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From: "J.E. Shields" <jshields104 at INSIGHTBB.COM>
Subject: Hybrids vs. species
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I am sympathetic to hybridizing -- I've been doing it with daylilies for =25
years.  You would have to say I'm doing it for the fun of it, because I
haven't been noticeably successful in the world of daylily hybridizers.

I also maintain a collection of the wild Hemerocallis species, and a
database of the species grown by other collectors of Hemerocallis
species.  Nobody else seems to have done this for Hemerocallis before.

One reason for creating primary hybrids (crossing two wild species) is to
try to get hardier plants than either species is -- hardier in a climate
zone foreign to their native regions, or just hardier in your
greenhouse.  This is often found, particularly in Hippeastrum species
outside of Mediterranean climates.

Where Arisaema are concerned, I can see very good reasons to try to get
some of the interesting looking but tender species into a line of plants
that are hardy outdoors in the ground here in USDA zone 5, in central Ind=iana.

By the way, no sign of any Arisaema coming up yet here -- I had AA.
sikokianum, ringens, thungbergii, sanzensoo, and triphyllum as of last

It usually helps to work with species that have the same chromosome
numbers.  Is there a publication that gives these values for the
species?  Do Arisaema species come with a variety of chromosome
numbers?  I.e., are there triploid or tetraploid strains of A. triphyllum
as well as the diploid?

Zantedeschia are being subjected to increasing hybridization.  Does anyon=e
keep tabs on whether any of the new cultivars are cold-hardy?  Good
objective to breed for, I think.

<Warning -- Personal Diatribe:>
Some people regard species with an awe approaching the religious.  Looked
at on the scale of 10,000 years or of 100,000 years, it is clear that
species come and species go.  Unless we drastically reduce the numbers of
one species -- Homo sapiens -- there soon won't be room on this planted f=or
any other species besides H. sapiens unless they are edible.

Conservation of wild species is also controversial -- there are adamant
opponents to any ex situ (in cultivation or in any non-native environment=s)
conservation of any wild thing.  Go figure!  They would rather see specie=s
go extinct than allow any to be preserved outside their native habitats.
<End of Personal Diatribe>

Jim Shields
in central Indiana

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA                   Tel. +1-317-896-3925

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