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Did you ever notice that there are three yak Jean Marie hybrids, all done by different hybridizers using three different yakushimanums that are polyploids, probably triploids? Hank Shannon’s ‘Solidarity’, Phil Waldman’s ‘Anita Gehnrich’ and Ray Kruise’s unregistered hybrid that I call ‘Ray’s yak Jean Marie’. All these hybrids are very similar: vigorous growers, hardy with rather large pink flowers. It is not easy to tell them apart.  Now I do not know how many seedlings of each cross were grown but I can’t imagine it was an enormous number.  And each hybridizer got a triploid from his batch of seedlings!  It is so unusual to get triploids and here each got at least one. So in 2012 I decided to make the cross again using three different yaks that I have:  a very dwarf form, the FCC form and a larger growing form.  Neither of these yaks are hybrids as all were grown from seed collected on Yaku Island.

I put Jean Marie pollen on the three yaks and also did the reverse cross: yak pollen onto Jean Marie.  Six crosses.  Only two of the crosses produced seed and not much at that;  yak FCC x Jean Marie and  Jean Marie x yak FCC.  I have six seedlings of each cross as of  March, 2015.

Of the six yak FCC x Jean Marie one I almost guarantee in a polyploid and maybe two more.  Of the Jean Marie x yak FCC one might be a polyploid. Now I know the plants are very young and it is going to be several years before they bloom but now only two years old there is a remarkable difference in their rate of growth.

Now isn’t that interesting.  Is that serendipity or is there something going on between the two plants?  This year I plan to remake the crosses and see if I can get more seed.  Written 3/21/15




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