An attempt at album Phragmipedium— Professor Braem x longifolium frma album

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Apr 21, 2020
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Hi all, starting a thread here to document the progress of my first successful germination of Phrag seed— after getting a tip from a friend that Phrags like to germinate at a pH of at least 6, I pH’d a batch of media to 6.3 before autoclaving and BAM, I got my first Phrag protocorms! Borne from a Phrag. Professor Braem (made with the album form of longifolium as its pod parent) that I picked up the Paph Forum back in January and fathered by the longifolium album that I’ve had in continuous bloom for nearly 1.5 years, I have high hopes for this cross.


Outlining the logic behind the cross: I drew inspiration from the lineage of Phrag. Polar Shift / Memoria Ann Stuckey, which is (schlimii x boisserianum) crossed to pearcei. In simpler terms, a pink phrag crossed to a green phrag which likely produced something pastel pink to near-white, then crossed to another green phrag which likely reduced the anthocyanin even further while still having some whitening/pasteling influence from the schlimii grandparent. The result being offspring that range from pink and white all the way out to nearly all white, (namely ‘Ghostwriter’ AM/AOS) save for a few dots lining the pouch.7AB6FD2C-8AD2-4766-87E4-0DA62743998F.jpeg
As charming as they are, hypothetically how would one eliminate those last few dots of pigment? My first thought was doubling up on an albino allele that eliminates anthocyanin, which pretty much leaves longifolium album and besseae flavum. There has been lots of work done with besseae flavum and schlimii to produce white Phrags already, and I myself can’t seem to grow besseae particularly well, so this left me with the species I COULD grow well— longifolium. Thankfully I flowered my first seedling and it (even now!) hasn’t decided to stop blooming. Next I needed to check if there’s record of longifolium backcrosses working in the past, and lo and behold, Veitch figured out that schlimii x longifolium backcrossed to longifolium works all the way back in 1883 with Phrag. Calurum. Photos of this cross seem to have used darkly pigmented forms of the species and produce hybrids that look like chunky magenta longifoliums!9BA3FA3B-82CF-4F7E-AA1C-BB056DE0BF93.jpeg
Okay, so previously attempted hybrids show that backcrosses with longifolium work, and mixing pink with green can make pastels to near whites; what is there to be done that builds on top of past work without reinventing the wheel? Enter a lumper taxonomist’s nightmare, Phrag. manzurii— hybrids made with this variety/close cousin of schlimii come out different compared to schlimii, notably with flatter petals with a white midrib, two traits that would come in handy for making a nice white flower! These traits, in addition to two copies of the album allele from the species longifolium, ought to produce flowers that are free of purple/red pigment as well as reduced green pigment thanks to manzurii. Only time will tell if this hunch is correct, but having these protocorms in hand makes me feel optimistic!
6 month update. These are hard to photograph because of the condensation on the walls, but here they are! I count 8 (9?) seedlings total.


The first to germinate are the biggest, located in the middle of the agar. The three of them are all pushing new pale leaves while having green closer to their centers, and also look like they might share a root system. Maybe a single protocorm that proliferated before differentiating leaves and roots?

I only have a small handful so I’ll keep these close. The parent plants are in sheath though, so I’ll remake the cross and see if I get better germination next year!
Maybe you should start with a white Phrag hybrid?


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Maybe you should start with a white Phrag hybrid?
I have a few plants in mind. I’m growing out a flask of Chuck Acker’s white breeding (Acker’s Northstar x La Aldea Tersura) and a remake of his Acker’s Northstar. I probably won’t see flowers for another year or so though

I also have a white blooming Margo’s Pinky that Marilyn LeDoux was willing to part with, I think it’s big enough to bloom this year. My division of Polar Shift should bloom again this year, though I haven’t been able to find any registered crosses with it as a parent so I’m unsure if it’s fertile. I’ll give it a shot anyway
8 month update: the three pale plantlets have begun to color up. Watching and waiting to see if the leaves color up entirely or if the chlorophyll is restricted to the centers of the leaves. There are some regular green plantlets nearby for comparison


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