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Tuberous Drosera Hybrids

I tried a few hybridizations during the past few years, especially when I only had a single clone of a certain species available in flower and therefore no partner for pollination within the same species. With that limited epxperience I come to the conclusion that only very few crosses seem to be possible to create strong and viable hybrids.
Some years ago I succeeded in crossing different D. menziesii subspecies (ssp. basifolia x ssp. thysanosepala) and more recently I obtained viable seedlings by crossing the very closely related D. subhirtella / D. moorei and D. whittakeri / D. aberrans, respectively. But these two combinations need to develop further to confirm the successful hybridization.
In addition, there are reports in the CPUK forum about a successful cross of the two D. macrophylla subspecies. The list of failures is much longer, e.g. some combinations within the stolonofera complex or a hybrid of D. macrantha and D. huegelii.

It seems to be quite easy to induce seed prodution by rubbing flowers of different species together. However, the result is somewhat unpredictable. I obtained quite a few seeds from this, which never germinated. In other cases, the seeds germinated, but the seedlings were not viable. They were yellowish-green in colour, never produced carnivorous leaves and died just a few weeks after germination.
Quite interestingly, it is also possible to induce self-pollination by using pollen of a different species. I had this happen twice so far. In both cases, the pollen donor was D. andersoniana (the pollen acceptor were D. menziesii and D. moorei, respectively). Andreas Fleischmann offered this explanation: the foreign pollen break the self-pollination barrier but are themselves not able to induce seed formation. But as I did not take any measures to avoid self-pollination, the plant's own pollen now did just that.

It may be obvious to most of you, but I would like to mention it anyway: the hybrids I was able to grow to flowering size were all sterile. Nevertheless, they all were hybrids of different D. menziesii subspecies and it may be different for other combinations.

non-viable seedlings

non-viable seedlings

non-viable seedlings of an attempted hybridization, in this case of D. macrophylla ssp. monantha and D. browniana. The seedlings died a little after taking these pictures without growing any further.

Another example of non-viable seedlings: a potential cross of D. macrantha ssp. macrantha and D. huegelii



viable seedling

cross of D. menziesii subspecies

A viable seedling of an attempted hybridization of D. whittakeri and D. aberrans. It remains to be shown that the resulting plants are indeed of hybrid origin (vs. self-pollinated D. whittakeri).

Young plants of a cross between two D. menziesii subspecies. Some characteristics of the pollen donor D. menziesii ssp. basifolia are already visible.




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