In an earlier post I showed a few echeverias which are one of my favourite groups of plants. Alongside propagating through offsets and leaves, I have been experimenting with growing them from seeds. They are easy to propagate this way the only problem is knowing exactly what the other parent is as they will hybridize very easily.
Taking advantage of this every summer I play cupid and using a small paint brush take the pollen from one plant and spread it inside the flower of a second. For my first attempt there were a few varieties in flower at the same time, so I choose two of my favourites, echeveria pulidonis and echeveria rosea.
To be honest as a first attempt I didn't expect it to work, so was amazed when one of the seed pods opened to reveal tiny seeds. I thought there was no harm in seeing if they would germinate, and again was surprised when after a couple of weeks the tray was covered in new seedlings. I mentioned yesterday that my skills at killing seedlings is unmatched and as usual I I did kill a fair amount but some made it through.
But what chances they would be anything different? At first they looked similar to e. pulidonis, but by the end of last summer they were already starting to show differences, the leaves seemed longer and the rosette looser. To test the hardiness I left a few in various places, although only small they all survived despite our terrible winter. At the start of spring they looked like this:
I am particularly pleased that it has kept its blue colour. At this stage it was about the size that pulidonis normally gets to, but this one carried on and had to be repotted. It now looks like this:
It is about 20cm across and has loads of offsets forming. A monster by plain e. pulidonis standards, I will be watching it closely next spring to see if it can get any bigger! I have also left a few outside to again test the hardiness. While I love it, it has now raised a new problem of what to call it. I have already been asked for offsets by a couple of nurseries and so I have to think of a name to stamp my mark on it. Originally I had thought of combining the two parents; something like "pulosia" or "pulidosia" but was recently informed that this is not allowed.
So what to call it? Any suggestions?