BRASSIA

BREEDING


For many years not much interest was expressed in Brassias by the plant breeders, although in more recent years this has changed. Both inter and intra generic hybridisation has been completed, the well known breeder W.W.G. Moir of Hawaii recording the first intrageneric hybrid in 1961. The following multigeneric combinations with Brassias have been registered:
(List will be updated in due course)


Brassia x with the genus Aspasia = Brapasia
o Miltonia = Miltassia
o Odontoglossum = Odontobrassia
o Oncidium =Brassidiurn
o Aspasia x Miltonia = Forgetara
o Miltonia x Odontoglossum = Degamoara
o Miltonia x Oncidium = Aliceara
o Oncidium x Odontoglossum = Maclellanara
o Cochlioda x Miltonia x Odontoglossum = Belleara
o Miltonia x Oncidium x Odontoglossum = Bakerara
o Cochlioda x Miltonia x Odontoglossum x Oncidium = Goodaleara
'x Aspasia x Miltonia x Cochlioda x Odontoglossum = Schafferara


WWG Moir of Hawaii was the leader in breeding of the Oncidiinae species, including Brassias, although a number of other breeders are developing an increasing interest in this aggregation of plants. This breeding is confined to the Brassias in the Eubrassia Section of the genus. As many of the Brassias from the breeders point of view have crowded flowers on rather short peduncles, Moir restricted his breeding to the two species that did not exhibit these characteristics, namely gireoudiana and verrucosa. These, when crossed together, make the primary hybrid-Rex. In addition to this successful cross, two other hybrids have also been used with some success: Edvah Loo (longissima x gireoudiana) and Chieftan (longissima x verrucosa), although these two could only be utilised with care if improvement was to be maintained. Both culturally and in breeding, some problems have occurred when plants from two widely differing natural habitats are joined together in a hybrid. In Brassidium, some can be difficult to grow, as the oncidiums like a quick drying airy situation with seasonal temperature variation, especially those coming from the high altitudes, as compared with tome brassies, native of lowland habitats, and requiring more constant environmental moisture and temperature conditions. In the use of three species, verrucosa, gireoudiana and longissima, Carpenter notes that these combined with Brazilian Miltonias, Odontoglossums or Odontiodas impart plant vigour and warmth tolerance to hybrids. He reports these species are dominant for flower size and open shape, and they generally improve spike habit.


Moir reports Brassidiums are good breeders, but when they are combined with Miltonias to make Alicearas, they are temperamental breeders. The use of the species Oncidium varicosurn has added much and provided some lovely hybrids, but most will not breed further, often because of chromosome incompatibility, Brassia with 60, compared with Oncidium species mainly utilised having 56 chromosomes. The Brassia x Miltonia hybrids (miltassia) using 60 chromosome species breeds easily. Experimental crossing with Trichopilias (60) and Brassia (60) plants produced seed, but the seedlings were difficult to grow after deflasking.


In Odontobrassias, Carpenter reports, the Brassia shape is strongly inherited in this intergeneric. He also reports Degamoaras are usually made with a Miltassia including a Brazilian Miltonia.


Brapasia (Brassia 60 x Aspasia 56 chromosomes) took up to chromosome number of one or the other parent. These hybrids took a long time for the pod to ripen (280 - 300 days even for green pod culture) this being a characteristic of nearly all Brassia crossings. The introduction of Miltonia into the hybrids shortens the ripening time. Moir also reports that Brassia hybrids seldom can be used as males, not even with one of their own kind. Most will however take species as the male while refusing hybrids.


With Aliceara (Brassia x Miltonia x Oncidium) Moir states these are more easily made from a Miltassia and a Miltonidium than from a Brassidium and a Miltonidium or even a Miltonidium and a Brassia.


First published 12.198



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 Site established 9th May 1998
Oncidium series first uploaded 20 October 1999