Hybridizing Makes Me Happy!

I thought I'd just write a blog post full of plant stuff that's making me smile at the moment. My hybrid 'Blue Bouquet' passionflower has formed a fruit even though hybrid passionflowers supposedly don't do that sort of thing. Come to think of it, all of those little nuggets of happiness have to do with hybridization, from the passionflowers to my own first hybridization attempt with rhipsalis!

I'm a little passionflower happy. They take over my trees and shrubs, pop up in the middle of the lawn and for all the hard work they require, I had yet to be rewarded by a passionfruit from any of my three passionflower hybrids. The other day I found a fruit forming at the end of a Passiflora "Blue Bouquet" tendril and said something along the lines of "Oh... my... God! Yay! Yay! Yay!"

This was an exciting event for me since Passiflora hybrids rarely set fruit and I had prepared myself for that sobering reality. I wonder if it was pollinated by my Passiflora 'Incense' that has been blooming at the other end of the fence... What a neat hybrid that would be!

There have been scores of butterflies and bees to do the deed; While I was observing the little passionfruit, I had to compete with about four gulf fritillary butterflies and a horde of hungry caterpillars! I tented the developing fruit with a twisty tied napkin to protect it from hungry mouths and hoped for the best.

In spring I bought an 'Emerald' Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) bulb that had already flowered and formed  a seedpod after being pollinated by one of the other fifteen varieties on display. I planted the bulb and planted the seeds in a Chinese food take-out tray, and half a year later the seedlings have come a long way! I didn't hybridize anything here, but the result will likely be a cross between 'Emerald' and one of the other amaryllis cultivars in bloom.

This rhipsalis on the other hand is a hybrid of my own doing. It's a cross between Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa and Rhipsalis crispata and exhibits the long and slender flattened stem segments of the ramulosa and the glossy green color of the crispata. I had planted rhipsalis seeds before but this is the first time that I've made my own plant! Maybe I'll get to name it someday. I hope to eventually make crosses with fine and truncated stems that would work well with my Rainforest Drops but that's a LONG term goal. Do any of you guys have hybridizing tales to tell?


  1. I can just imagine your excitement finding a fruit!

    I love the colour combination of the yellow butterfly on the blue flower

  2. I thought the color combo was awesome too! That was what struck me most about the butterfly - that it had the artistic sence to land in a big blueish purple flower!

  3. Wow, beautiful! It must mean a lot to you to finally see the literal fruit of your labor. :) Patience pays off, and nature always surprises you when you convince yourself it will stay consistent.

  4. Great shots!
    Those butterflies added beauty to the flowers.

    Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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