Sunday, July 24, 2011

Petrocosmea minor Kinship group

This year, I entered my first Petrocosmea Kinship Collection in the Gesneriad Society Convention show. A Kinship group is an effective way to showcase a parent and its offspring. Dominant characteristics can easily be illustrated with this type of entry, as well as utilizing the entry to introduce new hybrids.

I chose to showcase Petrocosmea minor and four of its hybrid offspring since P. minor has been quite the challenge to hybridize with. It has never performed successfully for me as a seed parent, and has only functioned as a pollen parent in three crosses so far. I must have pollinated a hundred flowers, actually likely more than that. Last year, I think I applied pollen to every P. minor flower that opened, all failures. The crosses that have worked have been P. minor crossed onto P. forresttii, P. sericea, and P. rosettifolia. The cross with P. sericea, which like P. minor has fragrant flowers, also produced fragrant offspring.

Pictured above is my Petrocosmea minor Kinship Collection. Starting with P. minor at the top, and moving clockwise, there is P. 'Paul Kroll', an unnamed seedling of P. rosettifolia x minor, P. 'Keystone's Blue Jay', and P. 'Keystone's Slippery Rock'. I used tan fabric as a unifying drape for the collection since I like the brown tones against the green Pets....

Pictured above is a new hybrid P. 'Keystone's Slippery Rock' which is P. forresttii x minor. This cultivar had lots of flowers and inherited a nice compact rosette from P. forresttii and the shiny round leaves of P. minor. It was my favorite seedling from the cross. Slippery Rock is a city about an hours drive north of my home in Pittsburgh, in western Pennsylvania. The glossiness of the leaves reminded me of a slippery quality, so the name was to honor a great university town in PA.

Pictured above is P. 'Paul Kroll' a sibling from the P. forresttii x minor cross that produced P. 'Keystone's Slippery Rock'. This plant has flatter leaves with more prominent veining, a dark green round leaf with a bluish coloration and a nice combination of glossiness and hairness to the leaves. It was the most floriferous plant from the cross, producing LOTS of flowers. You've heard me mention my friend Paul on here before. Paul is a skilled grower of Pets and has shared lots of new Petrocosmeas with me over the years, so I wanted to honor him with this new hybrid.

The Kinship group got lots of positive comments and received a first place ribbon from the judges. I had lots of requests for leaves of the new hybrids, so I hope they will be enjoyed by other admirers of Pets soon.