Genetics

Plants grown from the seed of species or stable variants will come "true", that is be similar to the parents. If, however, one parent is unstable or normally propagated vegetatively, then the offspring will in all probability be of the normal forms of species and not of the variant.

In plant breeding there is much use of the technique known as hybridization. This is an involved process in which two true-breeding species, or stable variants of the species, are crossed to produce a hybrid generation (the first filial or Fx generation). The advantage of these hybrids is that they are often more vigorous than their parents and may have characteristics of height, form and colour that make them more desirable.

If these Fj hybrids cross, then their offspring, the F2 generation, will not be like the Fj hybrids but will revert to many characteristics of the original true-breeding parents. Hence the F2 generation will not possess all the desirable characteristics that were present in the generation and it is therefore necessary to produce f x seed afresh each year.

Collect small seedheads when nearly dry. Place in an open brown paper bag and leave to dry further.

Break up dried seed capsules. Clean seed lot by sieving, winnowing or picking over the detritus.

Place properly dried seed in linen bags or paper packets. Label clearly. Store in a dry cool area.

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