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STREPTOCARPUS update number 4


By tanny


At last my children are starting to flower. I have 53 plants of the cross pollination between Charlotte and Blue Leyla, most of them are starting with buds and four of them in flower. Each youngster is different from each other and greatly different from the parent plants. To be organized I have named the youngsters Charlaya, and starting the sequence off with Charlaya 1 – Charlaya 2, etcetera. In describing the flowers I have also incorporated the measurement taken across the bloom. I hope you will enjoy seeing each flower as it opens and be amazed as myself at the differences in each of them.

I carefully placed the pollen onto the Stigma of this the female Charlotte

The first of my creations was this large 8cm wide striking flower.

This seconed flower as you can see is quite different from the first one and is also only 6cm wide.

Now what do we have here, a most unusual Strep with seven petals, quite a striking looking flower but sadly I do not think the other blooms on the plant will be the same, I suspect they will revert back to the regular five petals, fingers crossed they don’t. The flower is 6cm wide.

Now for the forth flower, and what a beauty, possibly one of the best looking Strep Iv’e seen and if it is anything like its parents that have abundant blooms then we can expect to see a magnificent plant. The flower is also 6cm wide.

This is the male flower, Blue Leyla

A couple of nights ago I decided to self fertilize Charlaya 3 and try to produce a plant with seven florets off the compound flower, sadly on examining the flower I discovered it had the usual one stigma, (the female part of a flower) and three stamens (the male part) that did not contain pollen but resembled three deformed stigmas. Self fertilizing was impossible.

On examining Charlaya 5 who had opened in the night I found it had two complete stigmas and three stamens that were also deformed, The stamens were spoon shaped and with my magnifying glass I could see they held a miniscule amount of Pollen. This flower has nine florets, or petals, but the whole flower comprises of two flowers combined. It only measures 4.5cm wide. There will be other flowers like this one with two heads joined together to make them look as one.It seems to be a regular thing with the first bloom on new plants, the following flowers will have the normal five petals, ‘I hope’’.

I hope I am right in calling the petals, “florets”, because they are not petals like the daisy that can be plucked individually, With Streptocarpus these are attached to the whole flower and each other. The flower head itself, I believe is called a compound flower, but here I’m getting a bit technical and don’t really know what it all means, so I will call the protruding parts of the flower, “Petals”.
Using pointed tweezers I snipped off the stamens from Charlaya 5 and rubbed them onto the stigma of Charlaya 3. Hoping to create some freaky kind of strep for next year.

Charlaya 4 has opened completely and now measures 7.0cm. I am very pleased with this plant and decided to cross it with it’s mother so I snipped off the unopened stamen and inserted it onto the stigma of a Charlotte flower that I considered mature enough, I then wrapped a tag around the stem so as not to lose it amongst the flowers.

Charlaya 6 has also opened wide and is another wonderful addition to my family. The deep blue with identical black markings each side make it a striking flower. I can’t wait to see the mature plant with abundant flowers. This will be my second favorite after number 4.

To further my experiments for next year I went and cross pollinated my strange, dark Strep called Anne with the large white one called Maassens White. Ann doesn’t have any stamens, only a stigma. Maassens White has both so when I stole the stamens from it I decided to take pollen from Cynthia and fertilize its stigma.
Blimey, I do seem to carry on a bit with my creating, I only hope I have enough room for them all over winter. I think I might have to “Bite the bullet” and consign some of them to the compost heap.

More blog posts by tanny

Previous post: Streptocarpus update No 3

Next post: Prickly Visitor



I do not know how you could possibly choose a favourite they are all wonderful. Congratulations.

13 Jul, 2010


Magnificent , you must be so proud of your children.

13 Jul, 2010


All beautiful Tanny.The 7 petal one is interesting :)
I agree with Sg,can't choose,I like all too !

14 Jul, 2010


They are beautiful. You have a great success there.
I didn't realise there were separate male and female flowers on a Streptocarpus.

14 Jul, 2010


That is very clever of you Tanny. Can you register a new flower with the RHS?

14 Jul, 2010


Lovely flowers Tanny! Well done...:o)

14 Jul, 2010


This is fasinating!!!....I would hate to have to choose from your "children".

14 Jul, 2010


Thank you for your comments and questions.
I think it is too early to contemplate registering a plant, I still have a long way to go before I'm satisfied with a chosen one.
Sorry Hywel if I have given the impression there are male and female Streps. My definition is saying the male is the one whose stamens with pollen is used to fertalise the Stigma of the receaving plant, with a few exceptions all the Streptocarpus have both Stigmas and Stamens. I will continue this blog with my latest experiments.
Stay tuned everyone, there are many more of my children coming into bloom.

14 Jul, 2010


Looking forward them greatly!!!

14 Jul, 2010


Sorry, I misunderstood :o(

14 Jul, 2010



14 Jul, 2010


very nice wish i could grow them like that

13 Nov, 2010

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