I’ve seen a few comments about the fertility of Lady Hillingdon, but they disagreed with each other. Is Lady Hillingdon a fertile or non-fertile triploid?
Marginally fertile, very difficult to work with. Rarely does its pollen take on anything, nor does it easily form seed. I speak from experience. Most of its offspring are no longer in commerce, except for ‘Ellen Willmott’. I suspect none of its offspring truly exceeded it in beauty and quality.
If I were you, I’d chose other Teas, for some of them are very fertile and easy to work with. ‘Mons. Tillier’ for example, and ‘Marie van Houtte’, ‘Maman Cochet’, ‘Madame De Tartas’, ‘Mme. Falcot’, and ‘Safrano’, to name but a few. These have all produced noteworthy offspring and are relatively easy to work with. ‘Safrano’ was involved in the parentage of ‘Dr. W. van Fleet’, as one example.
I feel that it is counterproductive to spend a lot of time working with reluctant parents if you truly expect to make any progress in your work, and so choosing willing parents increases the speed at which success may be had. I’d try ‘Safrano’ instead, if I were you. Also, although it is only part Tea I would strongly suggest working with ‘Crepuscule’, as it is highly fertile as a pollen parent and is capable of producing an excellent array of richly colored offspring in the Tea color range.
Thanks Paul. Your experience is invaluable. It’s a shame about Lady H. I wanted to use her not only because she’s so beautiful, but als because of her size and the fact that she performs SO well in Tucson (well over 100 degrees) just laughing at the heat. Ah well.