There are two green flowered sanguinea hybrids already that I know of. One is a varigated green bye the way and I am sorry to say I don't have either one of them. Growing sanguinea, arborea, vulcanicola species or hybrids is a hard thing to do here as the heat/viruses kill those particular plants in the summer here. The arborea seems to be the most hardy of those 3 species and will generally come back after it dies back in the summer to bloom around fall.
As for Brugmansia crossed with Datura, I know that has been done, but apparently it has only been done is a lab. It produced flowers that pointed upright on a much larger plant and was sterile. Perhaps treating the resulting embryo with colchicine or doubling its genes would have made a more viable crossbreed. I have heard of others grafting the pistal of a Brugmansia onto a Datura and such, don't know if that was true or not as I never saw the resulting hybrid.
Brugmansia are generally and won't generally self pollinate. There have been some to claim that their Brugmansia has self seeded. One such person only had one Brugmansia and there were no other Brugmansia to be had for miles. I have seen Bees on rare occasion go into a Brugmansia flower when one has too many growing side by side. Generally, when one only has one or two Brugmansia growing next to each other Bee's will leave them alone. B. versicolor will cross to B. aurea to form what is known as B.candida. B. aurea is hybridizable to suaveolens as well. Suaveolens species can be crossed to versicolor. So, in the Brugmansia family you can cross these 3 species in any combination. Aurea x aurea , aurea x suaveolens, versicolor x versicolor, versicolor x suaveolens x versicolor, etc.
Brugmansia arborea can cross with sanguinea to form what is known as a flava hybrid. Vulcanicola can supposedly cross to these other hybrids as well. I say supposedly as I have only recently grown sanguinea and vulcanicola and have not personally done any of these crosses. I have seen many crosses labeled sanguinea x flava or sanguinea x arborea.
As for cold hardy Brugmansia, once Brugmansia get to a fairly large size they can make it in colder weather to some extent. This winter we had 18 degree weather and I had most of my older Brugmansia trees only die back 4 or so feet. My seedlings all died back to the ground except one. I actually had one seedling that only died back 2 ft. I find that the girth needs to be at least a bit over an inch for most Brugmansia hybrids to make it in that kind of weather and there is still damage to the outer bark in some places. Placing the Brugmansia in full sun often helps prevent some of this cold damage if they can recieve the first rays of morning light. Brugmansia will generally always come back from the roots as long as the ground does not freeze.
Brugmansia seeds are best planted fresh as germination rates go down with old seed and germination begins to get very sporadic taking up to 9 months or longer versus 2-4 weeks for germination. I do not peel my seeds and find it to be a waste of time. Seeds are best started in seed trays that allow the water to drain out fast while still retaining some moisture. In this way one can water the seeds and the seedlings 2 times a day. Once in the evening and once in morning. Fertilizing the seedlings begins with a very light or dilute fertilizer after the first set of true leaves immerge.
Cuttings, I have heard that hardwood cuttings are best to root. I have found that this is true with some hybrids, but not all. I have used very green cuttings off of a 5 week old seedling and had them root. I have also rooted very tiny (less than 1 cm thick) off shoots of some double Brugmansia hybrids. I think the thing one has to take into consideration is to simply remember that each hybrid is different in each batch. I have some that will form roots very easily in water in less than 2 weeks, others that take months to put out roots in water. Root nodes, white bumps, generally form on most hybrids when placed in water within a few weeks at most. These cuttings are best stripped of all leaves except the top two leaves and placed in a well draining soil. I have had much luck growing cuttings in pure peat. I have heard others who have had much luck rooting in pure sand. I have even had luck rooting Brugmansia in standard soil mixes. The trick with peat for me, seems to be to strip the cutting of most of its leaves, especially if it is a green cutting. Wet the peat, stick the cutting in and water only when the peat is starting to dry out or when it appears that the Brugmansia is wilting. If the cutting is wilting, placing the pot in water up to the level of the bottom of the cutting works great if one leaves in soaking till the cutting perks up. Cuttings seem more prone to rot than seedlings from having their feet wet too long. Once the cutting has formed a callus on the bottom this is generally not a problem anymore. Another trick I have found is to fill a pot with peat to a level of 2-3 inches when dealing with large cuttings. Place a few inches of perlite on top and insert the cutting into the perlite leaving the cut tip just above the peat, fill the rest of the pot with peat. The more the roots can breath the faster the roots will form and the faster the plant will grow as a generall rule. So, I naturally use pine bark shavings, peanut husks, perlite, or whatever else I can find laying around. I also use a bit of sand, but I do use peat as well. I am always experimenting with different soil mixtures trying to get the best soil. I am one of those people who doesn't measure his different soil amendments though, I just goe by the texture and the feel of it when it comes to growing Brugmansia. A nice sustained release fertilizer is great, something like 10-10-10 for Brugmansia. Once the Brugmansia is actively growing and a bit larger you can use an incredible amount of fertilizer with Brugmansia. I typically also use a fair bit of cow manure in my soil mixes. Fertilizers I use through the year, fish emulsion, peats miracle grow, sewage sluge, etc. I have noticed that some Brugmansia appear overly sensitive to too much copper in fertilizers. I have also noticed that some Brugmansia hybrids react adversly to insecticides by putting out slower growth, deformed growth, or simply becoming more prone to disease and viruses. B. sanguinea is one that I have grown for the past 2 years that seems to react the worst with an insecticide, it seems to lose more water during the hot spells immediately after a spraying with an insecticide and continues to lay down or droop for a number of days afterwards. Placeing it in the shade seems to help. I have also noticed that some Brugmansia hybrids just put out deformed or slow growth in response to insecticides. Some of these Brugmasia hybrids will eventually stop putting out deformed or slow if you repeatedly spray them with an insecticide over a period of a few months.
I never peel Brugmasia seeds as I find it reduces my germination rates. Fresh seed is best when dealing with Brugmansia. I recently had some seed arrive which I planted as I plant others hybrids as well. The seed did not germinate within 6 weeks so I pulled the seed up and looked at it. The seed was old and had some very tiny minute hole in the bottom of each seed. I popped a few of these seeds open to find that most were hollow and all had a small white insect of some sort that had chewed the insides of the seeds. Don't let the seeds stay on the trees too long!!! Insects will bore into them and use them as food. Mice love to eat young Brugmansia stems an inch thick as long as they are green as well. Grasshoppers will also dine on young seedlings.
Notes on hybridizing:
Make sure the pollen is dried and frozen as soon as it ripens. Pollen is only good on Brugmansia for 6 days after it ripens if it is not dried and frozen. Second, if you are going to use pollen, you can use in on a newly opened flower during the early morning or late at night hours. I find my best results with putting the pollen on the pistal before sunrise or after the sunsets. I also find better results when I tear open the calyx of the flower itself to pollinate the flower a week or so before the flower actually emerges from the calyx. One can wait until the flower is just barely poking through the calyx if one wants to though. Be careful not to bend or jerk on the flower, a razor blade used to slit throught the flower is best. As you are going to be using that flower to set seed on it is best to simply remove the corolla, but leave the calyx intact. Seed pods take anywhere from 4-8 months to mature on Brugmansia so overwintering them in a green house is a must if they are going to experience a freeze so you don't lose your seed pods or so you can get a jump on it the following year. Last year, I had all of my seed bearers in the ground so I lost thousands of seedpods that I intended to gift away or plant. 18 degree weather is not conducive to seeds forming. This year, I am leaving my Double orange Brugmansia in the green house just to be on the safe side as I intend to use it as a seed bearer and a pollen donor to most of my Brugmansia. I will of course be trying to form seedpods on my other seed bearers outside in a race against time and the cold should it come. The very next cross I am going to do is a simple one, a double white x pink suaveolens. This cross will result in mostly whites and is most valuable as a cross to another pink or my Double orange or one of its seedlings. I do expect the seeds from the double white x pink suaveolens to be primarily very fast growers and very large flowered. Nothing trully spectacular though. Sometimes one breeds for color, growth, branching, etc. The object is to get all the traits you want on one plant. I deeply love aurea hybrids for the reason that many of the seedlings resulting from a different species being crossed to an aurea give very long tendrils that tend to wisp up and back, often spiraling a bit as they turn back. Versicolor x suaveolens x versicolor will also do the same thing, but that means making an additional cross. Of course, aurea x versicolor x suaveolens hybrids are also nice. I love trading for others hybrids as it enables me to speed things up a bit in my own hybridizing. If you can find someone with a cross you want that looks good, that saves you the trouble of doing it yourself.
If you are shipping pollen, it is best to dry it out for a few hours, send it in a film canister wrapped or packaged in some way as to keep it frozen or cool and send it overnight delivery. The person who is recieving the pollen should have a flower ready that is at about ready to come out of the calyx and the pollen should be administered to the pistil before the flower opens or comes out of the calyx. Technically, if the pollen is being shipped from close by, as long as the pollen is gathered as soon as it ripens one can get by with simply putting it in a film canister and sending it 3 day delivery, but I would not want to take my chances on it as if the pollen gets too warm then it is no good. Any airtight container that can hold pollen seperately from other types of pollen will work though. If you are only sending one type of pollen then you can fit a large amount of pollen that has been dried in a muffin tin for a few hours and then packaged in a nice film canister faily easy.
I would of couse like to send cuttings to someone as cuttings are the only sure fire way of knowing that you have something that you want. A single seed can be trully fantastic in its fragrance or color, but rarely does one find both in a flower. I consider fantastic fragrance being any single Brugmansia flower that I can smell from 35 ft away while smoking a cigarette.
Walk in Peace,
Ahh, update, currently have B. candida pink, pink suaveolens, frosty pink suaveolens, double white, pink versicolor, Isabelle pink, jamaican suaveolens ready to bloom in about 3 weeks so I can make crosses involving those plants very soon.
[This message has been edited by Brugmansia (edited 19 May 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Brugmansia (edited 19 May 2001).]