arisaema hybrids

Bonaventure W Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Wed May 26 01:22:02 CEST 2004

A brief history of my hybridization attempts:

5 or 6 (or 7?) years ago I pollinated a triphyllum with nepenthoides
pollen. Of 6 seeds 3 germinated but of the 3 bulblets only one reawakened
the next growing season. I have some problems with reawakening many species
1st season tuberlets from refridgeration whether its after 3 months or 8 of
dormancy. The 1 that grew on was planted outdoors and after 2 years was a
medium sized plant with clearly nepenthoides resembling leaves. The 1st
spring in my new home, in 2001, it rotted outdoors.

Also in 2000 I put taiwanense on triphyllum. I got about a dozen small
seedlings late that summer or early fall. When these went dormant they were
planted in my new backyard under an azalea bush near its edge. They never
showed up the next spring or since.

One other early "success" is candidissimum by sikokianum. I had induced
both to bloom indoors synchroniously and out of season obviously. Again
only 1 grew on and despite the best, professional,care as I had mailed it
to someone for safekeeping, did not advance much. Sent back to me it still
has not thrived well. The plant looks like a small stunted candidissimum
last I saw it when it was up last year.

These are attempts that had produced some seed set. Many times the ovules
look pollinated, stay green and expand as the spathe withers, only to
wither a week or 2 later. I don't know if its species incompatability or
cultural conditions. Summer droughts and heat waves do a lot to abort
fruit. Some species never set seed for me despite repeated attempts.

2 or 3 years ago a refridgeration-delayed triphyllum bloomed in late summer
in synch with consanguineum silver-centered leaf type. It carried a seed
head until frost when rescue was attempted. The green berries ripened to a
yellowish-orange on a windowsill and contained atypical small hard, most
likely not mature, seeds. Despite staying in a moist paper towel for the
better part of a year these did not germinate.

In 2002 I put tortuosum pollen on saxatile and got almost a full seed head.
Good thing because I lost the mother plant over the winter. I think I top
dressed with too much mulch. If the seeds are not true hybrids, despite the
best attempts to isolate the female spadix, I'll have more saxatiles. About
half germinated under lights, half of those started a second season under
lights, and now I have about 10 bulblets after a third season. These seem
to do well under lights and I had started with enough to make up for
attrition. They grow like saxatile though, often putting up a second or
even third leaf well after the first one has been on for a while.

Under lights produced a monster of a 1st season bulblet, almost 2 cm in
diameter just several months from seed, of the only seeds I ever got from
fargesii. Of course only 1 grew. But it is x wilsonii and should be nice.
Oh, and then there's Arum italicum x Arisaema triphyllum. Just wishful
thinking perhaps, but only the side of the Arum spadix against which the
pollen bearing Arisaema spadix was placed before the whole inflorescence
was covered with a cloth bag.pruduced berries Too soon to tell what the
seedlings look like yet, but in this second year they only returned in
spring, not last fall.

Triphyllum x wilsonii and triphyllum x griffithii, also produced last year,
went dormant a few months ago. These produced only a few tiny tubers each.
Candidissimum by griffithii produced a fair number of seeds, though the
seedhead semi-aborted and the seeds looked a bit deflated. They did not
germinate yet from last fall. Its not my culture, I do fantastically with
some species from seedex, also fresh triphyllum seed and also fresh
consanguineum and taiwanense sent me from Ernie O'Byrne, producing nearly
100% germination. Triphyllum dormant tubers are easy to pull out of the
refridgerator any time after 3 months and restart. Perhaps I fuss too much
on the rarities.

I'll keep you up to date on this years attempts.

Bonaventure Magrys
Cliffwood Beach, NJ
USA zone 7


Date:    Mon, 24 May 2004 16:53:47 -0400
From:    Tony Avent <tony at PLANTDELIGHTS.COM>
Subject: Re: arisaema hybrids


Thanks for the updates on Roy's work.  Are there any wide crosses
in the
group that you can tell?  I'm still growing species hostas and daylilies.
I don't think arisaemas have a chance of getting to that level if we all
started regular breeding programs.

> Tony
>   nicely variegated leaves and spadices not unlike sikokianum in shape.
> So far they seem to be longer lived than sikokianum, although not as
> I share Pascal Bruggeman's concern that the popularity of arisaemas as
>garden plants, together with what seems to be a readiness to interbreed
>(even between separate sections), may soon wipe out many separate species
>and turn our garden arisaemas into healthy mongrels!
> Jim
> Jim McClements
> 50 S. Prestwick Ct, Dover, Delaware, 19904, USA, Zone 7a
Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
email tony at
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least
three times" - Avent


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