Sunday, June 13, 2010


32 EE 4.25, Melon Polychrome, Dor Dip
(Sir Blackstem * Boston Symphony) * From Darkness Comes Light

This sib to MH0735M was last year's tantalizing wait.  It was the first thing in the bed of 1000 seedlings to throw up a scape, and that scape was the blackest I'd ever seen in my garden.  That was late May.  It then halted development, and waited until July to open its first bloom.  I've never seen a halt in scape development like that before.  When it finally bloomed, I was jubilant because it was not simply yellow.  It starts off with a fair amount of yellow (photo below), but that fades in the sun leaving melon (photo above.)

As in my rebloom program, leaving the yellow behind and getting melon is a good step towards near white.  It's not nearly as clean a melon as its sib, but it is much darker scaped, so I've crossed them together.  Last year I put this pollen on many things, and so I have 150 seedlings of it coming along.

Another great feature is the deep red sepal backs.  Unfortunately, it is not consistent since the color develops with exposure to light.  Some sepals have relatively little red.

I plan to backcross this one to SIR BLACKSTEM (below), its grandparent.  It turns out that SB can throw melon.  I hate the gnarled scapes and haystack foliage of SB, but the scape coloring is the best I've seen.  SB also has slightly better flower form.  MH0735X has excellent foliage and beautiful, graceful, tall scapes.  Quite a number of other dark-scaped seedlings will open in the next two weeks as well, increasing the breeding opportunities.

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