EXPERIENCES WITH BREEDING AURICULAS
Page 5
(Summer/Autumn 2005)




Summer/Autumn 2005
A Time for Reflection
 
MT x RAS 1 MARION TIGER x Red Self - seedling 1 - Not Named - the first seedling pictured on the page 1 of "Auricula Breeding" produced some interesting seedlings. A lot were seriously cupped or had cracked paste, these and the parent have been discarded.
MT x RAS seedling 1 - seedling
One seedling that I failed to picture was like a standard white edge with the black ground and white edge reversed, and with a thin black line delimiting the eye and no hint of feathering. Or maybe there are two eyes. This seedling has good vigour and a local name - BLACK HOLE. I hope the genetics are stable as the variety is certainly different. What will the judges think of this?

Some seedlings have a rich golden ground and good tube. They could be useful in future crosses with standard grey edges.
 
Bank Error MARION TIGER x Red Self - seedling 3 - BANK ERROR - Offsets taken in late summer 2004 had no roots and very little carrot and therefore took an age to root. I still have just the one show-size plant and a few offsets now in 3 inch or smaller pots. The variety has been distributed to two other growers. The large plant flowered too late for the shows and was not hand pollinated again this year. I decided this year, in the main, to use only those plants that won at the shows for breeding and the late flowers missed out and I am not trying to bred selfs.
To test the theory that striping is a resessive trait Bank Error and a sister seedling also a red self were crossed in 2003 and the seedlings flowered earlier this year. I had three trays of seedlings in total for all the G2 crosses and Bank Error seedlings occupied part of the second and all of the third tray. Having pricked out sufficient seedlings from the first two trays the third tray was given to a local new member. My seedlings produced all selfs (some shaded and a few having a smattering of farina) with no stripes. Auriculas are therefore not diploid as then a quarter (25%) should show signs of striping. Tetraploids might yield 3% stripes and octaploids perhaps only 1 or 2 per 1000. The range of colours was somewhat unexpected - about 50% were various hues of red, 25% were in the gold to orange range with the rest yellow, brown, peach, coral pink and wine. About 20% were worth keeping for another flowering at least. The new NAPS member rang me up in May to find out how I did at the shows and tell me about his seedlings. These seemed to be much like mine, no stripes and a rainbow of selfs. He had obviously enjoyed this first experience of auricula seedlings flowering as he said that this was "the best hobby ever" and that he was going to back cross them with Marion Tiger.
Bank Error seedling
Bank Error seedling
 
Trafalgar Square MARION TIGER x Red Self - seedling 6 - (Local name - Trafalgar Square) originally called Trafalgar - flowers very early and therefore has never flowered at the time of a show.

Trafalgar Square seedling Pictured on the right is an unusual Trafalgar Square seedling that exploits the kaleidoscopic symmetry of a ring of petals.
Pictured below is a seedling that shows reasonable striping. Trafalgar Square seedling
There are plenty of flowering size plants of Trafalgar Square of which some should make one show or another in Spring 2006. Also there are 37 Trafalgar Square x Strand seedlings that should flower in 2006 producing some target red and white stripes.
 
Strand 2005 MARION TIGER x Red Self - seedling 12 - STRAND - the most successful of the first generation seedlings selected as parents. Four of its seedlings (pictured below) won on the show bench at their first flowering. Strand seedling S154

Of the seedlings that should flower for the first time in Spring 2006 eighty-nine (89) have Strand as one parent.

Strand and its most sucessful seedlings feature strongly in the crosses producing the seed due to be sown in early 2006 for 2007 flowering.
Strand seedling S151 Strand seedling S004 Strand seedling S153
Also the Strand seedling below was back crossed with Marion Tiger for red and white stripes. Strand seedling S040
 
Fleet Street MARION TIGER x Red Self - seedling 13 - FLEET STREET - has proved quite a slow growing variety although I do have quite a lot of offsets growing on. Like Bank Error it flowered too late for the shows but did make the society display at Malvern. David Tarver saw the offset I had given to Val Woolley flowering at Field House and was impressed by its really good red colour. I expect the pure white wire edge helps.

Pictured below is a promising Fleet Street seedling that keeps the good red and the relatively smooth edge but is more striped.
Fleet Street seedling
Fleet Street seedling



Seedlings sown Jan/Feb 2005 now in 3 inch pots
The seedlings were first pricked out into cells (40 to a seed tray) and later potted into 3 inch square pots (15 to a seed tray). At each move the strongest were selected aiming for about 300 in total that should flower in Spring 2006. Also with the experience of the Spring 2005 flowering seedlings from more promising crosses were prefered.
STRAND x Mustard and Grey Fancy G2 Marion Tiger cross for different stripes 13
seedlings
Mustard and Grey Fancy x STRAND 12
seedlings
STRAND x Mixed G1 G2 MT cross to improve form 9
seedlings
Mixed G1 x STRAND 15
seedlings
STRAND x TRAFALGAR SQUARE G2 MT cross for red and white stripes 14
seedlings
TRAFALGAR SQUARE x STRAND 23
seedlings
BORDER BEAUTY x TRAFALGAR SQUARE For red and white stripes 15
seedlings
FLEET STREET x WARWICK For red ground grey/white fancies or edges 14
seedlings
WARWICK x FLEET STREET 8
seedlings
FLEET STREET x BORDER BEAUTY For bright red and white stripes 15
seedlings
STAR WARS x FLEET STREET For red ground grey/white fancies or edges 15
seedlings
Orange and Green Fancy x Tawny Red Self For different stripes and fancies 12
seedlings
Tawny Red Self x Orange and Green Fancy 3
seedlings
MARION TIGER G1
(best selected)
x MARION TIGER G1
(best selected)
G2 MT crosses for stripes and fancies 15
seedlings
Striped Leaves selfed G2 MT cross for striped flowers and leaves 5
seedlings
BORDER BEAUTY x STAR WARS For stripes and fancies with better form 35
seedlings
NIGHT and DAY
(stripe)
x STAR WARS For stripes and fancies 32
seedlings
S13 Grey-Blue Self x STAR WARS For blue fancies 13
seeds
ROYAL MAIL x COFFEE For red ground edges 12
seedlings
THE PURPLE THING x SNITCHED And now for something completely different - yellow paste? 15
seedlings



Seeds for sowing Jan 2006
Crosses in Spring 2005 were generally made using prize winning plants the day following the show. This by using plants a little older than normal might have caused quite a few unsuccessful crosses, but as the pips were fresh no harm was done.
Excess seed has been given to either the American Primrose Society or the National Auricula & Primula Society Midland & West Section for their seed exchanges.

The seed kept is stored in an air-tight jar in the fridge and will be sown at the end of January 2006.
BILBO BAGGINS x LARGO I now grow just Show Auriculas, but an odd Alpine has been kept for sentimental reasons.
HINTON FIELDS x STRAND Hinton Fields is not a top notch variety. The hope is that it will pass on its good centre and introduce green stripes.
NANTENAN x Brown/White Fancy (s154) s154 (a STRAND seedling) won a 2nd prize in a large class, beaten only by the best example of ROMANCE I have seen benched. Not named yet.
s151 x s153 s151 and s153 (both STRAND seedlings) are wire edged peach ground fancies that together won a class for Two Fancies. Neither named yet.
FLEET STREET op   I expect that the seed is quite likely due to natural selfing.
SWEET PASTURES op   SWEET PASTURES is showing signs of old age and there might be a similar seedling with more vigour.
LIMELIGHT x PIMLICO PIMLICO is is late flowering blue self.
ANGELA SHORT hp Various stripes For red and white stripes.
BORDER BEAUTY x BLUSH BABY For red and white stripes.
BORDER BEAUTY x NIGHT and DAY For stripes.
BORDER BEAUTY x STRAND For red and white stripes.
MARION TIGER x NIGHT and DAY For stripes.
MARION TIGER x BLUSH BABY For red and white stripes.
MARION TIGER x s040 s040 is a red and grey stripe with a smooth edge.
Red and white striped seedling x NIGHT and DAY The seedling is a G2 Marion Tiger seedling similar to Marion Tiger with better form but fewer pips.
s004 x NIGHT and DAY s004 is an orange and white stripe.
STRAND x NIGHT and DAY For stripes.
Brown/White Fancy (s154) x BORDER BEAUTY For stripes and fancies.
(G2) MARION TIGER x Red self x (G2) MARION TIGER x Red self (G3) MARION TIGER x Red self. The next generation.
FLEECY x LAVENHAM Viv as started breeding a few fancy auriculas.
ICON op   Another cross by Viv.
CLARE x ANGEL EYES For fancies.


Conclusion
A Time for Reflection
 
Quite a lot of the seedlings that flowered in Spring 2005 have been kept to see if they improve or detiorate. All but a few (maybe three) will not survive long, even though I expect perhaps 10 to 20 of the original 300 seedlings to be good enough win a prize at the shows. Their genes however will live on in future crosses.

Another 300 seedlings should flower for the first time in Spring 2006. While some crosses are similar to previous ones WARWICK and some of Derek Parson's varieties have been used to try for egded plants with coloured grounds and to improve the yield of stripes.

There is ample seed ready to sow at the end of Jan 2006 for 300 seedlings to flower in Spring 2007 including the next generation of the Marion Tiger - Red self from Red Admiral breeding line. There is a strong tendancy to keep moving the programme forward. The show goes on.

This, however, will be the last episode of my experiences of breeding auriculas published on the web. I hope that you have enjoyed the ups and downs of plant hybridisation as much as I have and that it may encourage a few more people to have a go at breeding auriculas.


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