On rhododendron hybridization

Winter sowing rhododendrons

I decided to switch to English in this breeding subsection of our website because there is little interest towards rhododendron and rose hybridization in Finland. However, there are a few relatively active amateur rhododendron hybridizers within the Finnish Rhododendron Society, see here for more information.

In the previous post I listed most of the crosses I have done in the past five years. This year I largely skipped pollinations altogether due to the large number of seedlings from previous year's sowings and limited space and time. I did only one hand pollination, Mauritz x R. thomsonii. I visited Copenhagen botanic garden in May and a few anthers from this stunning fiery red-flowered species R. thomsonii slipped into my pocket. I decided to use the pollen on the Finnish hybrid Mauritz, a red-flowered low growing clone from the cross R. brachycarpum var. tigerstedtii x R. forrestii, or similar. I got a good crop of seeds and sowed them today. Other seeds that I sowed today, from my own older crosses or gotten as presents from elsewhere:

R. planetum OP (from CPH botanic garden)

R. mucronulatum 'Cheiju' OP (from CPH botanic garden)

R. brachycarpum var tigerstedtii x R. auriculatum SELF (from Bengt Carlsson, Sweden)

Mikkeli x Katherine Dalton (cross by OW)

Mikkeli x May Moonlight (cross by OW) 

P.M.A. Tigerstedt x R. sinogrande (pollen from Rhododendron Species Foundation)

R. planetum was unkown to me but it's striking glaucous foliage and huge seed pods caught my attention. The bvt x auriculatum seeds I have sown in many batches in the past few years. Germination is always good but the seedling fail to thrive. Only a few seedlings from each batch have survived the first summer. Then the surviving ones have proven very susceptible to fungal disease during wintering in my basement, where I keep most rhododendron seedlings over their first two winters without problem. Maybe self pollination is  the reason for lack of vigour? The R. sinogrande cross I have sown previously and I have 3 or 4 good seedlings about 15 cm in height. Judging from the proportionally very large leaves they are true hybrids. It will be very interesting to follow their development.

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22.08 | 19:53

Kiva lukea tarinan Tommy ruusun syntymästä . Ostin nyt tämän ruusun Oulun taimistolta ja toivottavasti se viihtyy täällä Pohjanmaallakin .

21.06 | 20:08

Hei Raija, laitatko s-postia niin katsotaan pistokkaiden lähettämistä.

21.06 | 20:07

Hei Hilkka, olen hukannut s-postisi. Laittaisitko viestiä jpkrvi(at)yahoo.co.uk.

27.04 | 08:12

Hei Raija, ota yhteyttä s-postilla (jpkrvi(at)yahoo.co.uk) niin katsotaan, miten ja milloin voin toimittaa pistokkaan. T. Jukka

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