Breeding with Star Green: “Our first results”

11/08/2017 by


Since we started working with “Star Green” both as a pollen and pod parent, many of the progeny has yet to flower. Not knowing the exact genetic makeup of “Star Green” we decided on various experimental crosses.

We had some of these crosses flower in the past season or two and would like to share it with the Clivia fraternity.  It is important to realize that “Star Green” is not a very fertile plant and has to be pollinated at an early stage as the flower opens. The pollen stays viable for a day or two where you have to be prompt to harvest every bit of pollen as the sacks open. Thereafter, it becomes brittle, dry and unusable.

It does not self-pollinate effectively, but in some instances a small number of seed did set on some of the self-pollinations. These are yet to flower.

When we pollinated it with greens, for instance, Charl`s Green and TKO Green, the seedlings were all pigmented. A few of these flowered in 2015 and 2016.  They mostly ranged from shades of burnt orange to good bronzes, with the typical white and lime green centre, unique to Star Green and its siblings. Star Green x Charl`s Green (Fig. A) Star Green x TKO (Fig. B)

I think thrilling results will come from these F1`s that now have been pollinated with each other, as well as back onto the mother plant and vice versa. This we will only come to observe in a few years` time, but we are certain that there should be a percentage of green stems in the seedlings, which were not present in any of the F1 crosses.

Another exciting cross that flowered in the past two seasons, was when Star Green was used as pollen parent onto a picotee type interspecific. This cross yielded both pigmented and unpigmented seedlings. Two of the unpigmented seedlings have flowered yellow large interspecific type flowers. (Fig. C)

 Of the pigmented seedlings, two have flowered so far. The one is a typical F2 interspecific, but with colours similar to Star Green. We named this one “Tartan Green” (Fig. D) The second one flowered last season and was a semi picotee-type flower with a touch of lime green in the centre. The flower leaned more towards a miniata.  (Fig. E)

We also flowered a cross made by Philip Crous namely (Star Green x Vico Yellow). This flower was a versi colour with dark red at the back of its petals and a flower shape similar to “Star Green”. (Fig F) An interesting plant to work with in the future.

As the original “Star Green” has been in full flower this year, with a flower count of nineteen, I was able to put its pollen back onto most of its F1 progeny, as well as onto all its siblings that flowered. (Fig. G). A few of Star Greens` siblings flowered this season and they were pollinated with the original Star Green, as well as with some of the F1 crosses. They were also sibling crossed. (Fig. H, I, J)

This season I pollinated “Star Green” with a green 777 flower obtained from Pikkie Strumpher and which we named “777 Green Wizard”. I also pollinated some flowers with our “Andrew Gibson” for some different results. We also put its best F1 pollen back onto some original Star Green flowers. The seeds have taken well and we look forward to these crosses in a few years’ time.

I think an extremely exciting time is lying ahead with this beautiful and unusual plant.

Occasionally, we have to take an F1 cross a step further, which is where more rare and beautiful flowers may emerge.