What is a hybrid flower?

Hybridization, perfected by rose breeders, involves crossing genetically different parents to create more fragrant or hardy plants. Discover the underside of horticultural hybridization.

F1 seed, kaseille, mangave…. All these funny terms apply to hybrid plants. Learn the different types of hybridization and how to make hybrid flowers.

Hybridization, thoughtful crossing

First a short botanical lesson: in a flower are the reproductive organs of plants, stamens for the male part, pistil for the female part. For reproduction (or pollination) to occur, the pollen produced by the anthers of the stamens must be deposited on the pistil. Depending on the species, the plant can be fertilized by its own pollen (self-pollination, or by other plants (cross-pollination)).

In this case, the wind or insects ensure the transport of pollen from flower to flower. At this stage, man also intervenes in the case of hybridization: he forces reproduction by sticking the pollen directly on the pistil of the flower.

After the operation is completed, the flower turns into a fruit. The created seed then produces a hybrid plant that combines the characteristics of its two parents.

Different types of hybridization

Hybridization is a natural phenomenon: gourds willingly mix their genes. Human intervention consisted of improving hybrids to make the plants more flowery, more productive, or more powerful. Carrots, originally white, thus come from the hybridization of Dutch Renaissance gardeners who wanted orange plants in honor of the House of Orange-Nassau…

F1 hybrids, widely used in the vegetable garden, thus correspond to homogeneous hybrid varieties, but during one generation. In the next period, there is a risk that the plants will lose their properties and be less alive.

There are also perennial hybridizations. They can be carried out between identical plants (apple tree, rose bush) to obtain new varieties. Crossing also takes place between species, as in kaseilla (crossing blackcurrant and gooseberry Currants) or pluot. It mixes the properties of plum and apricot, which belong to the genus Prunus.

Even more technical are the transitions between genres: mangave is a mix between manfreda and agave.

How to make hybrid flowers?

To hybridize a flower, first opt ​​for so-called “fixed” varieties, plants whose hybridization is stable over time.

  • Choose flowers that bloom at the same time and operate in the morning
  • Grasp sticks 1 with tweezerstime bloom
  • Use a brush to collect pollen from the stamens
  • Apply the brush to pistil 2nde bloom
  • Prevent further pollination by surrounding the pollinated flower with a bag
  • Wait for the seed to form
  • Sow them and wait for the result

Be careful, getting a stable hybrid or “solid” variety requires real technical skill. If you are not a gardener or breeder, be patient when hybridizing a flower and accept what nature gives you: you might get lucky!

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