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Bob in Albany N.Y.

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I have been looking at the Tokyo Orchids flask list that Paph Paradise is offering. My question is why are they pairing a nice pink or white complex with Paph Hellas 'Westonbert'? What is Hellas bring to the table? They are offering a nice round white or pink crossed onto Hellas. Why?
 

Happypaphy7

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Why not? lol
Seriously though, Hellas is a proven parent in breeding and has shown to results in some amazing progenies.
It is a very strong grower and easy bloomer with great form and color. This is a great package not often seen in one plant.
It also tends to pass these great qualities onto its next generation.
By mixing pink/white bulldog with Hellas, some of them might turn out surprisingly nice.
I believe the goal of such a cross would be a nice even orange toned complex with or without fine spots.
Another important quality that the breeder might be hoping for is the flower vs plant size ratio.
Pink and white ones often produce small flowers compared to the plant size. Hellas has well shaped and large flowers and the plant isn't particularly large, at least the two very well-known clones.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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I have to disagree about one thing that you said. In my option Paph Hellas "Westonbert' is not of great form. Although I do agree with you about other qualities of that clone. I know that Theresa Hill uses an old complex in some of her breeding. I'm referring to Jenna Maria 'Sparkle'. My guess is that she uses that clone for the color as well as height of the stem. I'd love to hear others chime in. Always willing to learn.
 

Happypaphy7

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I guess you say that because Westonbirt can often bloom out with badly cupped & twisted dorsal near the tip. Overall, the petals aren't iron clad flat, either. However, it was awarded both FCC and AM in the past. I still find it very good to this day.
Jenna Marie 'Sparkle' AM/AOS has very round and flat flower for a bulldog. The major drawback would be the size of the flower being smallish. I believe that's why it is paired with other similar looking hybrid hoping to produce progenies that will have the best of both worlds.
 

littlefrog

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Sometimes you go with a proven winner. I make crosses with Winston Churchill 'Indomitable' fairly frequently (whenever it is in bloom). I'm sure there are better things out there, but I don't have them. :) Actually I have a few nice things that I've had awarded, and a couple things that will never get awarded because they are too good to not pollinate right away, but I'm still trying to figure out how they work as parents, so I often cross them to WC.

The goal isn't always for FCC progeny, and I'm happy to make a cross where they all bloom out 'pretty nice'. Those sell at shows just fine, at a better price point. Looks like some of those Tokyo crosses are running $300ish US (if I did the conversion right + charges) for 15 plants. That is a base price of $20 each if I get 100% of them out of flask (I often do, but not always), and in my hands I have to grow them for 3+ years to bloom. So even if I sell them at $50 each I might not turn a profit. My own crosses might not be superstar spectacular, but I pay $17 per flask for them...
 

tnyr5

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It's part name recognition, part what it brings to the table. Hellas is one of those magic breeders that often makes progeny that are better than itself. It adds vigor, (often) fertility, and tends to do both what you hope it will do and, more importantly, not do what you hope it won't.

Hellas crossed to a big white will produce a good percentage of cream, speckled, and pale pink progeny that keep the form of the white parent. A few may even bloom white, but with improved flatness.

That said, most of those flasks are overpriced, some severely so. 220,000 yen? (About $1600 or $100 per seedling in flask) Get real.
 

Ozpaph

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I think Hellas also improve fertility in its offspring and will allow future breeding vs sterility barries in many complex lines of breeding.
 
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