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Filled flowers propagated from seed
 

The most exciting in Hepatica breeding is for me to cross pollinate and produce new plants from seed, whatever it is the single or the filled flowering. Some years ago I thoght that only a miracle could give filled flowers from seed, but in the meanwhile I have learned, that we if nothing else, at least can help the miracle on track.

To get filled flowers from seed we must have parent plants ith filled genes, both the mother and father if possible, but mostly we must be content with one of the parents with filled genes.

The material tp rpoduce filled flowers from seed is different when talking japonica and nobilis, so let's start with japonica.

JAPONICA:
By H.japonica the mother plant can be the types Nidan-zaki, Nichirin-zaki, Chuouji-zaki or Karako-zaki.
You can read more about the different flower types in Subdivision in types
These four types all have filled genes and at the same time pistils and can because of thes be used as mother plants.

The father where we must keep the pollen is the singleflowering Hyoujunka (you can be lucky that the Sandan-zaki type produce anthers and pollen, and if so of course must exploit this, and you can have filled genes from both the mother and the father, but this is not normal).

The seeds/plants we get of this crossing is called F1 which means first generation.

Mendel's law of genetics tells that plants with single flowers has a dominant gene, while plants with filled flowers has a recessive gene.

It means that when our F1 plants inherit one single flowering gene from the father and one filled flowering gene from the mother, then our F1 plants will have single flowers (=the dominant gene).

We now have F1 flowers with both pistils and stamens with pollen and at the same time they have a filled gene, and we can go on working with these.
We can self pollinate them or cross them with each other, and the plants we get out of this is called F2 (second generation), and it is in this F2 plants the filled flowers will occur. It is said 10% in F2 will have filled flowers, but it can change.
Real good F1 plants can by self pollination give more than 50% of filled flowers.
A such plant is my no. 29 as you see here.
Hepatica japonica F1 29
Another way is to take pollen from an F1 plants and pollinate another plant in one of the four groups mentioned above (Nidan, Nichirin, Chyouji or Karako), which, other things being equal, should give even more chance to have filled flowers.
The principle is to fill as many filled genes in the mother plant as possible.

As mentioned before the main rule is that F1 plants will have  single flowers - but no rule without excptions, and somtimes you can have filled flowers in first generation. This is due to a double up of genes by nature, and our F1 plants can inherit more genes from both the mother and the father. The more genes, the more unpredictable and exciting is the result - depending how lucky we are that more filled genes will hit each other.
Be aware Hepatica must flower three years before the flower has it's final appearance
A few examples of my own producttion:
Hepatica japonica 'Momo Ogawa' GP 465Hepatica japonica 'Tori no Saezuri' GPHepatica japonica 'Tatsumidainishi' GP458Hepatica japonica 'Ranpomidori' GP 182

NOBILIS:
Of course the procedure with F1 and F2 plants and filled genes from the parents are the same what ever we talk japonica or nobilis, but unfortunately nobilis is not as variable as japonica and it is difficult to find nobilis types with either have the female or the male fertilization bodies and at the same time have filled genes.
E.g. the four types mentioned as possible mother plants in japonica does'n exist in nobilis.
Fortunately we have some of the filled formes in nobilis which produce anthers and pollen.
Here you see some examples:
Hepatica nobilis flora plena 'Lise'Hepatica nobilis 'Andersen's Dream'Hepatica nobilis 'Bolette'Hepatica nobilis 'Abelone' 210N
Producing of F1 plants must because of this happens in the uppersite way of japonica. The single flowering plant must be the mother plant while the father plant has the filled gene.
It can be difficult to get the pollen out of the anthers, you must (with a scalpel, cut an incision in both side of the anther, place the plant warm and the pollen will come out.
Here are a few of my nobilis crossings:
Hepatica nobilis 'Aida' GPHepatica nobilis 'Oda' GPHepatica nobilis 'Laerke' GP 138NHepatica nobilis 'Elvira' GP

JAPONICA X NOBILIS:
I have done some pollination with japonica and nobilis as well. My intention was to grow some plants as exciting to look at as japonica and as frost hardy as nobilis, and both succeeded.
Here are a few examples:
Hepatica japonica x nobilis 'Snowqueen' GP 19EHepatica japonica x nobilis 'Cobalt Dream' GP 46EHepatica japonica x nobilis 'Joy' GPHepatica japonica x nobilis 'Pink Cheek' GP 47E
Most of the crossings between japonica and nobilis (or nobilis x japonica) are fertile even a few are sterile.

A good advice:
When you start this crossing work it's very importent to do some registation of the every plant - mother, father etc. It's a shame when you after 6 or maybe 8 years have real good filled flowers, and then you can't remember the "roots" of the plant - and you must start all over again.

Breeding and procuce your own crossings are incredible exciting. To choose the parents and imagine what comes out of the relationship, I think talkes to a very big part of plant people. That the result not always match the expectations we must just accept.
Contrary sometimes you can be lucky or maybe skilled so the result far exceeds expectations.

Hepatica lends extremely well to attemt crossing because it is variable and fairly quick to come into flower, often already two to three years after planting.