Friday, November 29, 2013

Gladiolus MM 10-34

Seed parent: Gladiolus priorii
Pollen parent: Gladiolus odoratus

My first new hybrid of winter 2013-14 is in bloom, and it’s a nice one.

Although most of my hybridization efforts are in Moraea, I also experiment casually with other genera, including Romulea, Calochortus, and Gladiolus.  The new hybrid, MM 10-34, is a cross I made in 2010 between Gladiolus priorii and Gladiolus odoratus (now known as G. guthriei).

Here's G. odoratus:

It's a kind of mauvey-colored flower with a pale yellow background. Not the most beautiful color combination, but it’s fantastically freckled and striped. Here's G. priorii:

It's bright tomato red with a yellow throat, and has no speckles or streaks.

And how here are the offspring. They picked up the freckling of odoratus and much of the color of priorii. The flowers are a bronzy-red color that’s hard to photograph accurately. As you can see, individual plants vary in darkness...

Both priorii and odoratus bloom in early winter (mid- to late-November here in California), and the hybrid blooms then too. It’s a time when few bulbs are in bloom, so I’m very happy to have something new to look at.

This cross has the same inheritance pattern I’ve seen in other Gladiolus hybrids: speckles and streaks are carried over into the hybrids, while the color is a blend of the two parents.

I’m freezing some pollen from this plant, so I can try to cross it with some of the spring-blooming Gladiolus species. I’d like to see if I can get some plants that bloom in mid-winter, extending the blooming season further. But the only fall-spring cross I’ve made so far, MM 00-00 (G. gracilis x G. priorii), blooms in spring at the same time as gracilis.