Thursday, May 10, 2012

What is the perfect Streptocarpus of the future, Part II?

Streptocarpus 'Ako Lemon Spirit' with 'Flush' of buds

Story # 17, Part II,

            From the varieties that we have already, we know that a new release better be more than a pretty flower.

            Flower size seems to be inversely correlated.  If you get big flowers, there are less of them.  But since we know 12 – 16 flowers per peduncle are possible, why not always expect that?  The unusual hybrid ‘Dale’s Scarlet Macaw’ routinely  get 26 flowers per cluster.

            We have varieties with short leaves.  Why not always have short leaves so they don’t get broken off.

            Dale Martens, a genius amateur Gesneriad hybridizer, has shown that a ‘Starfish’ plant habit is possible.  If this symmetrical shape could replace the annoying ‘one big leaf, one little leaf’ growth habit of Streptocarpus, we would have something to rival African Violets.

            Another characteristic that I observed while watching S. ‘Ako Lemon Spirit’ set bud and flower is what I would call a ‘Flush’.  Many flower spikes came up at once giving a ‘Flush’ of flowers.  This is a very important thing to happen in commercial crops----uniform flowering.

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