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Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Mon Mar 11 16:25:37 CET 2002

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From: "J.E. Shields" <jshields104 at INSIGHTBB.COM>
Subject: Selective breeding
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Hello everyone,

In the recent discussion of hybridizing, Ray mentioned that he had tried =a
little selective breeding to increase hardiness of some Arisaema species =in
his climate.  This is something I am very interested in.

In other families at least, it has been found that hardiness of a wild bu=lb
in cultivation in a given climate can vary widely depending on where the
wild stock originated.  Starting with seeds or bulbs from a warm climate
area and trying to grow them in a cold temperate climate can be
unsuccessful, while stock of the same species but collected in a higher,
colder region can be hardy.  There is a great deal of genetic diversity i=n
any wide-spread wild species.  It will pay to get seeds or bulbs from the
part of a species' natural range that most closely approximated the clima=te
zone you garden in.

I received some seedlings of Arisaema consanguineum from seed from the
Alaska Rock Garden Society's Yunnan Seed Expedition.  These are in the
fridge at the moment, having just completed their second season of growth
(in the greenhouse).  I hope to have enough plants in another year or two
to plant outdoors and watch for survivors in this USDA cold zone 5 climat=e.

I intended to try the same thing with ca 100 seedlings of Zantedeschia
albomarginata from South Africa, but last summer I let them stand outside
in the lath house, and we had much more rain than has been usual.  I fear
they are all gone!  I have some Z. rehmannii seeds waiting to be planted
this spring for the same process.

My planned procedure will be to start large numbers of seedlings from
wild-collected seeds wherever possible, to in their third year plant them
outdoors in the ground, and then see what survives.

Where several plants survive one or more winters outdoors, I'll bring tho=se
inside and start breeding a second generation of seeds from them as
parents.  The eventual survivors of the second generation seedling batch
will serve as parents for the third generation, etc.

For species that are not hardy enough for any of the first generation to
survive a winter outdoors, I have arranged with a garden in Virginia (USD=A
zone 7) to line them out there for the same testing.  Eventually, with at
least a few species, I hope to get strains that are really hardy outdoors
here in central Indiana.

Jim Shields

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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