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Pollination Tricks to get around incompatibility

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  • Mike Creel
    The pollination trick that may have worked for me last summer occurred when pollinating my Early Prune prunifolium with pollen from nearby Fourth of July Rh.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 31, 2004
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      The pollination trick that may have worked for me last
      summer occurred when pollinating my Early Prune
      prunifolium with pollen from nearby Fourth of July Rh.
      oldhami. I accidentally broke the stem (partially) of
      the prunifolium flower, and thought for sure the
      broken stem would die before forming a seed pod, but
      it didn't, healing instead and forming a fat pod. In
      my file I have a list of pollenation "tricks" to use
      in getting around icompatibility.

      The pollination trick to get around incompatibility of
      two plants is to trim off the stigma down close to the
      ovary of the flower and pollinate the cut end, not the
      normal polliantion end (the stigma/style or whatever
      you call it). I have not tried this trick yet,
      something suggested by Clarence Towe and others, but I
      will this spring-summer when putting evergreen pollen
      from tet azaleas onto flowers of my two oldest yellow
      cals - Walhalla Gold and Wingard's gold. I have other
      yellow cals as younger plants or rooted cuttings, but
      none others have bloom buds set for 2004. I have
      sought some additional pure yellow calls budded for
      2004, but without success.
      As you suggested I will save some Glacier pollen
      (since it blooms before the cals I think) to pollinate
      some yellow cal trusses. My Glaciers this past year
      set heavy seed, pollen parent unknown, some of which I
      saved to plant a pot. Would Snow be worth using for
      cross pollinatin? Have you ever grown the Primitive
      Beauty azalea? I have a Gumpo White and Hardy
      Gardenia azalea that I might also try crossing with.
      I have some perfect small tags ready to place when
      crossing.

      I don't think anyone now propagates and sells the
      Cliff Gann azalea, would love to try it sometime. Do
      you have a photo" Was Cliff Gann's old garden
      destroyed entirely? Were any plants rescued and
      moved? Somehow, old cultivars you thought were lost
      turn up, often as single plant.

      --- Joe Schild <azaleajoe@...> wrote:
      > Mike,
      > When I first came to know Clifton Gann in 1967, he
      > had been working on a
      > number of crosses using R. japonicum and R. molle as
      > seed parents with
      > crosses with 'Gibralter', R. cumberlandense, R.
      > prunifolium and several more
      > Exbury and Knap Hill hybrids. One of his goals was
      > to produce a very large
      > flowered red. When I look at the cultivar 'Cliff
      > Gann', I see some R. molle
      > in it and the leaves do have a slight musk odor,
      > which is more evidence of
      > the Chinese Azalea in the mix. Like Molle, the
      > flowers do not have a heavy
      > texture and when back lighted one can see that
      > clearly. The flowers are of
      > good size, though a long way from what Clifton was
      > looking for.
      >
      > If I remember correctly, 'Cliff Gann' was given to a
      > friend of his, and then
      > George Beasley was given the plant or cuttings from
      > it. George Beasley was a
      > friend of Clifton's, too. I met George one time at
      > Clifton's nursery about
      > 1967 or 1968.
      >
      > On your yellow evergreen program, I think you are
      > heading in the right
      > direction with the Satsuki cultivars showing some
      > greenish or greenish
      > yellow traits. As I understand it, yellow in the
      > evergreens is in the form
      > of sap-soluble form and a recessive gene. You may
      > wish to try the Glenn Dale
      > 'Glacier' since it too has a greenish yellow throat
      > and is a cross between
      > 'Malvatica' and 'Yozakura'. The Satsuki 'Wako' was
      > in Clifton's garden and
      > now long gone. He acquired it from the USNA plant
      > introduction program along
      > with a number of other nice Satsuki cultivars.
      >
      > I know you are striving to protect a lot of lesser
      > known azaleas by
      > propagation and distribution to others. This is a
      > worthy goal and you must
      > be commended for those efforts. To my lasting
      > regret, I failed to propagate
      > an exquisite deciduous azalea hybrid of Clifton's
      > that was a cross between
      > .R arborescens and R. periclymenoides. The shrub was
      > about three feet tall,
      > but nearly six feet across in an umbrella form. The
      > flowers were dark pink,
      > 2.5", and very sweetly scented. The leaves were a
      > dark glossy green like
      > Arborescens and the shrub was single trunk that
      > branched very low
      > horizontally. He told me that he made the cross in
      > 1952. In 1967, I was a
      > young pup with little knowledge about azaleas and
      > what constituted an
      > excellent shrub.
      >
      > I find your experience with a broken off stigma to
      > be very interesting. I
      > never considered that situation to be advantageous
      > to pollination.
      >
      > Good work.
      >
      > Joe Schild


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    • William C. Miller III
      Mike, I don t think I would use Snow for breeding. It might convey to the progeny the tendency for the spent flower to persist. Bill Miller Bethesda,
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 1, 2004
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        Mike,

        I don't think I would use 'Snow' for breeding. It might convey to the
        progeny the tendency for the spent flower to persist.

        Bill Miller
        Bethesda, Maryland

        Mike Creel wrote:

        > The pollination trick that may have worked for me last
        > summer occurred when pollinating my Early Prune
        > prunifolium with pollen from nearby Fourth of July Rh.
        > oldhami. I accidentally broke the stem (partially) of
        > the prunifolium flower, and thought for sure the
        > broken stem would die before forming a seed pod, but
        > it didn't, healing instead and forming a fat pod. In
        > my file I have a list of pollenation "tricks" to use
        > in getting around icompatibility.
        >
        > The pollination trick to get around incompatibility of
        > two plants is to trim off the stigma down close to the
        > ovary of the flower and pollinate the cut end, not the
        > normal polliantion end (the stigma/style or whatever
        > you call it). I have not tried this trick yet,
        > something suggested by Clarence Towe and others, but I
        > will this spring-summer when putting evergreen pollen
        > from tet azaleas onto flowers of my two oldest yellow
        > cals - Walhalla Gold and Wingard's gold. I have other
        > yellow cals as younger plants or rooted cuttings, but
        > none others have bloom buds set for 2004. I have
        > sought some additional pure yellow calls budded for
        > 2004, but without success.
        > As you suggested I will save some Glacier pollen
        > (since it blooms before the cals I think) to pollinate
        > some yellow cal trusses. My Glaciers this past year
        > set heavy seed, pollen parent unknown, some of which I
        > saved to plant a pot. Would Snow be worth using for
        > cross pollinatin? Have you ever grown the Primitive
        > Beauty azalea? I have a Gumpo White and Hardy
        > Gardenia azalea that I might also try crossing with.
        > I have some perfect small tags ready to place when
        > crossing.
        >
        > I don't think anyone now propagates and sells the
        > Cliff Gann azalea, would love to try it sometime. Do
        > you have a photo" Was Cliff Gann's old garden
        > destroyed entirely? Were any plants rescued and
        > moved? Somehow, old cultivars you thought were lost
        > turn up, often as single plant.
        >
        >
      • Mike Creel
        Bill, that is a good point about Snow that I missed. Do you know anything about the parents of Glacier (color, etc.), which Joe Schild mentioned an an earlier
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 1, 2004
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          Bill, that is a good point about Snow that I missed.
          Do you know anything about the parents of Glacier
          (color, etc.), which Joe Schild mentioned an an
          earlier message? I wonder if any of the Aromi
          deciduous yellow hybrids (which contain tetraploid
          Exbury blood) would be valuable as seed parents,
          pollinated with white evergreen azala pollen. I grow
          the yellow Aromi Sunstruck and the orange-yellow Aromi
          Sunrise, both budded for 2004.
          --- "William C. Miller III" <bill@...>
          wrote:
          > Mike,
          >
          > I don't think I would use 'Snow' for breeding. It
          > might convey to the
          > progeny the tendency for the spent flower to
          > persist.
          >
          > Bill Miller
          > Bethesda, Maryland
          >
          > Mike Creel wrote:
          >
          > > The pollination trick that may have worked for me
          > last
          > > summer occurred when pollinating my Early Prune
          > > prunifolium with pollen from nearby Fourth of July
          > Rh.
          > > oldhami. I accidentally broke the stem (partially)
          > of
          > > the prunifolium flower, and thought for sure the
          > > broken stem would die before forming a seed pod,
          > but
          > > it didn't, healing instead and forming a fat pod.
          > In
          > > my file I have a list of pollenation "tricks" to
          > use
          > > in getting around icompatibility.
          > >
          > > The pollination trick to get around
          > incompatibility of
          > > two plants is to trim off the stigma down close to
          > the
          > > ovary of the flower and pollinate the cut end, not
          > the
          > > normal polliantion end (the stigma/style or
          > whatever
          > > you call it). I have not tried this trick yet,
          > > something suggested by Clarence Towe and others,
          > but I
          > > will this spring-summer when putting evergreen
          > pollen
          > > from tet azaleas onto flowers of my two oldest
          > yellow
          > > cals - Walhalla Gold and Wingard's gold. I have
          > other
          > > yellow cals as younger plants or rooted cuttings,
          > but
          > > none others have bloom buds set for 2004. I have
          > > sought some additional pure yellow calls budded
          > for
          > > 2004, but without success.
          > > As you suggested I will save some Glacier pollen
          > > (since it blooms before the cals I think) to
          > pollinate
          > > some yellow cal trusses. My Glaciers this past
          > year
          > > set heavy seed, pollen parent unknown, some of
          > which I
          > > saved to plant a pot. Would Snow be worth using
          > for
          > > cross pollinatin? Have you ever grown the
          > Primitive
          > > Beauty azalea? I have a Gumpo White and Hardy
          > > Gardenia azalea that I might also try crossing
          > with.
          > > I have some perfect small tags ready to place when
          > > crossing.
          > >
          > > I don't think anyone now propagates and sells the
          > > Cliff Gann azalea, would love to try it sometime.
          > Do
          > > you have a photo" Was Cliff Gann's old garden
          > > destroyed entirely? Were any plants rescued and
          > > moved? Somehow, old cultivars you thought were
          > lost
          > > turn up, often as single plant.
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >


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        • Buddy Lee
          Actually Snow may be a very good pollen plant for a dec. azalea X evergreen azalea project. From my past experience, the pollen from Snow seems to be
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 1, 2004
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            Actually 'Snow' may be a very good pollen plant for a dec. azalea X evergreen azalea project.  From my past experience, the pollen from 'Snow' seems to be hyper-fertile.  In matter of fact, I sometimes refer to 'Snow' as 'The Man'.  Which gets a chuckled from a couple of my friends. Every flower that I have ever pollinated with 'Snow' pollen has produced nice seed pods and has resulted in many viable seedlings.  'Snow' has a complete hose-in-hose flower which makes it sterile for seed pod development. I will agree that 'Snow' has some problem with spent flowers holding on to the plant.  The resulting seedling from using 'Snow' pollen times other evergreen azaleas have been very sturdy plants with heavy blooming traits.

             The Aromi Hybrids or the Tom Dodd Hybrids may be better choice to use than R. calendulaceum in a dec. azalea X evergreen azalea project.  The resulting seedling from such a cross are usually weak and unstable to start with.  I feel that if you use plants that are more adaptable to larger geographic area, your chances improve for having more sturdy seedlings.  Plus the Aromi and Dodd hybrids set seed pods very easy and produce a lot of pollen.  I would ques that the Aromi and Dodd hybrids are tetraploid.

             

             


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          • Mike Creel
            I have read a number of articles by more educated folks than I regarding the apparent non-value of native, wild mycorrhizae in azalea and rhododendron
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 1, 2004
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              I have read a number of articles by more educated
              folks than I regarding the apparent non-value of
              native, wild mycorrhizae in azalea and rhododendron
              propagation and growth. But I still believe that it
              works for me outside using Nature as the laboratory,
              not a greenhouse and sterilized pots. I think possibly
              it is pure magic provided by nature. Or perhaps
              propagating plants is like catching fish, you have to
              let the fish, or plants, think that they are smarter
              than you, and only then will they take in interest in
              your lure, or with plants in rooting and growing.
              That is my belief and I am sticking to it. Some
              things you cannot measure and put into bottle, but
              they are there nonetheless.
              Mike Creel in South Carolina

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            • Don Hyatt
              Mike and others, With azalea crosses I have made over the years, it seems that purple genes are profoundly dominant. I remember my surprise when I crossed a
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 2, 2004
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                Mike and others,
                With azalea crosses I have made over the years, it seems that purple
                genes are profoundly dominant. I remember my surprise when I crossed a
                white R. kiusianum album with an orange-red R. nakaharae, and every
                seedling was lavender! I was expecting some dwarf pink to salmon shades
                but certainly not purples. The production of flower color in azaleas is
                likely controlled by a number of genes, so I suspect that R. kiusianum
                album probably has most of the genes necessary to produce purple
                (typical for that species) but is probably missing a component that
                blocks the production of pigment somewhere along the way and thus the
                phenotype is white. The nakaharae side of the cross must have supplied
                whatever was missing in that pathway and thus the purple genes showed
                their dominance in the F1 cross.

                Even though the purple 'Malvatica' was one of the parents of 'Glacier',
                my experience in using the latter as a parent indicates that purple
                genes are not present. I have used 'Glacier' in many crosses and I
                don't recall ever seeing purple seedlings when crossed with non-purples.
                I would highly recommend using 'Glacier' as a parent when one wants to
                use it as a "blank slate" with which to cross with other colors. When I
                crossed 'Glacier' with R. kiusianum album, it produced some nice
                semi-dwarf whites with nice shiny leaves which was what I had expected.

                One advantage to using 'Glacier' as a parent is that does have wonderful
                evergreen foliage that seems to be dominant in crosses. Many years ago
                I crossed 'Glacier' with the pollen of the Exbury azalea 'Brightstraw'.
                Like many hybridizers, my goal was an evergreen azalea with yellow color
                and I had hoped the dominant evergreen foliage of 'Glacier' might come
                through. I did obtain seed, but as Joe Schild pointed out in earlier
                email on the topic of yellow evergreen azalea breeding, the seedlings
                were very sickly and chlorotic. None of them survived to flowering
                size. If they had bloomed, I suspect the progeny would have been
                triploid and sterile since I suspect that most of those Knap Hill and
                Exbury types are already polyploid. Someone might be lucky in getting
                the elusive yellow evergreen azalea on a first cross, but I really
                suspect it will take several generations to get the desired results.

                Since polyploid sterility will be likely be a problem, I wonder if a
                better approach might be to try crossing evergreen azaleas with the
                diploid species that have yellow coloration such as as R. austrinum or
                R. cumberlandense rather than R. calendulaceum. If we can get some first
                generation plants that actually reach blooming age, they might produce
                unreduced gametes, something that I understand happens with
                interspecific crosses of our native azaleas, especially in those hybrid
                swarms that eventually incorporate calendulaceum in the mix. That way,
                second generation hybrids might be tetraploid rather than higher
                polyploidy and will probably still be fertile. If any buds on my R.
                austrinum plants survive this awful winter, I may try a few of those
                wide crosses when spring comes.

                Unfortunately, I don't have any plants left from my kiusianum album
                crosses since more robust things have choked them out over the years.
                None of the seedlings were good enough themselves to introduce, but they
                would have made interesting breeding stock for future generations. Now
                that I have retired, I am anxious to pursue those lines again but I
                guess I will have to start from scratch. At least I won't be too
                surprised at seeing purple flowers in the early generations. After
                all, it took Joe Gable 16 years and somewhere around 800 to 1000
                seedlings (most of which were purple) before he got that one
                exceptional, hose-in-hose white seedling that he named 'Rose Greeley'.
                I think the lineage was something like [(poukhanense x mucronatum
                'Ledifolia alba') x sibling] x [(poukhanense x 'Hexe') x (poukhanense x
                kaempferi)]. I suspect that breeding for the perfect yellow evergreen
                azalea will take similar perseverance on our parts.

                Don Hyatt
                McLean, VA (Supposed to be Zone 7 but seems more like Zone 5 this year... )

                Mike Creel wrote:

                > Bill, that is a good point about Snow that I missed.
                > Do you know anything about the parents of Glacier
                > (color, etc.), which Joe Schild mentioned an an
                > earlier message? I wonder if any of the Aromi
                > deciduous yellow hybrids (which contain tetraploid
                > Exbury blood) would be valuable as seed parents,
                > pollinated with white evergreen azalea pollen. I grow
                > the yellow Aromi Sunstruck and the orange-yellow Aromi
                > Sunrise, both budded for 2004.
                > --- "William C. Miller III" <bill@...>
                > wrote:
                > > Mike,
                > >
                > > I don't think I would use 'Snow' for breeding. It
                > > might convey to the
                > > progeny the tendency for the spent flower to
                > > persist.
                > >
                > > Bill Miller
                > > Bethesda, Maryland
                > >
                > > Mike Creel wrote:
                > >
                > > > The pollination trick that may have worked for me
                > > last
                > > > summer occurred when pollinating my Early Prune
                > > > prunifolium with pollen from nearby Fourth of July
                > > Rh.
                > > > oldhami. I accidentally broke the stem (partially)
                > > of
                > > > the prunifolium flower, and thought for sure the
                > > > broken stem would die before forming a seed pod,
                > > but
                > > > it didn't, healing instead and forming a fat pod.
                > > In
                > > > my file I have a list of pollenation "tricks" to
                > > use
                > > > in getting around icompatibility.
                > > >
                > > > The pollination trick to get around
                > > incompatibility of
                > > > two plants is to trim off the stigma down close to
                > > the
                > > > ovary of the flower and pollinate the cut end, not
                > > the
                > > > normal polliantion end (the stigma/style or
                > > whatever
                > > > you call it). I have not tried this trick yet,
                > > > something suggested by Clarence Towe and others,
                > > but I
                > > > will this spring-summer when putting evergreen
                > > pollen
                > > > from tet azaleas onto flowers of my two oldest
                > > yellow
                > > > cals - Walhalla Gold and Wingard's gold. I have
                > > other
                > > > yellow cals as younger plants or rooted cuttings,
                > > but
                > > > none others have bloom buds set for 2004. I have
                > > > sought some additional pure yellow calls budded
                > > for
                > > > 2004, but without success.
                > > > As you suggested I will save some Glacier pollen
                > > > (since it blooms before the cals I think) to
                > > pollinate
                > > > some yellow cal trusses. My Glaciers this past
                > > year
                > > > set heavy seed, pollen parent unknown, some of
                > > which I
                > > > saved to plant a pot. Would Snow be worth using
                > > for
                > > > cross pollinatin? Have you ever grown the
                > > Primitive
                > > > Beauty azalea? I have a Gumpo White and Hardy
                > > > Gardenia azalea that I might also try crossing
                > > with.
                > > > I have some perfect small tags ready to place when
                > > > crossing.
                > > >
                > > > I don't think anyone now propagates and sells the
                > > > Cliff Gann azalea, would love to try it sometime.
                > > Do
                > > > you have a photo" Was Cliff Gann's old garden
                > > > destroyed entirely? Were any plants rescued and
                > > > moved? Somehow, old cultivars you thought were
                > > lost
                > > > turn up, often as single plant.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
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