Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Sempervivum heuffelii hybridization

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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jan 5, 2018 7:41 PM CST
A particular favorite "semp" (still have a hard time NOT saying Jovibarba) Sticking tongue out is Sempervivum heuffelii, I want to increase my collection. In summer of 2017, had flowering on both 'Torrid Zone' (gorgeous deep red, which I got from hybridizer Bill Nixon) and 'Gold Bug'. I made crosses every day that I could, only missed a couple days. I don't know what cultivars are involved with Volkmar Schara's wonderful "cheese" cultivars, but I well imagine colorful results from my attempted crosses.

I haven't sown the seed yet, but will do so soon. Here are my packets, I really focused on the Torrid Zone x Gold Bug cross with emasculated stamens on Torrid Zone every day, I was less systematic with the reverse cross. I have photos of the flowers being crossed, but need to find them among thousands of pics taken this past summer. Uploading a couple pics of Torrid Zone and Gold Bug, the later goes through lots of fun color changes during the season.
Thumb of 2018-01-06/AntMan01/c6013c

heuffelii 'Torrid Zone', mid June 2016
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heuffelii 'Gold Bug', 3rd week of April 2011
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heuffelii 'Gold Bug' in mid July 2012, the color is still really good, more of a caramel and light green at that time of year.
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Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
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[Last edited by AntMan01 - Jan 5, 2018 7:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Jan 5, 2018 10:36 PM CST
That should be a most interesting cross. Keep us posted on the results.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jan 6, 2018 10:24 PM CST

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I love your photos Mark, and look forward to seeing the results of your crosses.
You are really good at growing lovely specimens.
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jan 6, 2018 11:08 PM CST
valleylynn said:I love your photos Mark, and look forward to seeing the results of your crosses.
You are really good at growing lovely specimens.


Many Thanks Lynn,

I have been spending MANY hours on this forum, checking out available Semp nursery resources, comparing each variety with the Sempervivum Database and user photos, this site is an amazing resource. I'll be placing a number of big orders to boost my collection now that I'm retired, I'm so happy I joined. Moving forward I will add those plants that I could potentially share with members (rather small right now), but look forward to increasing that significantly... the sharing/swapping aspect of this forum is brilliant.

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Jan 7, 2018 7:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
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tcstoehr
Jan 7, 2018 2:30 PM CST
Ant Man... I like the way your Heufs a spread out horizontally. Does that happen naturally or are you spreading them by hand? Mine tend to bunch up into tall clumps which isn't exactly my favorite aesthetic.
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jan 7, 2018 8:30 PM CST
tcstoehr said:Ant Man... I like the way your Heufs a spread out horizontally. Does that happen naturally or are you spreading them by hand? Mine tend to bunch up into tall clumps which isn't exactly my favorite aesthetic.


Hi Tim, my heufs are spreading out naturally, the red one by Bill Nixon named 'Torrid Zone' has been in this planter (untouched) for approx 15 years. The only other heuf I currently have is 'Gold Bug', also very slow growing and does not bunch up into tall clumps but spreads horizontally, no intervention by me. I do think one factor is the cultivar itself. Analogous to regular semps, there are some that have extra short stolons resulting in congestion and vertical build, which I'm not a fan of.

I need to rebuild my heuf collection and plan on buying at least a dozen this year, but I look at how the plant clumps as part of my selection process. Some heufs become overly congested, which I don't like.


Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jan 8, 2018 10:46 AM CST
Tim,

I think it's a question of both culture and cultivar that keeps them flat. Too much fertilizer or pushing them tends to make them divide more and make them grow more vertically. Some cultivars are worse than others in this trait. I am already noting that 'Clown' seem to be one that does bunch up whereas some of the seedlings are showing almost growth like a pancake. I'm selecting for the pancake look/ form. At first I thought it was a question of bigger stolons on the increase but I have some very compact ones that are small too. 'Bros' seems to keep a flatter look by sort of rotting off between the mother rosettes so they separate a bit. Am not sure that's a good thing! I crossed 'Bros' heavily last summer so I should see if I can stop the rotting but keep the less mounded look. Time will tell.

Kevin
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
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tcstoehr
Jan 8, 2018 12:25 PM CST
That 'Torrid Zone' has been there for 15 years... wow. I'd never have guessed. Here's mine after 1 year. It's in a pot cuz something ate all its roots off and it is now in the ICU and has since grown a healthy set of roots.

Thumb of 2018-01-08/tcstoehr/03c3dc

'Minutum' is similar. But I can see various other Heufs flattening out somewhat. These plants are all young and as Kevin noted it does take time. I think zero fertilizer is a good plan.
Thumb of 2018-01-08/tcstoehr/849631

Kevin, my 'Bros' is doing exactly what you mentioned. But it has had no new offsets in two years. Looking at it today I noticed one rosette not looking too happy. All of its roots are gone, so off to the greenhouse this rosette goes to see if it can recover. I wonder if 'Bros' is just not strong enough.
Thumb of 2018-01-08/tcstoehr/57a5da

Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jan 8, 2018 2:22 PM CST
Very interesting Tim, sorry to see that you're having problems with root rot, but glad you could salvage Torrid Zone. Do your think weevil larvae ate the roots, or is the soil/weather too moist? Seeing the mild Zone 8 in your profile, might that have something to do about different plant growth and mounding? I'm in Zone 5, quite different.

I like heuf 'Minutum', it's available & inexpensive so it's on my order list for 2018.

My heuf 'Gold Bug' has been with me since I've been in my current location, 30 years. I grew it for many years in a large plastic planter on my deck, until the planter cracked. Here it is in that old planter, I count 11 rosettes. Photo from early spring 2002.

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Summer 2010 they were moved to a new planter, this photo from April 2017, 2011 with 10 rosettes starting to start into spring color.

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Compare with this photo 5 years later, end of March 2016, just breaking out of dormancy and into spring color, I count 22 rosettes. Each year I do a spring cleanup on them, de-moss and weed, add fresh gravel mulch, etc.

Thumb of 2018-01-08/AntMan01/413b6c


The following year, May 21, 2017, a view showing Gold Bug in active growth, from this low angle can't count the rosettes, red S. 'Brock' on the right.

Thumb of 2018-01-08/AntMan01/72ea01


Searched my unprocessed photos from 2017, found an overhead view, I count 25 rosettes, could be a few more snugging down under the enlarging rosettes. Now that they're filling in, perhaps if they get overcrouded they'll start mounding. Might be a good reason to thin them out a bit and make a few rosettes available to domestic USA forum members. Smiling
Photo from June 1, 2017, again with red color S. 'Brock' above.

Thumb of 2018-01-08/AntMan01/b77590

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Jan 22, 2018 11:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
Bee Lover Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter
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tcstoehr
Jan 8, 2018 3:26 PM CST
AntMan01 said:Very interesting Tim, sorry to see that you're having problems with root rot, but glad you could salvage Torrid Zone. Do your think weevil larvae ate the roots, or is the soil/weather too moist? Seeing the mild Zone 8 in your profile, might that have something to do about different plant growth and mounding? I'm in Zone 5, quite different.


I'm convinced that my occasional root loss is due to weevils and crane fly larvae. I have found both at various crime scenes. Rot from excessive moisture is also a possibility but I haven't been able to verify that.
I think 'Gold Bug' is about my favorite. I'm going to try to propagate it into a larger colony... assuming it cooperates.
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jan 8, 2018 5:08 PM CST
Mark Brandhorst kindly sent me some semps a number of years ago, can't remember exactly what year, and there's 2 feet of snow out there so I can't check the label.

It was sent as Jov. allionii from Esteng x hirta from Biele Karpaty. In today's nomenclature both allionii & hirta are subspecies of S. globiferum, I'll need a longer label to make the change to:
S. globiferum ssp. allionii from Esteng x S. globiferum ssp. hirta from Biele Karpaty Smiling

The bright red outside of the leaves are striking in late winter and spring. In late July it was in bloom for the first time, whimsical fringed blooms up close, on very tall floppy stems (about 18" as I recall).

Thumb of 2018-01-08/AntMan01/271357

Thumb of 2018-01-08/AntMan01/aa9e7b

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Jan 22, 2018 11:30 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1616803 (11)
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jan 27, 2018 12:16 PM CST
Was working through my backlog of unprocessed digital images, and thought I'd post this photo of heuffelii 'Torrid Zone' flowering in mid July 2017. I like the stocky more compact flower heads on heuffs.



Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
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plantmanager
Jan 27, 2018 12:18 PM CST
That is a really pretty little flower head!
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jan 27, 2018 10:50 PM CST

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Very nice Mark.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jan 31, 2018 2:27 AM CST
Looks good! I tip my hat to you.

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