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Thread: Sarracenia hybrid characteristics and tendencies

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Post Sarracenia hybrid characteristics and tendencies

    I am interesting in adding some more Sarracenia to my small collection (especially hybrids), and thus I have been trying to find reading material that describes the growing tendencies and characteristics of Sarracenia hybrids, but have had little to no luck.

    Barry Rice's Growing Carnivorous Plants has nothing nor does his web page on hybrids. The Savage Garden does have some info, but its kind of on the basic side.


    I am interesting in answering questions like:

    Will my hybrid grow phyllodia if it is 50% flava or oreophilla and crossed with a species that normally doesn't grow phyllodia? What if it's a percentage that contains less than 50 flava or oreophilla? What if a phyllodia-producing species is crossed with a species that grows pitchers consistently like a purpurea?

    If my hybrid is part purpurea, will it grow pitchers all throughout the growing season? Do purpurea hybrids keep the open hood to allow rain water to fill the pitchers? Will purpurea hybrids create their own digestive enzymes even though they have some purpurea in them?

    Do minor hybrids keep the white spots? Do they tend to keep the characteristic minor hood?

    When will my hybrid produce its best pitchers if it is a cross between two species that produce their best pitchers at different times of the year (like oreophilla and leucophylla)?


    I know genetics is complicated and that most questions may not be answered at all, but are there some dominant traits that seem to be persistent between crosses?

    Any help or links to reading material on this matter will be greatly appreciated!


    Joel
    -Joel from Southern California


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    Brokken's Avatar
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    Those are good questions and I'm afraid that there's no simple answer to those questions. There is a good amount of variability between hybrids and no two will behave the same. Some hybrids will exhibit more tendencies towards one plant or another.That would be the correct answer to give you - however I feel that you probably won't be satisfied with that answer - so I'll reply with my own experiences and you can extrapolate from that.

    Will my hybrid grow phyllodia if it is 50% flava or oreophilla and crossed with a species that normally doesn't grow phyllodia? What if it's a percentage that contains less than 50 flava or oreophilla? What if a phyllodia-producing species is crossed with a species that grows pitchers consistently like a purpurea?


    Phyllodia are more recurved in oreophila than in flava. In hybrids that normally produce ensiform-like-leaves this tendency will tend to show up more: For example if the parent is flava and you cross with leucophylla, rubra or minor you'll see leaves that resemble the ensiform leaves on flava towards the end of the growing season. Oreophila influence can cause these late leaves to twist and curl into very odd and relatively unattractive shapes.
    Purpurea tends to override a lot of characteristics from other sarracenias - including oreophila and flava. I don't see phyllodia on S x catesbaei very often.

    If my hybrid is part purpurea, will it grow pitchers all throughout the growing season? Do purpurea hybrids keep the open hood to allow rain water to fill the pitchers? Will purpurea hybrids create their own digestive enzymes even though they have some purpurea in them?

    The pitchers tend to live longer and therefore the plant has the appearance of being fuller and putting more pitchers. As for enzymatic action: Even purpurea has been discovered to have its own enzymes - just not nearly as much as some of the other members of the family.

    Do minor hybrids keep the white spots? Do they tend to keep the characteristic minor hood?

    My observations are that the light windows (named 'fenestrations') are generally overriden by other characteristics in F1 crosses. Fenestrations may return as a result of re-crossing back the F1 individuals.

    When will my hybrid produce its best pitchers if it is a cross between two species that produce their best pitchers at different times of the year (like oreophilla and leucophylla)?


    According to D'Amato, doing so is likely to result in plants that put out pitchers for longer periods. I tend to concur.

    I know genetics is complicated and that most questions may not be answered at all, but are there some dominant traits that seem to be persistent between crosses?


    Leucophylla will often impart its wavy lid to crosses and possibly light windows. Purpurea has a tendency to prostrate the pitchers its hybrids. Psittacina gives its hybrids a unique, unmistakable look, flava and oreophila will make the pitchers tall and strong. Traits from alata and the rubra complex tend to be more understated.

    Any help or links to reading material on this matter will be greatly appreciated!

    Again, please take with a grain of salt as I am no expert in the matter. I'm just describing my observations based on a few crosses I have performed.
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    Two flies one pitcher. Minus the crap eating. obregon562's Avatar
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    as a general rule, sarracenia hybrid seeds are a mix of 50% one parent domination and 50% of the two parents mixed together. So a flava x psittacina will result in, say, 50% prostrate and psitt dominated hybrids, and 50% short, tubular, and bizzarly shaped pitchers. This is a very general rule and applies less and less the more complex a hybrids parentage is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brokken View Post
    My observations are that the light windows (named 'fenestrations')
    The correct terminology is 'areola', plural 'areolae'...pigment free white patches on the leaves of Sarracenia. Fenestrations are the transparent windows found only on the leaves of Darlingtonia.

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    Brokken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philcula View Post
    The correct terminology is 'areola', plural 'areolae'...pigment free white patches on the leaves of Sarracenia. Fenestrations are the transparent windows found only on the leaves of Darlingtonia.
    The term is used by Barry Rice in his site. Though as you point out I've seen the term areola used more often. The use is arguably interchangeable but I believe your amendment to mine is more scientifically sound. I stand corrected.
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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses! Brokken, thanks for providing such detail!
    -Joel from Southern California


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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Well I will take a stab at this though I hope the guru will return with more of his own insights as his hybrid creations are some of the best around.

    The short answer to all of these is: it depends. And I know that is probably the single most frustrating answer but there it is. However, not to be obtuse I'll try to detail things a little more.

    Quote Originally Posted by joossa View Post
    Will my hybrid grow phyllodia if it is 50% flava or oreophilla and crossed with a species that normally doesn't grow phyllodia?
    Not necessarily. The phyllodia of both can influence the hybrid but they may not. I have oreo x leuco, catesbea x oreo and 2 different moorei x oreo and none produce phyllodia. Like wise I have a number of different moorei, some make phyllodia, some make spindle pitchers and some just make pitchers.

    What if it's a percentage that contains less than 50 flava or oreophilla? What if a phyllodia-producing species is crossed with a species that grows pitchers consistently like a purpurea?
    If percentage is less than 50% then you are less likely to get phyllodia production but again you are not guaranteed to not get them. Part of it depends on the parentage of the rest of the plant. If your oreo is 25% of the parentage and the other 75% is non-phyllodia producers then odds are better you will not get phyllodia but still not 100% against it. You also have to consider that some species produce phyllodia in response to environmental conditions and that response may be enhanced or dampened depending on inheritance as well.

    If my hybrid is part purpurea, will it grow pitchers all throughout the growing season?
    Again, it depends on the percentage of purp in the mix. The less purp then the less purp related influence. However, if one of the other parents has season ling pitcher production then you have to factor that in.

    Do purpurea hybrids keep the open hood to allow rain water to fill the pitchers?
    In most cases, hybrids that are 50% or greater of purp will have an upright and open hood. However I have seen a couple 50% purp hybrids with a "down" style lid.

    Will purpurea hybrids create their own digestive enzymes even though they have some purpurea in them?
    This I do not know. And not to sound silly but does it matter? I mean in terms of aesthetics??

    Do minor hybrids keep the white spots? Do they tend to keep the characteristic minor hood?
    I have areolae on some 25% minor hybrids. Not as many or as pronounced but they are there. I also have no areolae on a minor x flava... So, again, nothing is certain. You also need to consider the other parents in these hybrids. Hybrids with (minor x leuco) seem to be more prone to keeping the areolae than some of the other minor primary hybrids...

    When will my hybrid produce its best pitchers if it is a cross between two species that produce their best pitchers at different times of the year (like oreophilla and leucophylla)?
    This is one trait that does seem to be whole related to the parents. You usually split the difference so a oreo x leuco tends to have pitchers that come up a little later than just oreo but before leuco. The leuco parent may influence a second flush however the oreo parent may suppress said same flush.

    I know genetics is complicated and that most questions may not be answered at all, but are there some dominant traits that seem to be persistent between crosses?
    There are a few traits that are fairly constant (for the sake of simplicity assume I am refering to hybrids composed of 50% of the listed plant):

    -leuco hybrids are always colourful
    -alata hybrids are almost always more gracile
    -psitt hybrids are always somewhat "wonky"

    Everything else seems to be generalities though:

    -purp hybrids tend to confer an upright hood, but not always
    -purp hybrids tend to confer a semi prostrate pitcher, but not always
    -some people claim oreo hybrids are more robust and colourful. For my part I am not wholly convinced.
    -minor hybrids usually have areolae, but not always


    For my part I personally believe that there is a dominant parent in crosses and I often make reciprocal crosses because of this if I am shooting for a specific goal. Some people will argue that I am daft for this belief no doubt but that is fine by me We are all entitled to our opinions on tis matter.

    And, just a closing thought. If you are planning on making your own hybrids I advocate forethought on what you are shooting for and purposefully breeding for it rather than just crossing any 2 plants that you have. Personally I feel that there are way too many ugly mutt plants out there that are just the result of cross what you can when you can. A goal in mind give rise to much better looking plants
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, Pyro!
    -Joel from Southern California


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