World’’s first cross between day-blooming, night-blooming flower produced

March 8th, 2009 - 11:45 am ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 8 (ANI): A new hybrid called Electric Indigo, the world’’s first cross between a day-blooming and night-blooming flower, has been produced at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. The new water lily with bright blue petals is a cross between the Egyptian White Water Lily that blooms at night and a blue Australian lily Nympaea Barre Hellquist that flowers during the day.
The hybrid is the first successful attempt at breeding day blooming and night blooming species since attempts began in 1852.
Lilies bloom during the night to take advantage of insects that will only come out night and pollinate the plant.
To make the produce, propagator Carlos Magdalena, a horticulturalist who works at the gardens” tropical nursery, took pollen from the white night bloomer and placed it on the stigma of the day bloomer.
Three weeks later around 40 seeds were produced. But growth proved difficult, with the first three seeds producing small plants which died soon after. A week later a fourth seedling grew. Two and a half months later, the water lily flower opened on 16 January.
The flower is a day bloomer and will now be studied to see if it can be bred from.
It will be on display in at Kew’’s Water lily House.
“Electric indigo appears to be a day flowerer like its mother. It opens at around nine in the morning. I have received great feedback from other breeders. One even said I am making history,” The Telegraph quoted Magdalena, as saying. (ANI)

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