Research, Taxonomy and our Hybridisation

< Back

The exhibition and display of the Botanic Garden Teplice’s valuable plant collection is only one, although highly visible, activity of our, or any other, botanic garden. In general we regard botanic research as our most important contribution to the world of knowledge. Taxonomy, the classification of plants into their various species and the finding of new ones is our essential professional function. In Central Europe it is now unlikely that we will discover any new species but a botanic garden is interested in all types of plants from all over the world. Consequently, we go out on species missions to find new and exotic plants. There is a common and qualified estimate that in equatorial South America only half of the plants there have been found and described. At present in our garden a visitor can find two species still awaiting scientific description. One of them is a very attractive specimen of the Pilea genus coming from the Montañas del Mico mountains in Guatemala. These were found by J.R.Haager and R.Rybková during the expedition organised by the Botanic Garden in Prague and The Zoological and Botanic Garden in Pilsen in 1997. This species has the temporary name Pilea speciosa HAAGER, RYBKOVÁ & UHER. The other new species are in the storage glasshouses, hopefully some Vietnamese orchids, or a nice Amorphophallus, collected in Borneo by Dr. Dančák from UJEP, Olomouc, or a specimen of the same genus found by Mr and Mrs Rybka in the Chocolate Mountains in the Philippines.

Calanthe Bryan x C. rosea Calanthe Bryan x C. rosea Hybridisation (see the photo gallery) is a typical activity for botanic gardens. In our case we move in two directions, hybridisation of several genus of Gesneriaceae family. Orchids take time to develop, anything from four to ten years from initial sowing to ultimate blossoming. Some orchids formerly hybridised by J.R.Haager in Prague, either in the Botanic Garden Prague or even before in the Genetic resource collection of the Botanic Institution of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science finally blossomed years later in our Teplice collection. The oldest of these hybrids, x Angulocaste, appeared in 1983 and first came into flower in Teplice in 2005. Its parental plants were Anguloa x ruckeri ( Anguloa clowesii x A. hohenlohii) and Lycaste crinita. For non-botanists it is necessary to say that first comes the mother plant and second comes the pollinating plant. The result here was quite a tiny but richly blossoming plant with shiny yellow blossoms ornamented by fine red spots inside crown. This surprised us all as the mother Anguloa is much sturdier and the inner part of crown is chestnut purple. Some hybridisations are not original; it is a repetition of those already realised, such as Phalaenopsis Penang Girl (= Phalaenopsis bellina x P. venosa), first registered by Ooi Leng Sun in 1984. During our hybridising we used the especially dark form of P. venosa with chestnut brown petals ending with green tops. This resulted in blooms of a nice copper colouring compared to those already exhibited. The original hybridising is represented by x Phaiocalanthe Lída, Hybrid Phaius tankervillae and Calanthe Bryan from the end of the 1990s.

The first Teplice hybrid from the family of Gesneriaceae was the favourite “Cupid´s Bow”. Achimenes ´Teplice Flame´(2003) comes from hybridisation of Achimenes patens imported from the Sierra de las Minas in Guatemala and in 1980 registered cultivar ´Tarantella´. The result is a smaller, richly blossoming plant with bright red blossoms, which has almost no yellow spots in the mouth of its shiny red crown.

Kohleria Šárka ´Firebird´ Kohleria Šárka ´Firebird´ Orchids from the genus Kohleria are those most popular in the Czech Republic. The original Teplice’s hybridising continued with two formerly created Haager’s hybrids Kohleria lanata x K. spicata at the end of the 1980s and following Kohleria Argus = Kohleria warszewiczii x (K.lantana x K.spicata) from 1996. The plant Kohleria warszewiczii, obtained from the Botanic Garden Stockholm, is probably not a “clear” species, but it has unknown hybridising in its history. Hybridising Kohleria Argus with Kohleria amabilis var. bogotensis, collected by Mr. Horák in Ecuador, resulted in a hybrid called by our botanic garden chief gardener’s name, Šárka, in 2003. As with such a complicated hybrid where at least four species took part, the “diversification” of descendants occurs, it was possible to select six of the nicest forms that we keep on under the cultivar names ´Firebird´ (definitely the best of them), ´Strawberry Cream´, ´Leopard´, ´Lovestory´, ´Neon Rouge´ and ´Surprise´. Some of them were later used for another hybridising, especially with the cultivars of Kohleria Dragon Blood and Empress.

A nice hybridisation, even if not original, is Kohleria amabilis var. bogotensis x K. warszewiczii from 2002 (J.Boggan realised it four years earlier). This resulted in a veritable ‘swarm’ of descendants, from which the best will be selected and it will be cultivated under the name of ´Teplice´.

We would like to mention two of the inter genus hybrids from 2002, and still without a name Moussokohleria = Kohleria Argus x Moussonia elegans and Moussoniantha Eva = Moussonia elegans x Smithiantha cinnabarina ´Palenque´, which has not yet blossomed.

In 2004 the genus of Smithiantha was used for several hybridisations. The most interesting hybrid originating from two “botanic” clear species, the mother plant Smithianta aurantiaca, collected by J.R. Haager near the Mexican town of Xalapa in 1991, while the pollen came from Smithiantha cinnabarina collected by Rybková, Nováková and Šuchmannová in the Mexican state Chiapas near the town of Tuxtla. The result is a mass of differently coloured plants (leaves vary from pure green to thick purple) with united cinnabar shining orange blossoms, which gave them the name of ´Teplice Fire´.

x Pearceria x Pearceria The most interesting result was received from hybridising Kohleria Šárka ´Firebird´ with the Ecuadorean species Pearcea hypocyrtiflora. It is interesting mainly because it is the first hybrid of these genus in the world (first published in the USA in 2006), but also from the horticultural point of view as Pearceria ´John K.Boggan´ (the form with bronze coloured leaves) and ´Romana´ (green-leaved) are much more resistant than Pearcea and tinier than the mother plant Kohleria; so we have assumed that without too much effort it could become a satisfactory house plant.


Euphorbia dilloniana HAAGER & ŠEDIVÁ - A New Succulent Spurge Species from Chile

During the fourth expedition to Chile in October 2013, a pair of researchers from the Botanical Gardens Teplice ( visited a locality southwest of Ovalle (Región Coquimbo, Prov. Limarí) and south of the historic Parque Nacional Fray Jorge. The locality occurs within a masiff of mixed sandstone and limestone where a basaltic (gabbro) flow has pushed through to the surface. It is only a few meters above sea level and is highly eroded due to the effects of salt spray and potential inundation with salt water as a result of tsunamis. Within this locality grew a few individuals of a Euphorbia, which has subsequently proven to be a previously undescribed species. Euphorbia dilloniana HAAGER & ŠEDIVÁ closely resembles the widespread and well-known Euphorbia thinophila PHILIPPI. The following are some the characters that clearly distinguish it: Euphorbia dilloniana sp. nov. est simillima speciei Euphorbia thinophila PHIL., sed differt: trunco subterraneo lignoso et per ecologiam: saxis indigeus. Euphorbia dilloniana - The underground stem 12 to over 20 cm long, sometimes sparsely branched, equally about 2 cm thick, woody - First herbaceous twigs on the natural habitat solid, become woody - Cyathia wide 5 - 5.5 mm and (mostly?) androgynous - Male flowers in two or more circles, anthers on prolonged pedicles opens concentric - scaly leaflets on pedicle under the capsule soon fall off - leaves 12-30 mm long and about 3 - 3.2 mm wide - bounded to rubble in rocky terrain (basaltic gabbro) Euphorbia thinophila - The underground stem + / - carrot-like fragile tuber - Twigs remain soft, herbaceous - Cyathia ca 4 mm wide and mostly unisexual - Male flowers in a single circle - Pedicel bearing fruit capsule terminated under wide-open scaly leaflets - leaves ca 8 mm long and 3 - 3.5 mm wide (smaller than E. dilloniana) - bounded to deep, fine Aeolian sands The precise locality data is intentionally omitted; the population on “our” place is very limited and succulent merchants could completely devastate the population in a very short time. In PN Fray Jorge floristic inventory Riqueza de especies de plantas vasculares en los Altos de Talinay, Parque Nacional Bosque Fray Jorge: GINA ARANCIO, PAOLA JARA, FRANCISCO A. SQUEO & CLODOMIRO MARTICORENA (in: Historia Natural del Parque Nacional Bosque Fray Jorge, F.A. Squeo, J.R. Gutiérrez & I.R. Hernández, Eds. Ediciones Universidad de La Serena, La Serena, Chile (2004) – is reported (as E. collina) Euphorbia portulacoides subsp. collina (PHIL.) CROIZAT but it may be a mistake. Mr.Wolfgang Ewest from Berlin, expert on Chilean succulent euphorbias, alerted us in fact, that exist photography from PN Fray Jorge of euphorbia with developed underground woody stem from Busek (probably Josef Bušek, Wolfratshausen, Germany), March 2003, noted is foggy forest in altitude ca 600 m (the point is that it is in all probability E. dilloniana) and others two photos from B.E. Leuenberger (Botanical Garden Berlin-Dahlem), dated 1. November 1997, from Fray Jorge´s western-oriented rock slope at an altitude of 150 m a.s.l., on which is possibly captured the same species. This brief article is a formally publication of new species and just a kind of pre-arrival notice. Both authors will be this species of Euphorbia further study in January and February 2015 and subject to our magazine will return to this theme (ecology, distribution etc.) in more detail. The holotype is deposited in the Herbarium of The Field Museum, Chicago under number F2312952. The new species of Euphorbia is being named in honor of our friend and colleague in Atacama Desert studies, Michael Dillon, Curator Emeritus of Flowering Plants, The Field Museum, Chicago, USA. Dr. Dillon's taxonomic interests include the Asteraceae and Solanaceae (Nolana); for over 30 years has studied the coastal lomas formations in Peru and Chile. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_____________________________________________ Jiří R. Haager, Director of Botanical Garden Teplice, Josefa Suka 1388/18, 417 01 Teplice, Czech Republic, Hana Šedivá, Botanical Garden Teplice, Josefa Suka 1388/18, 417 01 Teplice, Czech Republic

Webdesign © 2006 J. M. POST