Theo Sanders, Germany

Diploid and tetraploid Hawera and Fairy Chimes

March 20, 2020

Category: Daffodil Types

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The plants at the left side of the pictures are diploid.


10 Responses to Diploid and tetraploid Hawera and Fairy Chimes

  1. Theo Sanders, Germany
    Theo Sanders, Germany
    March 23, 2020 at 2:43 am

    I think I should give some explanations to the diploid and tetraploid plants in the pictures: The chromosome doubling was achieved by Oryzaline. It means that the mass of the nucleus of the plant cells has been doubled and all cells become bigger. Because of this tetraploid plants  are also larger than the initial diploid form. The diploid Hawera and Fairy Chimes are infertile. In contrast the tetraploid plants are fertile and can be used for crosses.

    I hope that in the field they are pollinated by insects and set much seed by selfing. The daffodils which develop from these seeds within three years are identical to the parents. The propagation would be much faster than the propagation by bulb division. This can be of interest for the commercial grower.


  2. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    March 23, 2020 at 4:33 am

    Thanks for that Theo.

    Did you once say that N. b. graellsii was tetraploid? In the wild many of the graellsii plants are very small but in some populations they are quite a bit larger.

    Is it only the larger ones that are tetraploid – or are these larger ones actual hybrids with another N. bulbocodium as I think was recently suggested on Facebook?


  3. Ross Hornsby, Alabama
    Ross Hornsby, Alabama
    March 23, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for this information, Theo. It would be interesting to see what turns out from crosses between tetraploid Hawera and tetraploid Fairy Chimes. I would be interested in trying some seed should it become available.

    Brian, I haven’t seen N. b. graellsii, but I believe that many of the division 10 daffodils in cultivation as well as related species are polyploids, even the small ones. Looking at their pollen under a microscope, I observed that the pollen grains are much larger than species such as N. pseudonarcissus or N. fernandesii, or diploid standard daffodil cultivars.

    ‘Oxford Gold’ also had large and healthy-looking pollen that germinated. When pollinated with ‘White Petticoat’, ‘Oxford Gold’ formed seed pods which feel firm and full. This, and its appearance, suggests to me that it might not actually be a hybrid with N. jonquilla.


  4. Theo Sanders, Germany
    Theo Sanders, Germany
    March 24, 2020 at 12:48 am

    Brian and Ross,

    I only know the small form of N. bulbocodium graellsii and this is tetraploid. The larger ones may be hybrids.

    I think Oxford Gold and Classic Gold are polyploid bulbocodiums and no crosses of N. bulbocodium with N. jonquilla or N. rupicola.


  5. Harold Koopowitz, California
    Harold Koopowitz, California
    March 25, 2020 at 11:54 am

    I used Oryzalin to make 4N Hawera years ago. The larger 4N flowers lost all the charm of the 2N form but did breed readily. I showed some Hawera seedlings at the Murphy’s Show several years ago, if I remember correctly, David Adams was taken with them, primarily because they had Hawera in their parentage. I have retained one plant from Regeneration x Hawera 4N which appears to be quite fertile.

    Also pertinent to this discussion is Lawrence Trevanion who made Gold Step (Alfriston x bulbocodium) that is quite fertile. I believe he converted it.


  6. Theo Sanders, Germany
    Theo Sanders, Germany
    March 26, 2020 at 1:27 am


    It could be a good an idea to cross your fertile seedling from Regeneration x Hawera 4N with N. triandrus concolor.

    One problem for the conversion is, as you know, that you often get mixoploids which transform after some time to the original diploid. If you can harvest seeds from selfing the mixoploids, the plants from these seeds are solid tetraploids.

    Does your tetraploid Hawera still exist and do you plan to register it. I would do this soon if you don’t intend this.


  7. Harold Koopowitz, California
    Harold Koopowitz, California
    March 27, 2020 at 3:27 am


    I have seeds, hopefully, in pods now on the Regeneration x Hawera 4N, from selfing. Will let you know when the capsules are harvested.

    Unfortunately, I lost the Hawera 4N. I converted virused Hawera and lost it the second year after it bloomed.

    Stay Safe.


  8. David Adams, New Zealand
    April 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    When in Murphys in 2010 Harold exhibited this seedling from Hawera. Our country is dependent on agricultural exports and, at the time, there was great debate as to whether we should allow genetic engineering into our country. As I’m not a bright person I could not decide whether what Harold had done was genetic engineering or not. I also debated the ethics of using such flowers in our competitions. I have come to no conclusions on any of this. However, after much searching, I have found the photo of this intriguing flower. Pretty good form too.
    Photo seems to have been reluctant to appear. I will try again

  9. David Adams, New Zealand
    April 4, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Hawera seedling – Koopowitz 2010
    It appears that a couple of irrelevant photos have attached to this. So much for IT skills.

  10. Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    April 5, 2020 at 4:15 am

    David Adams – please check your email for an inquiry I sent to you. It concerns the NZ SI tour status with WildEarth Travel, this SEP.

    Jaydee Atkins Ager
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