Arisaema hybrids

Bonaventure W Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Thu May 27 02:14:46 CEST 2004

At 07:48  26/05/04 -0400, you wrote:
>>photos of a sikokianum x triphyllum in flower.
>OK. I see it. But why???
>I see no advantage in the hybrid. But it is one step toward making
>Arisaema as mixed up and confusing as Orchids. Why???


True, for this cross, but many F1 generation hybrids are not the goal,
merely a steppingstone. F1 sibling crosses can get you segregation of
characteristics, ie. the looks of sikokianum with the ruggedness of
triphyllum (as already mentioned in Paul's post). Backcrossing, for example
back with sikokianum, may also yield these results, for the offspring then
will be extremely variable as opposed to F1 generations which are usually
rather uniform among siblings. Some of the back crosses may have lost most
of triphyllum's plainess and look nearly identical to sikokianum. Then it
is just a matter of hardiness/cultural trials to select ones of those which
also have tri's cultural forgiveness. One can even back cross to sikokianum
again, and again. This is known as line breeding. Done in the orchid world,
each cross must still have a unique name which must be formally registered.
Good records and labels will keep misidentification from being commonplace.

Another argument which includes the idea of merits of individual hybrids is
that we cannot make improvements, and that I believe is false. Again
possibly in the F1 generation true, but think of what we would have missed
among other aroid genera such as Zantedeschia, Caladium, Spathiphyllum (and
include your favorite horticultural genus here -  ) if this belief was held
wholeheartedly by would-be hybridizers of days gone by.

Finally, in the "mixed up and confusing Orchids" species are still
cherished and grown as well as their
great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren. These cultivars are kept
pure by division, crossing to other examples of their species, correct
labeling, and above all, and supporting the aforementioned efforts, great
interest in them still.


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