Alyogynes in the Sub-tropics. Selected species and CrossesPART 2 ALYOGYNE HAKEIFOLIA Continued
Growing from seed can produce interesting results, as I found when ‘normal’ pink A. hakeifolia seed produced a seedling which had a bloom with a deeper colour than the pod parent on a much smaller sized plant. Unfortunately, the seedling did not live any longer than its parent. See FIGURE 4.
I no longer persist with Alyogyne hakeifolia, other than the cream form and the cross with Alyogyne huegelii which resulted in A. “Montburg Purple”
I do have commercial seed and may try growing more plants from seed.FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF ALYOGYNES
As with Hibiscus, efforts at hybridisation are intentional. Our areas of focus with both Alyogyne huegelii, and A. huegelii crossed with A. hakeifolia have included:LANDSCAPING:
1. Smaller growing plants
Alyogyne “Patricia Noble” is smaller growing. See FIGURE 5.
2. Different colours of blooms
NOTE: This was not so when Alyogyne huegelii, pink and Alyogyne hakeifolia, pink, were crossed. All seedlings had purple blooms.
A plant with a lighter coloured bloom has been named Alyogyne ‘Misty’. See FIGURE 5.3. Longer flowering
Alyogyne “Lisle” resulted from crossing the lilac form of Alyogyne huegelii with A. huegelii, pink and then crossing a seedling from this cross, Alyogyne ‘Christopher Noble’ with Alyogyne “West Coast Gem”.
4. Plants for specific situations
e.g. Alyogynes as standards, Alyogynes as screening plants. See FIGURE 7.
5. Plants which can better tolerate our conditions:
Of the plants that were available when we started growing Alyogynes, Alyogyne huegelii pink tulip form proved to live the longest. Two crosses with this plant in their parentage, Alyogyne “Lisle” and Alyogyne ‘Montburg Purple’, have been found to live longer here than other previously available Alyogynes. See FIGURE 5, Part 1, FIGURES 6 and 2.PLANTS FOR INSIDE THE HOUSE:
6. Flowers with longer stems for picking and flowers for extended vase life
Both A. “Christopher Noble” and A. “Lisle” have longer stems than any of the species in their parentage, making them better as cut flowers. A. “Lisle” has blooms which last longer than any others when picked. See FIGURE 5 of Part 1 and See FIGURE 6.7. Different forms of blooms:
It is important to identify plants that have characteristics that are valued. Current seedlings have been developed from blooms with more than five petals. See FIGURE 8 of Part 1.SUMMARY
Success in growing Alyogynes will depend both on what kind of growing conditions are provided and which varieties are selected. While Alyogynes can grow in sub-tropical conditions, some losses can be expected in wet, humid conditions, especially with Alyogyne hakeifolia. If humidity is a problem, there should be plenty of space between plants for air flow and plants should be grown in a well-drained, sunny location. We grow them on raised beds.
Some Alyogyne huegelii crosses and a cross between Alyogyne huegelii and Alyogyne hakeifolia are living longer in our conditions and at least one Alyogyne huegelii cross, Alyogyne ‘Lisle’, has a longer flowering period than has previously been available to those growing Alyogynes in the sub-tropics.
There seems to be less variation within Alyogyne crosses than is evident within Hibiscus Section Furcaria. Unlike hibiscus, there does not appear to be much, if any, difference between seedling grown Alyogynes and cutting grown plants. It is important to note that a seedling still should not be judged until the plant has been grown from a cutting and trialled as a cutting-grown plant over an extended period. In some plants, attractive features, such as blooms with more than five petals or extremely heavy flowering, have not become obvious until several flowering seasons have passed.
Alyogynes were featured in early written records. These plants have the ability to survive in the toughest of conditions. It is hoped that increasing interest will not only make these beautiful, useful and tough plants more readily available, not just overseas as is currently the situation but also within Australia. It is also hoped that the landscaping potential of this long ignored family of plants will gain greater recognition in Australian horticulture, even in sub-tropical conditions. The horticultural potential is being increasingly recognised, for example, in February 2005, Alyogyne was a featured plant in ‘Australian Horticulture (1).REFERENCE for PART 2
Gwen Elliott. ‘The gem from the west flowers year round’. In Australian Horticulture, February 2005, page 12.
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