Post by blueadzuki on Jan 14, 2015 21:11:05 GMT -5
It does happen from time to time (though I admit, this is the first time I've seen it happen to all of the seeds in a fruit) In fact, every now and again you'd find one with a whole extra cotyledon.
Something similar is responsible for the three and four seamed walnuts. the third seam that shows up isn't only shell deep, walnuts with three seams actually have a full third "branch" to the nutmeat, and four seamed have two extra branches (I've never seem above that, but I have heard of up to eight seams. And yes one seamed walnuts have only one branch inside of them)
This year, I found a twinning almond, two points on the blossom end; I used colored sharpies to make a cat face on it (pointy ears); told my sweetheart "hold out your hand; sweets for the sweet; have a cat-nut". She's not quite a crazy cat lady, but prolly a neurotic cat-lady.
That trait shows up often in a Musquee de Provence strain that I've been growing for two years; nearly every fruit had scaring on about half of their seeds. I wonder if the trait has any useful applications, like somehow allowing the seed to germinate in cooler soils.
Last year, I had what seems to be my first inter-species squash cross. It appeared in a planting of Tromboncino. The squash on that plant were top-shaped when immature, pointed on the blossom end, and grew to resemble a hubbard in size & shape. The year I last saved seed for the Tromboncino, I grew an heirloom mini-hubbard, so that cross would be the most likely. Because they were planted late, the two fruits I allowed to grow didn't have time to ripen before frost. I put both of them indoors with my winter squash, in the hope than the seed (if any) might continue to grow.
Today I opened both of them. One was completely sterile, with only tiny, white, undeveloped seeds. The other was mostly sterile, but had some large (but empty) seed, and a few which are full enough that they might be fertile. The squash itself was watery, fibrous, and had such an irritating smell that I threw it outside for the deer (it will be interesting to see if they eat it!). I haven't decided what to do with the seed yet - ideas anyone? Do you think the cross may be useful?
Alan Kapuler inserted the idea into my mind that it's a good thing to grow closely related species together because of the possibility of an occasional natural hybrid showing up. I thought about that again today when I saw a squash in my moschata patch that looks like a maxima squash.
Here's what it looked like: Notice the classic moschata leaves, and the flared pentagonal stem which is another classic moschata trait. What the heck is up with that orange/yellow color? I've never saw that in a moschata squash before!
Here's a more archetypical moschata: Mottled leaves. Flared pentagonal stem.
And an archetypical maxima: Notice the round peduncle that is not flared. The leaves are plain. Fruit is yellow.
Yellow fruit is also showing up in the mixta patch: Notice the roundish non-flared peduncle and the sharp spotting on the leaves.
Yellow fruit on a pepo zucchini squash:
And finally, just to throw a wrinkle into the post... The other day I wrote that I have never seen a maxima squash with mottled leaves... Guess what showed up in the maxima patch during today's rainstorm?
Maxima squash with mottled leaves. Peduncle is the classic corky round non-flared stem.
Ain't that just like me? Irrigating during a rainstorm. That's what I do out here in the desert. The water flows down from the mountains whether or not it is raining. I may revisit this thread after the rain stops and I can pay closer attention to the phenotypes of the squash in the field. Summer monsoon. It was 79F this morning at 6 AM.
Joseph, i found this again when searching for info on the precocious yellow gene. It says py in moschata can be introduced from c. Pepo. But interestingly enough it supposed to be recessive in moschata opposite of pepo and maxima.
You have awakened my curiosity again, so i just planted some seed from my wild pueblo squash (wild squash from southern utah), that had the py gene. I think this squash is a maxima, but not sure.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jun 28, 2015 12:47:33 GMT -5
This spring I planted the squash with odd-phenotypes close together into the same isolated field...
They were: Yellow colored moschata which I speculate was an inter-species hybrid. I think (fickle memory) that the seeds failed to germinate. Fig-leaved moschata. Moschata with odd fruit shapes. Maxima with jagged leaf margin. Maxima with slight mottling. Maxima with a silver hue to the leaves.
I also planted the mixta squash into the same field, next row over from the moschata squash.
I been thinking about how I could pull off the alternating pollination days between the mixta and the moschata which was suggested by Carol Deppe. I could attempt manual crosses, but that's not really my style. Here's how I think that it might work for me. Take my knife, and go out to the field and mark an X on every fruit that has already flowered... As currently planted these are my production fields, so I don't want to discard early fruits. Then remove all the male flowers for a week from the other species. At the end on the week, put a check mark on any fruit that developed on the emasculated plants. Do the same thing next week, switching which species is the pollen donor. Then at harvest, save the seeds from the fruits with a check mark on them as possible inter-species hybrids.
I have previously made squash hybrids by removing all the male flowers from one plant (for the whole growing season). So I could manage a whole row for a week.
Edit: I just looked up the data about reciprocal crosses. Looks like I will just emasculate the mixta squash, since using mixta as the pollen donor typically fails.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jun 29, 2015 23:38:20 GMT -5
The squash plants are big enough now that I can discern:
1 of 3 plants from the mottle-leaved maxima is mottled. All of the plants from the jagged-leaved maxima have jagged leaves. Two much more pronounced than the third. The silver-leaved maxima is not obviously silver yet. They look a bit fuzzy though.
12540dumont: Just now planting MoeJoe? My fall frosts are expected in about 70 days. I'm glad that I planted my MoeJoe about a month ago. I feel bad that I forgot to plant Crooked Joe this summer, and no zucchini either.
Post by 12540dumont on Jun 29, 2015 23:55:23 GMT -5
Yeah, I'm trying to outwit the squash bugs. One of my buggy friends, suggested that instead of planting early, I plant as late as possible, thereby not giving them a food source early in the season. Seems odd coming into July with no summer squash, cukes or melons. But I'm getting them in row by row now. I haven't seen any squash bugs yet this year and last year they decimated everything except Crooked Joe. Remember I had summer all the way up till Thanksgiving, last year. So, I'm thinking I'm still fine. Of course I'm wringing my hands worrying over them!