Annuals forum: OK, then-nicest BURGUNDY sunflower?

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PA (Zone 6a)
pinkruffles
Feb 2, 2017 8:18 AM CST
I recently made a post asking for the nicest 'red' sunflower, and I got several replies that there really are no true 'reds' in sunflowers. Thank you! But some mentioned that there are some burgundy ones. Can some gardeners out there who have actually seen, or grow, burgundy (red-purple) colored ones give me some variety names? I just don't trust googled images as much as I trust gardeners 'live' reports! Smiling Thanks so much!!!
[Last edited by pinkruffles - Feb 2, 2017 11:11 AM (+)]
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Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Feb 2, 2017 10:46 AM CST
Hi pinkruffles,

In the other thread you said, " I wondered about Procut Red or Prado, but pictures can be so deceiving! "

In my opinion pictures are mainly what we have to go on. I suppose we could get to a point where someone says that the color is actually what I say it is and not what the picture shows, and the question becomes are you going to believe your "lying eyes" or what I say it is? I tend to go with the eyes.

Some seedsmen accompany their pictures with verbal descriptions, but there is nothing to guarantee the accuracy of verbal descriptions, either. You may have already seen this sunflower seed source.

http://www.sunflowerselections...

You can also take a look at Hazzard's, which has a wide selection of many flower seeds, including sunflowers.

http://www.hazzardsgreenhouse....

The reality is that sunflowers currently have a very limited range of pigments to work with, which means that they can't compete with many flowers for available color selection. Sunflowers can have some really tall strong plants, and that is their strong point.

I like zinnias, so they are my hobby. They have every color but blue. I am currently working to get stronger plants in zinnias, but have no illusions that I can compete with sunflowers in the plant department.

ZM (not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)
I tip my hat to you.
PA (Zone 6a)
pinkruffles
Feb 2, 2017 11:42 AM CST
What I usually do is try to find a more detailed description of a flower, then google images and find a picture that matches that description. Thanks, Zenman, for suggesting Hazzards--they DO have a HUGE selection of sunflowers--though they would be better for someone who wants to grow a whole field of them!!! Smiling Also, I LOVE your zinnia posts--I have them bookmarked in my 'favorites' I love zinnias too, but have never tried breeding them. I've only experimented with some daylily breeding.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Feb 2, 2017 5:35 PM CST
Hi pinkruffles,

" I love zinnias too, but have never tried breeding them. I've only experimented with some daylily breeding. "

I invite you to experiment with zinnia breeding. Zinnia breeding has a number of advantages for recreational plant breeding. First of all, it is almost instant gratification. A zinnia seed can grow into a plant and show you a bloom in 6 weeks. (Inside under long-day lighting, that can be as quick as 5 weeks.)

Zinnia seeds are relatively inexpensive, so you can start with a good variety of them. And there are a lot of varieties and colors to pick from. And, unlike most perennials, annual zinnias have a long blooming time, continuing to bloom for several months, right on up to a killing frost. And an individual zinnia flower is relatively long lasting -- it can continue to put out new petals for several weeks, allowing you to pollinate it on a daily basis for an amazing yield of home-hybridized seeds from a single bloom. And butterflies and hummingbirds and children love zinnias, so your zinnia garden can be a really pleasant place.

By using green seeds, you can start a second generation of zinnias outdoors and see the results of your first crosses that same year. And, this Fall, you could be making crosses between those crosses in time to save green seeds for next year (or the next month if you plan to grow zinnias indoors.)

You could become a zinnia breeder this very minute. Just start looking for what zinnia varieties tickle your fancy and imagine the possibilities of different crosses between them. And, as they say, "expect the unexpected." I have found that zinnias can be full of surprises.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
[Last edited by ZenMan - Feb 9, 2017 12:07 PM (+)]
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