John McLennan, New Zealand

2014 Early Season Kiwi Doubles

July 7, 2014

Categories: Breeding, Daffodil Types, Hybridizing, Winter Blooming Daffodils

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We  are  having  a  cold  spell  currently  but  the  current  season  has  started  early  ,  thanks  to  a  very  warm  June  .The  N Z   weather  summary  for  June  was  published  last  week  and  proved  what  the  flowers  had  realized–  most  areas  of  N Z  had  the  warmest  June  on  record . The  yellow  trumpets  from  this  area  usually  start  mid  May  and  slowly  crawl  through  June  and  most  areas  start  Malvern City  from  early – mid  July  .We  have  one  grower  in  our  area who  has  had  a  monopoly  on  the  early yellows  with  a  very  big  planting  of  one  variety  (  Yellow  Gold  )  who  has  already   finished  for  the  season .As  there  are  no  photos  of  this  enterprise  ,  I  will  post  on  it  soon .Both  Graham  Phillips  and  I    are  well  into  the  yellows  and  are  starting  on  the  market  doubles  . The  early  season  has  brought  them  forward  ,  as  with  the  yellows  , – Graham  started  picking  his  first  year  down  flowers  about  3  weeks  ago  ,  about  10  days  ahead  of  me  .

Early  Orbit  with  2  August  Ace  ,  lower  left  and  center .

Early Orbit with 2 August Ace , lower left and center .



Early  Orbit  is  always  the  first  –  a  big  flower  on  a  strong  tall  stem ,  –  and  first  Year  down ,  planted  early  April  ,  still  flowers  usually  from  June  onwards  . The  1993  flowering  that  gave  me  E O  and  a  range  of  other  good  early  doubles  ,   was  surprising  in  that  it  a  range  of  doubles  all  flowering  about  3 -4 weeks  earlier  than  either  parent    ,  –  a  most  unexpected  but  very  welcome  trait . A  very  big  bonus  has  been  that  they  all  have  a  reasonable  degree  of  fertility and  I  am  now  flowering  the  third  generation  from  the  original  1988  cross .







August  Ace  is  usually  the  second  to  flower  ,  starting  first  Y D  mid  July  and  peaking  early  August  .It  is  the  tallest  of  the  group  ,  a  smaller  flower  than  E O . It  has  a  very  short  ,  strong  neck  ;  what  I  like  in  a  heavy  headed  double .

JFM    07 - 3

JFM 07 – 3



07 – 3  is  from  the  second  generation  ,  88 – 23  (  very  early  2 Y – O  )  – x – Early  Orbit  .  It  is  an  interesting  style  of  double  ,  –  the only  extra  petaloids  are  in the  cup  ,  – usually  3-4  layers  of  deep  yellow  petals  and  a  neat  doubled or  fused  orange  cup .



07 - 3  With  nice  regular  pistil  .

07 – 3 With nice regular pistil .








Also  noted is  that  it  has about  20%  pistils  ,   –  regularly  shaped (  3  lobes  )  and  is  fertile  . . Two  pistils  from  9  flowers  in this  planting  ,  –  pollinated  with  a  sibling  .

G P Early D RIMG0962 G P Early D RIMG0963






Lunar  Probe  is  another  that  I  registered  from  the  original  cross  ;  although  later  than  the  first  mentioned  , it  is  probably  the  neatest  ,  show  possibilities  in  late  flowering  areas  ,  and  is  fertile  both  ways  , only  in  bud  here  at  present  .  Graham  Phillips  won  the  first  double  bragging  rights  this  season  when  he  sent  me  this  photo  of  a  Lunar  Probe  – x – F 76 – 3   seedling   (2 Y – O  )   photoed  .22  June  . It  first  flowered  ,  early  July  ,  last  season .My  first  ” new ”  double  ,  an  August  Ace  sdlg  ,  is  currently  just  showing  colour .Graham and  I  are  currently  making  a  lot  of  crosses  with  our  best  very  early  all  yellows  and  early  redcups  .  My  consistently  first  all  yellow   ,  a  1996  sdlg  ,  always  flowers  late  May  and  I  have  quite  a  few  seedlings  from  it  ,  in  the  pipeline .  My  contention  is  that  if  we  can  flower  yellow standards  from May  on  ,  then  given  time  (  and  a  little  luck  )  ,  we  should  be  able  to  breed  doubles  that  match  the  early  dates  .

08 - 29  , --  Valley  Dream  --  x  --  Peoples  Princess

08 – 29 , — Valley Dream — x — Peoples Princess

DSCF0694 DSCF0699


We  now  have  quite  a  lot  of  useful  material  to  work  with  in  the  yellow  backs  but  not  quite  as  much  for  white  backed   doubles  .I  posted  07 – 42  last  week  ;  it  is  my  earliest  white  and  fortunately  it  is  seed  fertile  .I  also  have  a  range  of  early  pink  cups  that  are  ,  by  breeding  ,  half  doubles  and  should  still  pass  on  the  doubling  gene  . 08 – 29  ,  2 W – P  is  from  Valley  Dream – x – Peoples  Princess  (  4 W – p )  and  the  cross  gave  some  very  nice  ,  full  ,  doubles  .



JAH   40 / 96  ,  WITH  PISTIL  .

JAH 40 / 96 , WITH PISTIL .




Lawrence  Trevanion  mentioned  in  a  recent  comment  that  the  viridiflorus  early  genes  may  be  useful  in  helping  with  early doubles  . John Hunter  is  the  recognised  Kiwi  leader  in  this  field  and  he  very  generously  sent  me  ,  late  last  season  ,  a  good  range  of  his  viridiflorus  and  Emerald  Sea  seedlings  from  crosses  with  Doubles  .He  sent  both  yellow  and  white  flowers  , several  with  multihead  doubles  . I  potted  them  last  season  and  intentionally  planted  them  late  (  to  time  flowering  with  my  doubles  )  this  season  .They  are  just  starting  to  flower  ;  this  little  (60mm)  flower  is  from  the  cross  40 – 96  [ Tropic  Isle – x – Fair  Prospect  ]  —  x  —  Emerald  Sea  .   Note  the  small  but  regular  pistil  —  it  was  pollinated  today  with  pollen from  08 – 29   –  shown  above  . John  expects  that  there  is  still  fertility in  this  generation  from  viridiflorus  .I  do  feel  that  this  line  offers  exciting  potential  for  both  earliness  and  also  multiheaded  doubles  .

3 responses to “2014 Early Season Kiwi Doubles”

  1. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    Wow John, You are doing incredible things in your breeding programme. Ultimately all the daffodil world will benefit from your work. Thank you from us all.


  2. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia Lawrence Trevanion, Australia says:

    Thanks John for this account. I’m very impressed.

    It is my expectation that you will get better and more regular fertility if you cross the first generation viridiflorus hybrids with each other and with flowers like Limequilla rather than with main division flowers. I understand, for example, that Mesa Verde has poor fertility, and if you look at the descendants of Hillstar and Quick Step on Daffseek you can see that most of the ongoing fertility is from selfing or crosses with each other. Crossing your early doubles with viridiflorus directly might be worthwhile but you seem to be getting earlier flowers without the help (and difficulties) of viridiflorus.

  3. Denise and Neil McQuarrie, New Zealand says:

    Love Lunar Probe, John, is filled trumpet inside the doubled petals and perianth is very unusual.  I spotted an expensive bunch of flowers outside a florist shop in Nelson today which had 5 very well formed doubles in it.  I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if they were Early Orbit or one of your other similar doubles.  They were in great condition and wouldn’t have looked out of place on the show bench.


    Regards, Denise.