It's spring, so what else should my mind turn to but sex. Don't worry I am still talking about plants, as the echeverias are now getting into full swing with more flowering every day and so I am starting to think about what crosses I to try this year. Last year I went a bit mad and tried countless different ones, each flower stem had a little bit of paper attached with the cross neatly written out. Even with this it was difficult to keep track and I only end up germinating a couple of crosses and sadly they were not as successful as my first attempt.
This photo shows one set of hybrids, the back row contains the parents echeveria lilacina on the left and deresina on the right. The attributes I liked about were the colour of lilacina and the larger flowers of deresina. The front row shows a couple of the resulting hybrids and while the colour is good, the flowers are the small ones from lilacina. It seems it is not uncommon for certain varieties to be dominant in the resulting hybrid. Someone who knows a lot more than me recently told me that echeveria agavoides tends to dominate in hybrids and it has proved true for me.
These echeveria deresina x agavoides sadly look like very plain agavoides, they have even lost the nice colour the parents had. So as I look at the plants coming into flower, this year I am putting a bit more thought into what I want, I am a bit like a kid in a candy shop. I'll have a nice big blue rosette
But those flowers have to go, maybe some nice big yellow ones:
Or perhaps take the good flowering lilac one
and add some hardiness from one of the few UK hardy varieties.
As space is the perpetual problem here, this plant echeveria rosea is an obvious choice as resulting hybrids, even if not that different in looks any increase in hardiness to other varieties would be a benefit. I dream of a garden full of echeveria hardy to UK winters. So while I wait for the flowers to open, and get my paint brushes ready, I will give some more thought to which plants may work. Who knows I may even do a bit of reading to increase me chances.