of flowers no two of which are the same. I would encourage you to attend.
      Dick 'Red' Cavender, Red's Rhodies, Sherwood Oregon USA Zone 8

      Red and others,

      Nathan ran the occidentale samples, spreadsheet attached.  In general, they were all diploids with the exception of ‘Double Dig Twelve’ (4x) and SM 502 (3x).  SM 232 x ‘Double Dig Twelve’ was diploid, suggesting a possible paternity suit.

       A number of samples (the ones with a * in column 2) had some tissue with higher ploidy levels  in the floral buds.  For example Braaflad Twisted Petals was 2x, 4x, and 8x in the floral tissue.  In cases where we had vegetative buds, from the same plant, they were just diploid. This suggests that there is some endoreduplication going on in the floral tissue.  This has been reported in evergreen azaleas before  and it was found that floral tissues with different ploidy levels actually had different colors and gave rise to picotees.  This could contribute to things like twisted petals and varied flower colors in occidentale.  

      I think we have pretty good evidence now that R. occidentale is primarily a diploid taxa.


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