Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lilies can do the strangest things...

I received this very rare form Lilium philadelphicum var. andinum forma immaculata (or so I have seen it called) from a friend that produced bulbs through tissue culture.  This form originates from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, where it was found in one the northernmost populations of Lilium philadelphicum.  

This variant is well-known to the people of this region and is the symbol of the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre (http://www.biodiversity.sk.ca/).  Rarities such as this can be responsibly enjoyed by botanists and horticulturists when ethical collection protocols are followed to enter such plants into cultivation.  When propagated in vitro this species can be maintained over a long period of time.

You may also be wondering why this plant is flowering now.  Turns out that, despite being notoriously difficult garden plant, when grown in small containers and given supplemental lighting in greenhouse conditions, this species is very plastic and two flowering periods per year can be achieved.  Here is an article about forcing Lilium philadelphicum

The entire plant is only 8 inches (20 cm) tall and displays the characteristic upper whorls of foliage that defines var. andinum

The best is yet to come.  Today I harvested the pollen of the yellow phil.  I also stained it with acetocarmine and the pollen is quite viable.  Below are some pictures of an F1 clone of a Lilium philadelphicum X L. catesbaei hybrid made by the same friend who tissue cultured the yellow phil.  I am going to cross it to this plant when it opens in a few days.  It will be interesting to see if the cross takes and the ration of yellow progeny, if there are any.

Lilium philadelphicum X L. catesbaei clone showing a robust flowering stem.

Lilium philadelphicum X L. catesbaei

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. I've found Hemerocallis and Hosta pollen can remain viable in a standard fridge for 14+ days. Excited to see the F1 bloom!