For the past couple of years, I've gotten what look to be Caryopteris seedlings around my 'Sunshine Blue' plant. Some of the seedlings even have that chartreuse coloring. Is that possible? I looked up the DG plant files which said it's either infertile or plants don't come true from seed. Would like to know if anyone has had similar experience and what the outcome might have been.
When it says plants won't come true from seed, that doesn't necessarily mean you won't get some seedlings that would look similar (or even in some cases virtually identical) to the parents. It just means it's not guaranteed that they would come true from seed, and technically speaking even if they look a lot like the parent they wouldn't be the cultivar 'Sunshine Blue' since that name should only be used for plants that are genetically identical via asexual propagation (cuttings, etc). Some plants are better than others at producing a higher percentage of babies that look a lot like the parent.
I knew about plants not coming true from seed of cultivars but I was curious because the DG plant files indicated that the flowers were infertile. Based on that, I was surprised to see what appear to be Caryopteris seedlings. A bonus indeed as I normally do cuttings. I "rescued" half a dozen and potted them up and I'm interested to see what develops since I know they all won't be identical to the parent plant.
No, PF isn't saying they were infertile. The trouble is that when you're entering info about a plant in PF, infertile & not coming true from seed are combined in one checkbox, so there's no way to tell which reason it was that caused that box to be checked. There are a lot more cultivars that won't come true from seed than there are sterile plants, so I generally tend to assume that it means won't come true from seed when I see that checked off.
I have found that this plant comes True (as I call it) from seed. I save the seeds which are easy to germinate. These are 4 seedlings which were from seeds of a 'Sunshine Blue' plant. It's a very showy plant for this time of the year as it's just starting to bloom.
I wintersowed the seeds from this cultivar last year. My results were a little different - only about 50% had the parent's colored leaves, the rest were green. I will winter sow again this year and see what I get.
So far, I have 8 small seedlings surviving in 4-packs. I had a larger one but it didn't survive the transition to a pot in the hot GH. I'll have to figure out the best way to hold them over during the winter although they'll probably stay indoors. Some are more yellow than others but I won't make any selections until they've grown some. I do have my eye on a larger seedling still in the ground, definitely yellow foliage, but haven't dug it up yet.
Yeah - they're hardy but these seedlings are a little small to spend the winter outdoors. They're only about 2 to 3 inches tall and I would think they'd need a little more root mass to survive the cold. I've seen the seedlings the past couple of years but most don't come back the following year. Just playing it safe.