(Written March, 2012 and placed on the Rhodo Chat room)
For a long time now I have been interested in using Jean Marie in hybridizing East Coast plants. Jean Marie has been the parent of many special West Coast hybrids: Taurus, Grace Seabrook, Halfdan Lem and many others. Many of them turned out to be polyploids. John Perkins has said that it seems that Jean Marie produces an inordinate amount of unreduced gamets, having twice the chromosomes as usual and thus when these unreduced gamets fuse with a normal gamet you get a seedling with 3n (a triploid) rather than 2n (a diploid) chromosomes which is the usual case. But what is most interesting is that Jean Marie when crossed with three different yakushimanum seedlings produced triploids: Solidarity, Anita Gehnrich and an unregistered hybrid by Ray Kruse that I have. I have no idea how many seedlings of each cross were grown so I don’t know what percentage of the seed was polyploid, but it just occurred to me that maybe, somehow, yakushimanum has a propensity to create triploids with Jean Marie. So this spring I am going to repeat that cross using a very dwarf yak and a fast growing one. I am also going to do the reverse cross.
But if there is a tendency for yak to create polyploids with Jean Marie, I wonder if that tendency carries into its progeny, for example Tiana. In 2014 I hope to put Jean Marie pollen on several yak crosses to see what happens.
Over the years I have made many Jean Marie crosses, some of which have turned out very good, including at least one that I think is a polyploid and I would encourage you make as many Jean Marie crosses as you can.
Following written 10/2/13. GeorgeWoodard has a plant of Peter Faulk x Red Crown which is a great red, probably his best red. I put Jean Marie pollen on it several years ago and have about 15 seedlings with very red flowers, one of which seems to be a polyploidy. Most of the seedlings have very red flower buds.