Production - BREEDING - Seed Technology
Breeding work on Lupins
Since the company was established in 1957, it has been Klaus R. Jelitto's objective to introduce new and improved perennials to the world market. Careful selection and breeding work is necessary to preserve the characteristics of existing varieties and to possibly improve them.
For example, the quality of the deep burgundy-leaved Heuchera 'Palace Purple' deteriorated after many generations due to the growing percentage of green-leaved forms. Thanks to systematic breeding work we have been able to offer an excellent stable strain ever since.
Breeding work takes many years until a new and stable form can be selected. However, we do not shy away from the time and expense involved in achieving genuinely new and improved varieties. For example, Salvia 'Sky Dance' ('14); Lewisia 'Little Tutti Frutti' ('13); Alcea 'Las Vegas' ('12), Agastache 'Tango' ('11); Alcea Spotlight-Series ('10); Echinacea 'Magnus Superior' ('10); Echinacea 'Happy Star' ('09); Rudbeckia 'Sundance' ('08); Agastache 'Sangria' ('07); Coreopsis 'Elfin Gold' ('06); Penstemon 'Sunburst Amethyst' ('06); Helenium 'Tip Top' ('05); Scabiosa 'Pincushion Pink' ('04); Oenothera 'Silver Wings' ('04); Iberis 'Snow Cushion' ('02); Knautia 'Mars Midget' ('02); Thymus 'Magic Carpet' ('01); Polemonium 'Heavenly Habit' ('99); to name a few of our newer introductions.
ECHINACEA purpurea 'Magnus'
We have also been able to introduce a large number of new varieties in close collaboration with friendly breeders and cultivators, such as Gaultheria 'Redwood' ('14); Trollius 'Morning Sun' ('12); Agastache 'Globetrotter' ('10); Penstemon 'War Axe' ('09); Salvia 'Twilight Serenade' ('08); Scabiosa 'Moon Dance' ('07); Gaillardia 'Amber Wheels' ('06); Sedum 'Oktoberfest' ('05); Echinacea 'Doubledecker' ('04); Heliopsis 'Summer Nights' ('04); Helleborus 'Lady Series' ('01); Hibiscus 'Galaxy' ('01); Echinacea 'Rubinstern' ('00); Astrantia 'Ruby Cloud' ('96); Bergenia 'Winterglut' ('95); Achillea 'Colorado' ('93); Echinacea 'Magnus' ('85).
Just as important as the creation of new varieties is the harvest of elite seed for future seed production.
Elite seed, for stock production, is isolated from cross fertilisation, pollinated by hand often collected individually, observed and appraised over a period of up to five years. It then takes another 3 to 5 years until the first saleable seed can be harvested.