Hybridization is a trendy topic nowadays. Whether we are speaking about fashion, music or flowers, mixing different styles and varieties, unexpected combinations and hybridization are hot topics. People no longer look for simple products; they prefer experiments, things that combine different styles as the world we live in is more and more diverse, complex and demanding.
In horticulture, hybridization is the term that describes the grafting of two different varieties of plants, with the aim of obtaining a third variety, called "hybrid", which takes over the characteristics of its' "parents".
Many of the rose bushes that exist today are hybrids. The tea hybrids, for instance, are one of the most popular categories of roses. They are elegant, slender, medium sized, they give large and fragrant flowers, that last from spring until frost and they can be used both as rose bushes and as cut flowers. They occurred in the early nineteenth century and were the first category of rose bushes classified as "modern garden roses". Tea hybrids were obtained by hybridization between the so-called hybrid "perpetual" (incorrect English translation of the French term "remontant", that describes the repeated flowering), that was dominant in Victorian England, with the Tea rose (Rosa x odorata, also called China rose with a tea fragrance, as its' fragrance reminds us of China's black tea).
Obtaining a new variety of rose bush requires passion, a lot of patience, perseverance, knowledge, as well as a little bit of luck. In theory, anybody can try to obtain a new rose variety, but things are not so simple. Rose hybridization can be made both through sexual and asexual reproduction. Cross pollination is the sexual method of crossing two varieties with the aim of obtaining a third one, while the asexual method is called grafting.
While pollination requires special knowledge and planning, grafting is simpler and can be more easily done by amateurs. However, there is no doubt that the likelihood of success is greater when they read specialty books to better understand the process.
Regardless of the method chosen, the first thing we need to know is what the new hybrid will look like. According to this, we need to carefully select the parents that can provide the desired features - this is the crucial point of the hybridization since there are so many options. If we want, for instance, that the pink flowers of a rose bush bloom on a climbing rose, we can try to hybrid the two varieties. If we would like to obtain a bicolor flower, we will try to hybrid two varieties with different colors.
The "children" reproduce the parents' features, but each "child" is unique in its own way as the genetic material (the chromosomes) combine differently each time. Each gene carries a specific hereditary characteristic, which is unique.
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