Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013 NCCSS Show Plants No. 5

The  Euphorbia obesa  Family

Another entry category we have in our C&S Society's Annual Plant Show is "Parent/Offspring".    In this category you enter seedlings, rooted cuttings, or rooted offsets, and the plant(s) from which they came.  My entry this year was a pot of Euphorbia obesa seedlings, and the parent male and female plants that were used to produce the seed.  Euphorbia obesa is a dioecious species, which means there are male and females flowers, and they are produced on separate plants.  To produce fruit and seed you need both a male and female plant in flower at the same time.   Shown below is the female plant on the left (unfortunately not in flower), the male plant on the right (the tall guy), and the seedlings (the kids) in front. 

The "other" problem (in addition to having a flowering male and female plant) to producing Euphorbia obesa seed is that the fruit is a regma, a capsule that when ripe explodes and shoots the seeds far and wide.  Thus, there has to be some procedure set up that can capture the seed when it is expelled.  There are three seeds per each fruit and they are relatively large.  The seed germinates easily and this is the only way to produce more plants, since E. obesa rarely, if ever, produces offsets. 
 
 
 
 


11 comments:

  1. Aw, beautiful family portrait - albeit slightly alien looking. I have two tiny obesa seedlings growing & one looks like perhaps a mix? They're awesome looking plants. Lovely specimens you have Bob. :)

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    1. Thanks Ngeun! I've never seen an obesa with both male and female flowers; that would be quite an interesting plant. I have cross pollinated E. obesa with E. melonformis and gotten viable seeds. I still have a few hybrid plants and they are somewhat intermediate. I'll try to remember to post a photo sometime soon.

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    2. Sorry for the confusion Bob. I mean one of the seedlings does not look very round like a "true" E. obesa (slightly elongated, with different markings compared to the other one). It might be a cross with another Euphorbia? They're only slightly bigger than a large bean, so maybe the odd one might prove me wrong & grow into a lovely plump obesa after all.

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    3. Hi Ngeun, I have noticed that the seedlings with a more elongated form often (not always) turn out to be males. But you are right, the form may change over the next year or two. However, I always give special attention to a seedling that has an elongated form, because it may be another male plant, and males are rare compared with the females.

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  2. What a lovely family! I hope to get some lovely kids from my seeds.

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    1. Thanks Sanny. I collected about 25 seeds from my obesas today. The seeds are relatively large and germinate well. It's always fun to grow obesa from seed. They look very different when they first germinate and it's hard to believe they are going to end up fat and round. Good luck with you seeds.

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi Aleksey, and thanks for the nice comment. I think I have about 10 relatively large plants now and many more seedlings. I take plants to our Washington, D.C. C&S Society meetings for the sales table and they are always popular. I am enjoying your blog very much.

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  4. Nice markings on the kids. How old?

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    1. Hi Alain, yes, the young E. obesa can be very well patterned and attractive. The seeds were planted in May 2012, so they are about 15 months old. There really is a great variation on size for the seedlings now, and I really can't explain why. A few seeds germinated several weeks later than others but that by itself shouldn't have resulted in such size differences. I am going to sow more seed soon and I'll pay more attention to how the seedlings grow and what might account for the size differences over time. Succulents always give you something to think about. :)

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  5. Hi Bob,
    great group portrait of your Euphorbias! The little ones are gorgeous!
    I have three E. obesa grown from seed and one of them already flowered last year (it's a boy).

    I'd be very interested in seeing a seed capsule. Could you please post a pic if you have one?
    And what exactly did you do to capture the seeds once they were ripe and got "shot" out of their seed capsules?

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