I put S. araneosa pollen onto S. nordestina late in 2006, and got one fruit. I sowed the seed in January 2007 and got one seedling. For a time, I was uncertain whether it was an actual cross, or another S. nordestina (which would have been okay).
In September 2007, it bloomed.
The flowers clearly have S. nordestina in their background, since they have speckles derived from that species. They are equally clearly not S. nordestina, since that species has speckles on the outside of the tube, while this plant has speckles only on the inside, the outside being solid red (like S. araneosa).
The hybrid (so far) has only one (occasionally two) flowers per axil. S. nordestina also has one, while S. araneosa (in my culture) can have up to four flowers per axil. One can hope that the hybrid will eventually have more flowers.
One can also be disappointed. As I write this in November 2008, the plant is blooming on two flowerstalks, but with exactly one flower per axil.
The flowerstalk on the right in the picture has a second flowerbud from each of the two axils at the node just below the flower which has flopped over backward.
Neither S. araneosa nor S. nordestina has a robust stem, although araneosa's is a little stronger. The hybrid is fairly sturdy, although as the flowerstalk elongates, it tends to bend sideways.
The leaves of the two parents are similar, so it is not surprising that the cross has the same sort of leaves: hairy, light green, flexible, and relatively short. The picture above shows that the hybrid is susceptible to the same problem as S. araneosa: mildew. So far S. nordestina has exhibited no mildew symptoms, but I won't be surprised if it eventually does.
|Attribute||S. nordestina||S. araneosa||S. nordestina x araneosa|
|Flower shape||Conical tube, widening toward corolla lobes||Tubular, upper two lobes extended|
|Speckles||Inside and outside of tube||None||Inside tube only|
|Flower size||2-3 cm||4 cm||3-4 cm|
|Flowers per axil||1||1-4||1 usually|
|Inflorescence type||Extended axis|
|Tuber||Small (ca. 1 cm diameter)||Fullsize (see picture)||No obvious tuber the last time I checked, although the plant went dormant and then revived, so there must be something.|
Both parents are members of the corytholoma clade, so there is a reasonably good chance that the hybrid is fertile. The objectives in continued breeding would be to get the speckling on the outside of the tube, where it is more visible and dramatic, and to increase the number of flowers per axil. The first trait would have to come from S. nordestina, and the second from S. araneosa. This suggests crossing the F1 onto itself, rather than back-crossing it to either of its parents.
After going dormant in late 2008, the plant just sat in the pot. As far as I could tell, it was dead. I put the pot in the Tuber Dormitory, then transferred it to the Tuber Morgue. Time went by.
On 23 July 2009, I noticed a small green shoot. Almost the end of July! What are these plants thinking???
What kind of growth and flowering we get this season remains to be determined.
|Growth||Indeterminate, like S. nordestina|
|Habit||Stem upright like S. nordstina, but sturdier and not as tall.|
|Leaves||Light green, hairy, and slightly sticky, like both parents.|
|Dormancy||Like S. nordestina.|
|Inflorescence||Axillary cymes, usually with just 1 flower. The flowering axis has very small leaves.|
|Season||Blooms in (late) autumn, like S. nordestina.|
|Flower||Red, tubular, with yellow throat and red speckles inside.|
|From seed||9 months to first flowering.|
|Hardiness||Very unlikely to be cold-tolerant.|
|Recommended?||I like the flowers, but there is this mildew problem. I hope it's fertile, so I can work on improving it.|
|Fertility||Not yet known.|
|Taxonomic group||Both parents are members of the Corytholoma clade.|