The best besseae cross

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Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2006
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The best besseae cross?

I have the opportunity to buy some seedlings from Sam Tsui of the recent OZ besseae crosses.

What crosses produce the best quality progeny?

I know LittleFrog has gotten a couple awarded and Lien has flowered dozens. Heather is somewhat of a besseae aficionado.

Which is the best cross? Please post pictures!
I'd have to check my tags, I don't recall which was the best. It wasn't the "Smokin" x "Haven" cross that got all the publicity. Those were good, but I think it was just because they were first. "Big Bob" x "Colossal" gave me some really nice ones.
Thanks Rob, please do check. Do you remember if your awarded ones were from the same cross?

That is the part I have to check... I know right where they are in the greenhouse, so it is just a matter of remembering to do it.
All the OZ crosses are good. smokin x haven has nice color and form chillipepper x colosal produces large and nice blooms. I don't know if you can say one is better.
Best means best....

I guess by best I meant the most consistant quality. Littlefrog has two awarded, and has bloomed out quite a few, Lien has also bloomed out dozens. But I'm sure others on the board also have experience.

I was hoping that some of the people who have seen lots of each cross bloom would have an opinion of which cross has a higher percentage of above average quality. Although I don't have many opportunities to exhibit plants, award qulaity is bench make I am using. I would like a besseae with fat petals, a flat flower and great color.
My best is not awarded (my best is my avatar). And while I went out to the greenhouse with the best of intentions last night, I failed to actually look at the besseae tags... I'll try to do it tonight.
Don't worry rob, I have time. The Orchid Inn pre-orders arn't due until Feb 10.

would it be to much trouble to post pictures of your awarded ones? Maybe a picture of your best one too.

No trouble at all.

'Littlefrog Fire' AM/AOS (80pts) - I'm not so sure about this one. It got caught up in the wow factor of the next one by the same team.

'Littlefrog Inferno' AM/AOS (88pts) - The photo kind of kills it, actually, but it was certainly impressive. 8.2cm NS (not incredibly wide, but they liked the color, form, and especially the petals). Substance was heavy cardboard, like the backer to a pad of paper, and velvety. This could have had an FCC, but the probationary judge on the team got scared...

And my best one is "Littlefrog Flame", bloomed out before the other two. Petals are amazingly round, again the NS is not immense (I'd say on the order of the last one, maybe a bit bigger). This is an FCC compared to the 88pt award. But the judges weren't interested in looking at besseae that day, it saved me $40 bucks... There is a slight line of color break in one petal that was accentuated by the flash, not visible in real light and didn't occur on the next flower.
Thanks Rob, those are fantastic. Were they all first bloomings?

Has anyone determined (or better yet asked Terry Root) if these are diploid or tetraploid?

Yes, first bloom on all of them. A couple are already in spike again.

I did ask Terry about ploidy when I was ordering some other plants a couple weeks ago. He said he was quite sure that none of the parents of this last generation are tetraploid. They haven't been counted, but he has tetraploid besseae and he says they are very different. You could have fooled me (and did), but then again, I don't have any counted tetraploids so I don't have anything to compare them to.
OZ besseae -- many crosses, all excellent

I live relatively close to the Orchid Zone, and have had the opportunity to visit on numerous occasions. I've pored over the huge besseae bench many times, and it is an amazing sight. They do a large number of besseae sib crosses, and are able to get from flask to bloom in 14 months! The plants from the various crosses are all mixed together on the bench. They do not sort them by grex, but they do pull the best ones out for further breeding.

Here's a secret I learned from Terry Root -- if you get a first bloom seedling, go for form and color over size. For example, 'Colossal', which has been used to produce so many outstanding plants, did not show its true quality until its third blooming.

In my opinion, it's very difficult to say that one cross is better than another, as I've seen many flowers from many different OZ besseae crosses that are all on a par with each other.
paphiness said:
In my opinion, it's very difficult to say that one cross is better than another, as I've seen many flowers from many different OZ besseae crosses that are all on a par with each other.

I have been reticent to answer this request because a) I was waiting for a couple new besseaes to open, and b) I too have found that it is not so much about the exact cross, as much as it is about it being from these new breeding lines.

I also have to go back and re-check tags to be sure...and haven't yet had a chance.
Two of the three I posted were from 'Chili Pepper' x 'Colossal', and the third from "Haven" x "Smokin". But I have a bunch more marked as 'KEEP' from several other crosses.

I think they are all nice. And I agree with the comments about size. A) it isn't everything, B) it doesn't trump form and color in my opinion, and C) older plants will often have much bigger flowers. It isn't really fair to judge a plant blooming for the first time. Of course we do it all the time... In the perfect world, we would all wait until plants were fully mature before evaluating them, but I'm not patient enough for that either. :)