I have shared previously that I’m growing zinnias seriously for the first time this year. In 2006 I grew some zinnias as butterfly attractors. I did not dead head the plants and as I cleaned up in the late summer I clipped off the flower heads and put them in paper bags. I knew there had to be seed in there somewhere! As I separated the seed a month or two later, I saved each flower’s seed separately thinking I may want to explore the consistency / variability from an individual flower’s seed. If there was any color left on the petals I noted it. I also noted whether the flower was double, semi-double or single.
This year I am growing a couple of the seed lots. I am very much attracted to the various colors I am seeing in the siblings of one lot in particular. This lot was from the tetraploid Zinnia violacea State Fair Giants, labeled “482 purple semi-double” and is producing a very nice pallette of colors in what I call a violet cranberry series. The flower form is not spectacular but the colors tends to initially make up for the lack of form. I would love to improve and standardize the form and maintain the color series…..
This is one of the newly opened singles with especially nice color. I’ve created a gallery to show the spectrum of color I am finding.