Hulthemia Blotch Maturation

From observations, I have noted that the change in blotch size of Hulthemia seedlings as they mature can be quite dramatic. In my experience a good rule of thumb is that the blotch increases about 3 times from first bloom, to mature bloom, with regard to the area of the petal covered by the blotch; and, with regard to blotch intensity, about 2-3 times more intense as they mature.

Below is another example of this. The first photo is of a 2009 seedling’s first bloom. The second photo is a Fall bloom on a more mature plant. When measured from petal apex to the outer edge, this seedling’s mature blotches extend more than 50% of the length of the petal. Needless to say, I have used this one extensively in crosses this year. Of course by evidence of all of the aborting hips, it’s fertility is very low, if not absent. Oh well…

Jim Sproul

Beautiful Jim. Good information to keep in mind. I only did a few hulthemia derived crosses this year. Reducing petal count is a priority for me.

Sorry to hear that it is not more fertile for you. So Jim I was wondering the other day if the only blotch color you get is in the red shades. I was looking at Halo Today and the color is short of purplish red. I know this is not the same thing as the hulthemia blotch but it got me thinking? I believe that I saw one of your pictures that was posted online that had a different blotch color but I am not sure?

Beautiful seedling and interesting that the zone that the eye covers seems to expand as the plant matures… I wonder, have you ever seen a seedling where the first bloom did not express the eye, but an eye was present as the plant matured??

Bummer about it not being a good pollen parent…

I really like the color combination/contrast Jim.

Robert, I am trying for more petals and fewer petals now. 10 petals is probably the best number, although 15 would do well if the bloom opens nicely. Some of the Hulthemias “cup” too much so that even with 10 petals you cannot appreciate the blotch. There are others though that seem to open well.

Adam, I have seen the blotch in the full range of colors from light pink to almost black, with purple, red and orange as other possibilities.

Liz, I have seen where the blotch is just a barely perceptible dot that goes away in the heat and then shows up reasonably well in the cooler Fall weather. I strongly suspect that there are probably some blotches that would not be evident initially and then would show up later, but those would never produce really significant sized blotches. However, they could certainly be used in breeding. One of my Hulthemia seed parents that I used last year had a barely perceptible blotch, but set hips well, so I decided to use it. Some of the best blotches are coming out of that one. I think that it is the doubling of the blotch gene(s) that is the important factor here.

Thanks Rob! M62-1 has other things going for it - I haven’t noticed any disease on it outdoors (no BS, PM or DM) even though we had plenty of disease to go around this past Spring. I am hoping to get some fertility out of it, even if with just a handful of hips. I won’t know until harvest whether any of the hips survived.

The seedling below is brand new this year. This is a photo of its very first bloom. If it follows the general rules of increased blotch size and intensity as it matures, it should be the largest blotch so far. I went ahead and have been using this one as a seed and pollen parent even though it is a small seedling. It is currently on its third bloom cycle and the blotch seems to have good heat stability. The hips seem to be staying on. Time will tell!

Jim Sproul