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May 7, 2013 8:46 AM CST
|I am really failing when it comes to seedling color. First, I would like to know if there is anything that will turn a brown flower into something else. My best ever seedling is brown, its on a great plant and scape, but Im wondering if I can ever turn it to anything but brown.|
Also, are there any colors that when crossed, just dont work, they just are not going to make a clear color?
May 7, 2013 11:30 AM CST
|If you go to this link Mick Morry has a slew of info on color. Scroll down near the bottom, it's the ones written in rainbow colors.|
May 7, 2013 1:15 PM CST
|Dr Bob Carr's Color Possibilities Charts|
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
May 7, 2013 6:56 PM CST
|Thanks very much.|
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
May 8, 2013 6:57 AM CST
|Yes, a brown flower can be turned into a different colour. It is easier to turn a diploid brown into a different colour than it is to turn a tetraploid brown into a different colour. That is simply because there are fewer genetic combinations for diploids than there are for tetraploids.|
Daylilies have at least four different types of pigments: chlorophyll - the green of the leaves; anthocyanins (flavonoids) - reds, purples, pinks, lavenders, creams; carotenoids - oranges and yellows; and naphthalenes - light yellows.
Brownish flower colours can be green with purple or yellow and orange with purple, usually when there are substantial amounts of the green, yellow or orange pigment.
One way to change the brown is to reduce the amount of yellow or orange pigment and that can be done by using light coloured parents - near-whites, very light pinks or very light lavenders.
Browns are often described as 'muddy' or 'dirty' - and a general idea is that one can reduce the 'mud' or 'dirt' by using a cultivar that will 'clarify' the colour. Clarifier cultivars are near-whites, etc.
One may change the brown by crossing it to very dark clear reds or purples. Some of the seedlings should be clear reds and purples if enough seedlings are grown.
Or one can cross the brown to yellow cultivars. Some of the seedlings should be clear yellows.
One can get some ideas about what to use as the other parent by looking at the flower colours of the parents that produced the brown seedling.
In all cases, one needs to grow substantial numbers of seedlings from each cross because the majority of the seedlings will probably not be what you are looking for. A geneticist would consider several hundred seedlings from one cross as a small number of offspring. In this case, I would suggest at least 100 seedlings.
It is possible that the seedling numbers can be reduced depending on the ancestry (parents, grandparents, great grandparents) of the brown seedling.
The usual description of brown flower colours is that it is produced by mixtures of carotenoids (yellows and oranges) with one of the anthocyanins (delphinidin - which is purple in daylilies). That means that crosses with brown should be able to produce yellows, oranges or purples more easily than they produce other colours.
Yes, there are colours that when crossed are unlikely to produce a clear colour. The traditional answer is that yellows crossed to reds or yellows crossed to purples produce muddy colours. There are some yellows and some oranges that can be crossed with some reds and some purples and they produce clear colours. To find those one would need to look through the AHS registration database at parentages. Pure reds crossed with yellows should produce clear colours but many red daylilies are not pure reds - they have some purple and that can cause muddy colours.
May 8, 2013 7:08 AM CST
|Very good information. I don't cross many oranges but after reading this I am inclined to try using some.|
May 8, 2013 7:25 AM CST
|Thanks, Admmad! That was very easy to understand. It is so helpful when people explain things in a way that makes sense to laymen. When you have time, please consider putting out some more information on similar topics. I've read Mick Morry's explanations, and Dr. Carr's charts are good, too. Many of us backyard hybridizers waste time, space, and effort on crosses that will produce dogs, almost guaranteed. We will visit the Gaskins' tiny garden this weekend. They produce super seedlings (just look at prices soar everytime they are listing on the LA!) with very few seedlings. While we can't always have the parents listed in successful hybridizers' crosses, we can do some of them, so we try to replicate some of the crosses. Searching the databases to find how many kids come from a parent can also help us pick successful parents. I firmly believe that even a blind hog finds an acorn occassionally. That should be worth an acorn. Or a blind hog.|
Disclaimer: No blind hogs were harmed in making a lame joke.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
May 8, 2013 9:00 AM CST
Michele & hazeleyes, thanks for the links!
admmad, thanks for the great information. You have a way of explaining very confusing things so that they actually make some sense!
I only have one orange that I've worked with, and have only seen 2 seedlings bloom from it so far. Both of the seedlings had wonderful color. I think I need to get a few more oranges, even though it is one of my least favorite colors.
May 8, 2013 9:03 AM CST
|Thanks for the info!|
This hog is still hunting
May 8, 2013 9:47 PM CST
|Admmad, thank you so much for posting the info on color. |
I took notes, and am trying to visualize the result when
mixing watercolor pigments as compared to mixing daylily pigments
when all the layers of pigments in the daylily are known. Of course, I think
the needed green and blue are missing in sufficient amounts for the daylily
to provide a considerable variety of color mixes.
May 9, 2013 5:30 PM CST
|What a great thread with fantastic information|
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
May 10, 2013 6:18 AM CST
|I should point out that Dr Carr's tables are based on the results of tetraploid crosses that he made. His observed colour frequencies are specific to those crosses (mainly of his own seedlings) and do not necessarily predict the results of crosses made by others (using similar flower colours) very well.|
I will give one example.
Dr. Carr found that crosses of red x yellow frequently gave peach seedlings and frequently gave yellow seedlings. Red seedlings from such crosses were uncommon. That is unusual. If one purchases a registered red cultivar and crosses it with a purchased registered yellow cultivar the typical result would be that all the seedlings will be some shade of red (including possibly muddy or dirty reds). That will be because often hybridizers have been refining the red colour by crossing reds with reds for generations and crossing yellows with yellows for generations.
Dr. Carr's results can be explained by looking at what colours he crossed in his hybridizing. For example, he crossed Allafrill (pink) with Study in Scarlet (blood red) so some of his reds would carry pink (hidden). He crossed Ed Murray (black red) with Betty Warren Woods (cream yellow) so some of his reds would carry yellow (hidden). He crossed Ed Murray with Dance Ballerina Dance (apricot pink) so some of his reds would carry apricot or peach (hidden). So if he crossed a red (yellow hidden) with a yellow some of the seedlings would be yellow.
We might expect that if he crossed a red (hidden yellow) with another red (hidden yellow) some of his seedlings would have been yellow. But his tables indicate that red x red frequently produced red seedlings with pink and melon seedlings uncommon but no yellows. So he probably never made that cross although he did make the crosses of red (hidden pink) with red (hidden pink) and red (hidden melon) with red (hidden melon).
Dr. Carr's tables are useful as a starting point but one should not necessarily expect to get the same sorts of results as he did because he made specific types of crosses that produced seedlings with specific ancestries and carrying particular combinations of colour characteristics that would not be present in most daylily cultivars.
To get a better idea what a particular cross may produce one needs to study the ancestry of the cultivars chosen to be the parents. That includes grandparents, great grandparents and even further back.
May 10, 2013 6:22 AM CST
|Totally makes sense, although it is getting more difficult to know the ancestry when a lot of the crosses do not mention parentage any more.|
May 10, 2013 11:50 AM CST
|I'm feeling so much smarter after reading all of this great information! Good thing I can refer back to it though, when my brain starts to expel information!|
May 10, 2013 1:03 PM CST
Natalie said:I'm feeling so much smarter after reading all of this great information! Good thing I can refer back to it though, when my brain starts to expel information!
May 10, 2013 7:06 PM CST
|I spent some time, because of this thread, looking back at several years|
of seedling crosses and results. On older plants, for example, I could cross a red with a
yellow and get a clear orange, especially if the red had some yellow tones in it. That
was almost like mixing paint colors.
Darla Anita gave me some muddy colors for the most part, but crossing its
seedlings with a yellow would clean it up.
Now, with newer flowers, I get surprises. The newer ones are not as predictable,
for me that is. If the seedlings ever get around to blooming this year, maybe I'll have
a different point of view. Need to see some results from outside-the-box crosses.