Theo Sanders, Germany

Many seeds

August 28, 2009

Categories: Breeding, Hybridizer, Hybridizing, Seedling, Seeds

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Peter, Brian, Chriss, Dave, Graham and all,
I am delighted to get so many reactions on my ‘Many seeds 2’. I am just planting my 5126 seedlings from the cross 2006 with 13000 seed corns. About 60 percent were lost because of low vitality, frost, illness, etc. I shall need three days for planting with a wooden stick. The rows have a distance of 15 cm, within the rows the distance of the seedlings is 5 cm. At the new place the seedlings remain for 4 years, selections are made and the rest of the bulbs is given to friends or killed with a herbicide. If I take the same conditions for the seed of this year, I shall need 9 days for planting in 2012.
May be I am the winner of the competition ‘Who has the greatest number of seed corns this year’, if you, Brian, have not more after counting your species OP seeds. But it is quite clear that this number is not correlated by a constant factor with the excellent daffodils you can select. If you prefer line breeding, have good conditions for cultivating, take first class parents only, you can breed very good daffodils with some seed corns, as many hybridizers have shown. But if you cross for example Broomhill with N. cantabricus you need more seedlings to get plants with good form which grow well. 
To your question,Peter: I put the seeds into paper bags which are assambled in two cardboard boxes for shoes.  For counting the seeds of one cross I have some simple not very exact methods. The seed pods are emptyd into the cover of one  box. If you shake this, the seeds form one or more rows at one side of the box. For seeds of the most standard daffodils one row contains for example about 80 seed corns. The rest is mutiplication. For little seeds of species I form heaps of nearly equal size. The number of one heap is counted. I note the number of each cross and the average number of seed corns per seed pod too in order to know which seed parents are productive with special pollen parents. The interpretation of the results is  in some cases wrong, because of open pollination. If the pollen has not been taken – this is especially for crosses of standard daffodils with species often the case -, the bumble bees and other insects have the chance to pollinate the flowers. They prefer flowers with longer parallel sided crowns.
I think in my case, Dave, you will not find many entries into DaffSeek in the years to come.

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