Monday, September 22, 2014

Breeding Tall Bearded Rebloomers in Kentucky: Focus

By Betty Wilkerson

The shortest point between two objects is a straight line.  If you want  to create rebloomers, even fall rebloomers, you need to cross two rebloomers.  'Feed Back' and 'Violet Miracle' were a part of my early collection.  They are both purple and were quite popular at the time.  'Feed Back'  produced many rebloom stalks throughout the summer, but often produced short stalks. 'Violet Miracle' is tall and well branched but doesn't rebloom a lot in my garden.  A cross between the two seemed to be a reasonable path.

A direct hit came from crossing 'Feed Back' x 'Violet Miracle' which produced 'Star Gate,' which has great branching, a great bud count, and reblooms in many zones within the US.  I would have preferred to reverse this cross but it just didn't happen.  'Star Gate', though, has helped produce a number of rebloomer seedlings in various shades of purple and white.

'Star Gate' (Wilkerson 2005)

'Feed Back' (Hager 1983) Photo contributed by Colleen Modra

'Violet Miracle' (Zurbrigg 79)
Two of these reblooming seedlings produced my rebloomers 'Another Bridge' and 'Theme Master.' CF2-1Re: (A1-1Re: ('Autumn Encore' x 'Roman Lover') x 'Feed Back') X G18-1Re: (E38-1: ('Orbiter' x 'Feed Back') x 'Violet Classic'). The three strongest seedlings survived and all three rebloomed, but only these two were introduced.

'Another Bridge' (Wilkerson 2005)

'Theme Master' (Wilkerson 2004)

Most of these have been used, with various success, in an attempt to produce red rebloomers. 'Star Gate' has produced many red seedlings still being used in my red program.  Only the future will tell what may result.

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