Saturday, May 3, 2014

Abutilon x hybridum 'Zephyr' (Alina Chitova, 2014)
My Own Experiments

Time to tell about my abutilon cross-pollination results. Like I said before, last year, overwhelmed with seedlings, I delegated the hoard to two volunteers (about 35 to Tatiana Sergeeva and about 80 to Victoria Sokolik). This spring I only assess the photos they show me and decide which plants we could keep and breed further.
Above is one of my most successful hybrids from Tatiana's share. We called it marshmallow (it's a mallow after all! :))) or zephyr. I think the hue is very tender. Besides, the hybrid is fertile (that is why I don't know when I could get a graft).

But there are more interesting things to describe. Last summer I experimented with alcea rosea and abutilon Bella cross-pollinations. Not all abutilon hybrids were willing to cross-breed with alcea (only two, actually). So, abutilons were the parent plants, whereas the alceae were the donor plants. Now, the results are very curious. First of all, alcea added various new hues to the flower palette (the parent plant was very delicate pink), but also it added the unwanted tall and straight stem without side shoots. Even when pruned back, these abutilon-alcea plants are rather reluctant to spread shoots.

Abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)

However, some hybrids retained the parent plant (Bella series) growth and development pattern and remain quite compact.

Abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)
The greatest disappointment for me was a much expected/desired chocolate-brown abutilon (crossed with a dark-brown alcea). Initially, the first flower demonstrated some brownish hue; however, later it mutated and changed its color completely to a more common for abutilons pink color.

Initially a promising brownish abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)
Yes, that's the VERY plant! Abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)
Anyway, my experimenting with alcea and abutilons (which belong to the same Malvacea family) turned out to be successful and calls for its continuation. This summer, I would love to cross-pollinate abutilons with other plants from the same family -- any ones I could find. Cross-breeds between abutilon and hibiscus haven't been successful yet, although as a parent plant hibiscus forms seed pods, but as a donor plant -- it doesn't work (at least not yet). The problem is that hibiscus germination and growing period before blooming is excruciatingly long... But then, we are in no hurry here, aren't we?.. :)))

Abutilon Palette: Spring 2014

Dear blog readers,
I haven't written for a while but that does not mean we have no news in the world of Russian abutilon hybrids-2014!
In this post I would like to overview some hybrids of Elena Glushkova (Izhevsk). Originally, Elena experimented with the Kirsche-orange cultivar which is known as a heavy bloomer. The downside of this cultivar, to my mind, is the smallish and not-at-all-showy shape of the flower petals. As a result, Elena's new abutilon hybrids have numerous cute little button-like flowers. So, let's have a quick look...
Abutilon x hybridum 'Sweet Dreams' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
 This first hybrid was called 'Sweet Dreams' (actually, the name was proposed by me). I haven't seen the plant myself, but according to the photos it has a candy-like hue with chiseled veins. It does look sweet!

Abutilon x hybridum 'Sweet Dreams' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
 Elena's next hybrid (that has been previously mentioned) resembles a wild buttercup flower with delicate stems. Quite unusual for abutilons is the bunch of buds at the end of a branch. The hybrid has tiny pointed leaves.

Abutilon x hybridum 'Lutik (Buttercup)' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)

Finally, there's my favorite one - the 'Belosnezhka' (Snow-white) abutilon hybrid with perhaps the whitest flowers ever.
Abutilon x hybridum 'Belosnezhka' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
Abutilon x hybridum 'Belosnezhka' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
Oops, how could I forget one more showy hybrid of Elena Glushkova? I showed it in my previous post and would like to show it again. This is 'Christmas', bright and festive, from a different parent plant, with large wide-open flowers.

Abutilon x hybridum 'Christmas' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)

Abutilon x hybridum 'Christmas' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)