Time for a look at auriculas grown from open-pollinated seed collected in my garden. Seed came from the yellow species auricula (photo #1) in 2008 and from the yellow and brown auricula (photo #2) and possibly one of the purple auriculas (photos #3 and #4) in 2008 and 2009. There would have been very little 2008 seed (I am trying to remember) and it would have been sown quite a long time after in was collected, so its viability would have been lower than the 2009 seed, which was sown relatively fresh. Seed was not collected from the pale red auricula (photo #5), but it could have been a pollen parent of seeds from any of the others.
#1 and #5 are from the same pack of seed collected at the Devonian Botanic Garden more than ten years ago. They are the only two plants I grew from that pack of seeds and could hardly be more different. #1 is a species auricula (or closely resembles the species). #5 is an unfortunate-looking hybrid any serious auricula grower would have thrown on the compost pile. But these were the only plants I had at the time. #2 was bought at a long-gone garden centre called Golden Acres, I think — again, a little more than ten years ago. It did not have flowers when I bought it and has not lived up to its name, which was ‘Exhibition Beauty’ or something. And then #3 and #4 were offshoots of plants from a garden at my son’s daycare, which means I have had them ten years. Those are the possible parents; now here are the children.
These two photos, above and below, are the same plant. The colour in the flowers deepened over time but was never as rich a yellow as the second photo shows. The camera lies. One parent is certainly the free-flowering #5. The other? #1 maybe, for the mealy leaves. #2 for the dull yellow. I can’t see anywhere the crinkly leaves might have come from. This plant could be a good source of seed. A plant like it but with brighter coloured flowers (red or blue) would be spectacular.
#2 plus #3
#2 for the red-brown and #5 for the farina on the petals and the flower shape (i.e., separated petals, not flat-faced but somewhat flared or trumpet-like). Could also be #4 (long-stemmed, sprawling) and #5.
This was fun.