Friday, 19 December 2008

Brian Williams excellent year

Mr Brian Williams reports that he has had an excellent year in creating new seed crosses, and has spent more time breeding Cannas in 2008 than all previous years combined!

Brian also attempted some far fetched hybrid crosses and was fortunate enough to get a small number of seeds from some unlikely, but very interesting parents.

Canna 'Wyoming' is an Italian group cultivar and is considered to be seed sterile, yet Brian produced 4 seeds from it and all of them were solid and had a good weight to them. In previous years Brian has produced seeds, but they had no embryos.

The four seeds were despatched to a friend who is germinating them in a TC laboratory, but, as yet, there is no word on how they are progressing.

Canna 'Bengal Tiger' is another Italian Group cultivar that is considered to be seed sterile, yet Brian was also able to produce 4 seeds. One seed did not fully mature due to the cold snap at the end of the season. The other 3 seeds looked very healthy and last week Brian scarified the surface of the seeds and planted them in trays. One has already germinated, but has not yet produced a full leaf. It will be interesting to see how that progresses, and the first question is whether the seedlings will inherit the variegated foliage of the seed parent.

Canna 'Pink Sunburst', aka 'Pringle Bay' has also produced around 15 seeds, which have all been planted. We have ourselves grown seedlings in the past from this cultivar, but they have all had a poor pink flower and mundane green foliage; however Brian has a habit of producing surprises so we will watch with great interest.

Brian has promised to publish some photographs as these seedlings grow-on, and we will watch out for them with interest.

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