Monday, February 23, 2015

Some of My Best Rebloom Parents in Zone 6

by Betty Wilkerson

'Earl of Essex' has been used by many people and it has produced many rebloomers, but I'm not sure it has received all the praise it deserves. It is one of my favorite parents due to the fall form, which is round, and its willingness to pass on its rebloom genes.  On the negative side it is a cycle rebloomer, it is short, and it is a plicata.  Those are drawbacks because I work with summer rebloomers, prefer tall seedlings, and dislike the messy hafts that come along when crossing plicatas and selfs.  I've been told that the messy hafts come along with the plicata breeding since they have not been removed from the plicata gene set, and although these genes are not specifically a part of the plicata gene, they ride along with it.  

'Earl of Essex' (Zurbrigg 1979)
Common sense tells me that the shorter plant should be used as the pollen parent with the taller plant being the pod parent, but this is not possible when you don't grow both plants. Sometimes we get pollen from other growers, you see.  A friend donated pollen from 'Hot Streak' (Ghio 1999) and I crossed it to 'Earl of Essex', and 'Radiant Bliss' was the result.  I'm extremely glad I didn't follow common sense!

'Radiant Bliss' (Wilkerson 2004)
Once I moved to Mitchell Weaver Road, and established a short row of 'Radiant Bliss', I looked for a rebloom partner.  'Summer Radiance' stood tall and proud just a few plants over.  Both plants are tall, so it wouldn't matter which was taller, but 'Summer Radiance' rarely sets pods so I used it as pollen parent.
'Summer Radiance' (Wilkerson 1996)
There were several seedlings from the cross that rebloomed, and although some were red, the best one I named 'Summer Honey.'  In 2011 it managed to bloom from spring through fall freeze.  It was a nice, relatively moderate summer, and I did water every ten days or so when there was no rain.  I received a letter with pictures of it reblooming in Oregon in 2014.  It was gorgeous.
'Summer Honey' (Wilkerson 2013) 
Below is a picture of the stalks that were cut down in the fall freeze of 2011. Five stalks growing from one rhizome.
'Summer Honey' stalks (fall)
'Radiant Bliss' was crossed onto 'Innocent Star,' resulting in five rebloomers. 'All Revved Up' is one of these rebloomers.  It passes rebloom on to many of it children.

'All Revved Up' (Wilkerson 2006)
'Rebound' (Wilkerson 96) was used on 'Innocent Star' and produced 'Echo Location' and four other rebloomers.  Below is a picture, showing the netting beside the beard, that I understand indicates it is a plicata.  'All Revved Up' and 'Echo Location' share 75% of their genes.
'Echo Location' (Wilkerson 2007)

'Echo Location' (netting is proof of plicata genes)

'Echo Location' was crossed onto 'Again and Again.'  There were three rebloomers, but 2130-01Re is the only seedling I kept from this cross.  It's not as pretty as I thought it was in maiden bloom.  It was a solid purple self in maiden bloom, but this is what it looks like now.

'Again and Again' (Innerst 1999)

2130-01Re (Wilkerson seedling)

I've crossed 'Over and Over' onto this seedling.  Many have been planted and some may bloom this spring.  Stay tuned for an update on the seedlings.

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