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Tiki Hut All other posts go here. Banana jokes, travel stories, anything else you would like to chat about.


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Old 09-08-2017, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Rant About Strelitzia Regina

Why so few cultivars? I am aware of only one cultivar, Mandela's Gold, which has yellow instead of orange flowers. Big deal! Strelitzia Regina (SR) has been widely grown since, at least, 1960, and, it is presently the official flower of Los Angeles. Name one other cultivated plant with so few variations.

Circa 1970, I read an article in the magazine, Florist Review, about a commercial grower who found some SR seedlings with red foliage. At the time, I thought, "Good! I will be able to buy SR clones with red foliage in a few years!" I have been waiting for that vapor ware, ever since.

I don't care whether plant breeders have to splice human genes into it, I want SR with red foliage!

Last edited by aruzinsky : 09-08-2017 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rant About Strelitzia Regina

I think one of the problems is that they are difficult to propagate in large numbers. They take five years from seed to flower so you have to wait at least five years before you know that you have what you want or not. There are very few members of the genus so there is nothing to cross them with and even if you could cross them they aren't receptive to pollen of other species. Crosses have been tried between reginae and nicholai, but the two just aren't compatible and produce no viable seed. Another thing is that they are very difficult to micropropagate there has been no real break through on this front. Mandella's Gold I think is a natural variation rather than a cultivar.

I agree though a red leafed version would be very nice indeed!
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rant About Strelitzia Regina

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
They take five years from seed to flower so you have to wait at least five years before you know that you have what you want or not.
Not nearly five years to detect a red leaved mutant; more like 3 months. I bloomed SR from seed in 3 years.

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There are very few members of the genus so there is nothing to cross them with and even if you could cross them they aren't receptive to pollen of other species.
Where did the many cultivars of seedless bananas come from?


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Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
Another thing is that they are very difficult to micropropagate there has been no real break through on this front.
Still, using division of clumps, the alleged red leaved SR reported in Florist Review should have been commercially available within 45 years.

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Mandella's Gold I think is a natural variation rather than a cultivar.
Many cultivars are natural variations. But, now that I think about it, I should expand my rant to include the lack of variety in seed strains. By now, there should be red leaved seed strains.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rant About Strelitzia Regina

You're very lucky to be able to flower a SR in 3 years; if this is the case start cross breeding!
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rant About Strelitzia Regina

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You're very lucky to be able to flower a SR in 3 years; if this is the case start cross breeding!
At age 71, I don't have enough time before I die. Growing a red leaved SR, bred by someone else, is on my bucket list. I am also waiting for GMO ornamental plants, in general. Also, I am disappointed with the slow advance of horticulture. When I was young, I expected a greater rate of advancement, similar to rates of technological advancements achieved in electrical engineering (EE) and computer science.

Another rant I have, is about the relatively large number of irreproducible experiments published in peer reviewed journals, for all life sciences, including horticulture, but, especially medicine (because it really affects me in a bad way). You don't see that kind of nonsense published in EE journals which is probably the main reason why the rate of technological advancement for EE is so much higher than the rates of advancement for life sciences.
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