Stephen Vinisky, Oregon

Bicolor bulbocodiums – Wishy Washy

January 2, 2011

Categories: Breeding, Daffodil Types, Hybridizing, Miniatures, Seedling, Standards

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Dear Brian,
Have made a number of crosses with bicolor bulbocodiums as a goal. This after flowering Rod Barwick’s excellent ‘Mitimoto’ early on. Have flowered out a few dozen crosses (some hundreds of seedlings) and have selected a grand total of four for breeding on. None is close to being considered as a candidate for naming and introduction but are better viewed as “stepping stones” or building blocks only useful to (potentially) create better things. These four selections plus ‘Mitimoto’ have now been intercrossed and back crossed every which way.
Even though the direct parents are bicolor their parents and grandparents are either whites or yellows. The overall seedling color distribution isn’t quite what I expected/anticipated. VERY few have flowered out as bicolor. I am guessing in the neighborhood of five percent which is much lower than expected. I sort of supposed it might be as much as a third to a half might flower as bicolor but not so. Over two thirds of the seedlings are white or whitish. Yellows or yellowish make up the balance.
Wishy washy I can give you. NOTHING that I have flowered stays as a discernible bicolor for the life of the flower, All “pale out” or become wishy washy as the flower reaches maturity. If I take a photo of V05-134-19 next Sunday, the corona might charitably described as: bone or antique white, cream, ivory or even a soft, pale milky yellow. Probably more accurately characterized as a dirty buff color with little or no visible contrast between the corona and the perianth segments.
I can now understand when as a young man, Guy L. Wilson wrote that he despaired of ever creating a bicolor Standard that was pure white with no staining and of the deepest Maximus gold. I figure that I am at about the same stage with breeding bicolor Miniatures as Guy L. Wilson was with Div. 1 & 2 bicolor when he was a young man.
Tiny, tiny, little step followed by another tiny, tiny, little step…….
With Best Wishes to you, Betty and Family for a Wonderful New Year, Steve
PS – Have found out from the RHS that Wishy Washy has not been used as a name. It’s hard to conceive of good descriptive names. I should snap this up! 🙂

One response to “Bicolor bulbocodiums – Wishy Washy”

  1. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

    Steve, Descriptive maybe – but hardly likely to attract sales!!! What a pity your seedlings ‘tone out’ from white – but still, it’s progress and shows the genes are in there somewhere – now to get them to pair up, eh? I’d put N. hedraeanthus var. luteolentus into the mix to get broader petals and sturdier stems (if I had seedlings at your stage of development.) Brian