Clay Higgins, New Jersey

Hybridizing and the Georgia Show

March 13, 2016

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Breeding, Bulb Information, General, Growing Daffodils, Hybridizing

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Saturday March 12 Fran and I were at the Georgia Daffodil Show. We have a great time. It was like old home week with Jaydee Ager, Greg Freeman, Bonnie Campbell, Carol Hawkins, the Kudaks and a host of others. I can’t name them all but a great bunch. I judged with Molly Adams and Paula Karrh and ended up tied for the Silver Ribbon with 11. I loved it when we gave Rapture 6Y-Y the Gold Ribbon over the 2nd place Magic Lantern 1Y-O. I hope they invite me back again next year. I’m posting a picture of Rapture the top one of three, and a judging picture at the front table.
Fran and I went to Georgia with 20 named varieties of standard daffodils, 22 of my standard seedlings and 18 miniatures including a handful of my seedling. There were several that I had multiple stems of each. Most of the standard daffodils went into the Marie Bozievich Award, and a Div 6 collection of 5.

Atlanta judging 2016
RaptureIn support of Harold’s article in the ADS Journal about hybridizing daffodils that do well in your area I offer this note. The last couple of years I did not get to show many of my early seedlings because they are too early. But would probably not be that early in more northerly locations. I entered several collections of 5 with nothing but seedlings: Division 2 Collection; ADS Red White and Blue, and Intermediate Collection. I also entered the intermediate collect of 3 stems as well. The intermediate collection of five is the only collection of my seedlings that did not win. However, the intermediate collection of 3 stems won its class, the best intermediate daffodil in the show and the standard Rose ribbon. That seedling I put on the internet about 4 years ago and I remember Steve Vinisky saying that he thought it have great possibilities. My seeding #05/08 Dutch Masters X mini 1Y-Y that Marie Bozievich had naturalized in her border gave me the one I call ‘Punkatula’ (don’t ask). I’m posting a picture of it.

Our Watrous ribbon also won blue with a couple of my seedlings and a couple of Graham Fleming’s seedlings. The Lavender, the mini gold and the Delia Bankhead were won my local members. One of my miniature seedlings NTT X cordubensis #10-71 5Y-Y won the mini rose ribbon. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture, but is has a brighter yellow color than ‘Fran-a-Belle’ which is a beige yellow.  I’m not the official reporter for the show, so I don’t want to get anything incorrect. However, Greg Freeman was taking a lot of pictures at the show and maybe we will see some of them in the ADS journal.
I’m really happy about my seedlings, but as Brian Duncan told me years ago, many of the seedlings look too much like their parents to consider naming as there is no improvement.



2 responses to “Hybridizing and the Georgia Show”

  1. Suzy Wert, Indiana says:

    Congratulations on winning with your babies, Clay! It’s very exciting, vicariously, to hear of your winnings. I can imagine it, but it’s only imagination. I’ve yet to flower much worth numbering or showing, much less naming! Your 2Y-Y is very nice, and if it looks like a currently named intermediate, I’ll be darned if I could name it! Your 5Y-Y sounds great, and if it looks like Fran-a-Belle, then it’s a real keeper!


  2. Clay Higgins, New Jersey Clay Higgins, North Carolina says:


    Thanks Suzy.  I found it fun entering all my hybrids.  To get them all you have to do is get a little pollen on your finger and take it to the seed parent and gently rob the pollen off you finger onto the staman.  I use the edges because that is what the bees do.

    Here is a lesson on hybridizing that I have learned the hard way.  If you have a lot of the jonquil species varieties  they all like to set seed, N. jonquilla “Early Louisiana”, N. henriquesii, N. fernandesii, and it’s var cordubensis.  To potential hybridizers, it’s easy to get clones from these, do nothing and they set seed.  Same with a lot of the species or crosses with bulbocodiums.

    Here’s the problem, if you are lazy like me and don’t dead head them and secondly don’t collect the seed and dispose of them when you don’t dead head, you will be like me.  I’ve got jonquils coming up in my grass, in my borders, in by standard beds, everywhere.  If I could mark them and then dig then individually, which I hate to do, I could provide the  entire ADS with jonquil bulbs.  Identification can be a problem, but I have found the cordubensis flowers have scalloped cups.  N. fernandesii has a hint of a scallop.  N. henriquesii has a very defined round cup (in most cases), while the southern jonquil “Early Louisiana” has the largest cup and I find it a little larger and not as refined as the others.

    Just my opinion.  Don’t leave those seeds in the garden.