I am also making selections toward a line of blue Princess Japanese Morning Glories. One of my thoughts in developing the various Princess lines is to lean more toward creating initial building blocks for future more pleasing selections for the garden than creating immediate end results. Think of it as a wide base, with different plants, all sharing the princess characteristic, but having other isolated characteristics which may be later combined in different ways to produce stunning results. The idea here is to create a palette of qualities from which to choose. This effort towards the blue princess is along these lines. I’ve selected candidates that have leaves with yellow and green coloring, heart shape or normal shape, as well as dragonfly (dg) influence. This year should be telling if my initial selections are along the right path.
The picture above is of my first choice for this line. It has the diminutive growth of the princess, clear blue colored flowers of small size, and a rather unique shaped yellow leaf. I have other selections which I’ll show on a separate page.
While 2010 was a bust in my efforts to accomplish anything with JMGs, I’m planing to pick up the pieces and advance a few of my projects this year. I’m making several selections from the 2009 grow out and also plan to grow the F1 results of several crosses accomplished that year. Primary advancement will be in the Princess Project.
The above picture is of my current selection in the first of the large flowered Princess line under development. This plant has a nice compact stature, variegated green leaves and beautiful relatively large (104mm – 4 in.) pink ruffled flowers with an evenly blended white center. As a reference, flowers in the standard Princess lines are 60-65mm or 2.5 inches in size.
This morning several of the double flowers were showing their stuff! I could not resist takng a couple shots. The plants with double flowers are sterile and are the reward of tracking the duplicate (dp) gene through the seed lots saved from sibling single flowered plants.
White duplicate flower of Q0402
Duplicate flower of Q0449
Deep Purple duplicate flowers of Q1092
The following photo is of one of the Princess Project flowers showing the extreme side of the Blizzard pattern nicely contrasted against the crystal variegation of the leaves.
I have one line of speckled Japanese Morning Glories that I’m growing this year to hopefully introduce into my Princess project. This line comes from Eiji Nitasaka of Kyushu University, Japan and is called Q0663. The line is supposed to carry the maple willow gene to produce the dianthus type flower, but none of my grow outs to date have revealed this. They have however shown that they carry the duplicate (dp) gene which creates a true double flower. I was treated to two double flowers this morning! A double double! This speckled flower will look great on a Princess plant.
Q0663 - showing the duplicate flower
Here is the single flower form:
Q0663 - single flower
The grow out of my Purple Princess has delivered a couple unanticipated results. One of the most pleasing is a small statured purple Kikyou plant with glossy dark green variegated leaves. The plant is still only 16 inches tall and the flowers are 1 3/4 inches across. As all the flowers to date have been petaloid doubles, I doubt that I have seed yet, but hopefully later in the season it will produce single flowers that will be fertile. I created a gallery of all the flowers of the complete grow out to show the variation.
26107-168-04 - star segregant
Here is a close up of the leaf:
Kikyou princess leaf
I returned home last night from a business trip and immediately walked the garden to see what Japanese Morning Glories may bloom in the morning. Several of the Purple Princess project plants showed buds that would open. I also saw that several had already bloomed while I was gone. I was in the garden early this morning with the camera.
I have found that I learn so much about my plants by photographing them. By reviewing the images later, and having the ability to enlarge them, I find many details that would have gone un-noticed. While in the garden, I am always anxious to see the next bloom, or pressed for time to get to work so I really don’t take the time to study them like I should. Comparing discovered details with photos of siblings adds to the knowledge of the grow out. If I discover something new, having photos from days prior allows me to go back and check prior blooms of that plant or others for that detail.
Here are a few pictures from this morning. The flowers are nice, but not spectcular. I’m seeing that all the Japanese Morning Glory plants are growing larger this year because of the fertilization I’m providing, so I must re-calibrate my judgement of the presence/impact of the princess factor. In prior years, I was too concerned about over fertilizing, fearing I would suppress blooming and keep the plants in a vegetative state. I have subsequently learned that my sandy soil is so poor that I was actually limiting their growth!
26107-168-07 not quite fully open and showing some petaloid development.
26107-168-13 showing how the bloom changes color very soon after opening. The open bloom is actually not as blue as the picture shows.
26107-168-14 bud just before opening.
50507-166-19 showing dark pigmentation
While waiting for my Japanese Morning Glory plants to grow large enough to flower, I tend to spend time studying the leaves and their habit of growth. I have a small F2 grow out underway from a cross of a possible Princess plant with pink flowers and a yellow heartshaped leaved, blue flowered plant. From this series of 23 plants I am noticing something that is unusual to me. Many of the seedlings are showing significantly more dark pigmentation in their leaves. In the yellow leaved plants I’m noticing pigmented veins, in both a dark purplish color and also a reddish pink. This may be correlated with blue/purple and pink flowers. These leaves also tend to have pigmented edges. This extra pigment is not evident in my other seedlings in the same location, and not all the seedlings of this grow out show this characteristic. Some leaves have also developed a blush of the darker pigment in areas on the leaf surface. The contrast is quite striking particularly on the yellow leaves. I first noticed both the blush and dark veins in the cotyledons of this grow out. I’ll be watching this as the plants continue to grow to see if it persists or if it may be nutritional. If it is lasting and genetic, it could lead to some interesting new developments in leaf coloring in the Japanese Morning Glory.
Very dark veins
Lighter colored veins
Light colored blush on a yellow leaf
The normal leaf of one of the original parents
A very dark blush on a green leaf
Dark pigmented blotch at leaf tip