At long last, here is a picture of one of the progeny of my cross of the plant I am calling "brown sinuata" (mentioned in previous blog posts) and my hybrid, "Imperial Dark". I've not been pushing this dark plant too hard as I don't want to risk losing it before I can cross it with A. odora for hardiness. Since I last discussed my knowledge of the existence of a plant that meets the criteria for a true black A. macrorrhizos (a "black mac"), I have seen pictures of a true Black Mac growing in Australia. Interestingly, it doesn't look a lot like my dark progeny, but is a unique plant in its own right. I am attempting to get some offshoots or pups of this true Black Mac and, if I am successful and if the plant grows well for me, I will post about it here.
This past weekend (September 20 and 21) was the 2014 International Aroid Society Show and Sale, and I entered some plants in the awards competition. The results - one of my hybrid Philodendron plants got Best In Show and two other hybrids of mine got First Place ribbons.
The Best In Show plant is my Philodendron "Waverly", a hybrid involving 5 different plants, and the other two are Typhonium "Webs of Wonder" and Philodendron "Jungle Whispers". The latter is a hybrid of P. goeldii and my P. sp. "dwarf speciosum".
In a previous entry, I shared about the first-time blooming of an Alocasia I have that I refer to as the "Brown Sinuata". The plant bloomed in August of 2011 and of course I did a number of hybridizations using the pollen from it.
Well, the berries ripened, the seeds were planted, and now I have 4" pots full of small seedlings. Among them is one that, to me, revealed the secret of the Brown Sinuata. You see, when I crossed the Brown Sinuata with my hybrid of Imperial Giant and Imperial Dark, I got one seedling that is ALL dark - dark petioles, dark main veins and dark undersides to the leaves.
What is the "secret"? I feel it is a secret revealed because I had read and heard about an A. macrorrhizos variety that was totally dark, a true "Black Mac", but I had never seen one in the flesh. The secret, then, is that somewhere in the genetic history of the Brown Sinuata may be the true Black Mac. This is the only way I feel that I could have obtained a seedling that is a spitting image of a true Black Mac.
Stay tuned for pictures as this plant grows larger.
One Alocasia I have that, until now, has never bloomed for me, has finally thrown at least two incipient blooms. This plant I call "brown sinuata" because it has brown petioles, main veins, and overall cast to the leaves when compared to the "regular" sinuata, which is green or with lightly pigmented petioles. The name, "Alocasia sinuata" is likely to be a wrong name, but the plant itself has a few similarities to my hybrid A. x portora, but with narrower leaves and larger lobes (see photo at right, leaf in middle of picture). This "brown sinuata" is unusual enough that I am anxious to cross it with something a little easier to grow. Yesterday morning, the first bloom opened, but I had no fresh pollen to use on it; this morning, I was expecting pollen drop, but found none as of 8:30 AM. I'll check again this evening - what a disappointment it would be if the blooms produce no pollen!
In other news, some of my stock Caladiums are already trying to go dormant, while a few others are just coming into their fullness. The last of the Spring Philodendron hybridizations have ripened and are ready for sowing, while the few midsummer Philodendron blooms are being worked to see if I can set hybrid seed on them.
While Caladium breeding season is over, and Alocasia breeding is sparse, my Philodendron goeldii is finally showing a bloom that will be receptive to pollen tonight. This is especially auspicious because a dwarf meconostigma Philo hybrid of mine is also blooming and will be dropping pollen tonight. So tonight is the night for developing (hopefully) a dwarf plant with leaf characterstics similar to P. goeldii. I've already produced the larger version of this type of cross (P. bipinnatifidum x P. goeldii) and I've done one dwarf cross using P. goeldii as one parent, but using a different dwarf species than was involved in the hybrid blooming now. Tonight's dwarf bloomer has more desirable characteristics in leaf size, shape and color. The blooms (spathes) are even of a maroon color!
On another note, all of my Caladium seeds have germinated and either perished or are growing on abundantly. Thankfully, most of the Thai-Western hybrids i've done this year (my "Thaibrids") are doing excellently as seedlings. Still to early to see if i've got winning colors, though.