Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seeds of Zowie



Speaking of hybrids, I saved seed from my 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' zinnias last year. Being a hybrid, I knew that I'd probably get something other than true 'Zowie' or in addition to it.

July 16, 2007


Sure enough, that's just what I got:


Now I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, and logic says to me if I grow a plant from seed, then that plant should itself produce seed that I can plant and get the same result I did the first time I planted it.

Not so.

Can someone explain this to me in simple terms why the seed I get from the plant I grow is different than the seed I planted in the first place? How do they get seeds that are guaranteed to grow the hybrid and the hybrid only?

10 comments:

Adventure girl wanna be said...

Ahhhhhhhhh! Your blog is so cute and cheerful! I'm adding to my blog list:) cheers!

Martha said...

I found your blog looking for a wild grape jelly recipe. (It was on last falls blog post and looks quite yummy. I am considering gathering all the grapes that are hanging around our place and turning them into jam.)

Flowers... I suppose if one wants to have seeds grow exactly the same as the parent plant, they must not be cross pollinated. Not sure how to accomplish this on a small farm. I guess you can only plant one variety. In spite of that, your flowers are very bright and cheery and I have enjoyed my visit here.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can't explain what happens but I did know that it does happen. So much happens in those tiny capsules. You did get a lovely assortment of color combinations.

Defining Your Home said...

Well, the flowers are pretty anyway! There is a big discussion on a GW forum. I think it's in annuals, but it may be the perennials forum...talking about seeds from hybrids not being reliable. If I remember correctly, "Those in the know" were talking about using cuttings or root propagation rather than seeds from hybrids. Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)

Cindy said...

I really don't know how it works. It has something to do with the recessive traits in genetics, I think. I love the results you got though! They really are spectacular, for sure!

Hugs,
Cindy

Martha said...

They cross two plants that are a single type to get a cross (hybrid). When the hybrids themselves are crosseded they can result in any variety of either the "grandparent" plants or the "parent" plant.

Now, if I crossed a shih tzu with a maltese, I would get a cute little mix. If I crossed the mix with another like mix, I could possibly get more mixes or, if I was lucky, maybe I would get a purebred shih tzu... or maybe not.

Does it work the same with flowers?

Susan said...

Cameron said that two ways are: cuttings and root propagation. Additionally, there is tissue culture like when you cut/clone a coleus leaf. But great color variations come from spontaneous reproduction - like yours.

Love your blog,
Susan

perennialgardener said...

Well at least you got spectacular blooms nonetheless. I know you have to take cuttings from hybrids to get a reliable plant, that's all.

Kristin said...

i had to comment that i was similar to adverture girl & martha- i found your blog looking for a wild grape recipe and i was going to add you to my blog list! by the way- 1st time making jelly from the grapes in my yard- and it came out great!!

Mary said...

How they do it is to recross the original parents of the hybrid to produce more seed. That's the point. The seed companies know that you must either breed the two plants that produced the hybrid to get seed or buy it from them.

Mary

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