Friday, March 8, 2013

Moraea MM 09-02

Seed parent: Moraea aristata
Pollen parent: Moraea villosa

Visually this isn't the most striking hybrid, but in other ways I think it's important. This is the most vigorous Moraea I've seen to date.  The corms produce about two offsets each per year, the leaves are notably bigger and darker green than the other Moraeas, and the flowers are huge. So M. aristata added vigor to the cross, but not appearance: the flowers look pretty much like upsized versions of M. villosa.

MM 09-02A: As you can see from the quarter I'm holding, this is one very big Moraea. Its pollen is fairly fertile (4 successful crosses out of 7 attempts), and it's a pretty good seed parent (4 out of 6, including a successful self-fertilization). The blue eye in this flower fades to bleached-out purple after a few days in the sun.

MM 09-02B: I thought all of the 09-02 offspring would look about the same, but to my surprise they have different color schemes. I presume that means that my Moraea villosa plants have some interesting recessive genes in them. This one has a blue eye and yellow center, like a giant form of Moraea villosa b.

MM 09-02C: This opens with tepals a bit lighter than 09-02A, but otherwise it's quite similar. The blue eye does not fade in the sun.

MM 09-02D: The eye on this one is nearly black (in person it's extremely dark blue).

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