Several years ago I was fortunate to obtain some brugmansia seeds from Australian brugmansia hybridizer, Shaun Douglas, with parentage with mutant foliage. The mutant foliage in most of the parents had descended from brugmansia 'Quinde'. I have always been intrigued with unusual foliage and the mutant foliage of brugmansia 'Quinde' is elongated, deeply serrated, and quite striking. Since adding brugmansia with mutant foliage to my collection, mutant foliage has become a major focus of my current hybridizing program.
While growing out the seedlings from Shaun's crosses, several had mutant foliage and eventually bloomed. So far all but one of those original seedlings that have bloomed have had single white blooms, some beautiful and some not so nice. Of those original mutant seedlings, at least three are worthy of being named. I was also fortunate to add a couple of named brugmansia cultivars to my collection with double white blooms and mutant foliage. When the mutant seedlings and named cultivars came into bloom, I immediately made crosses and pollinated as many of my favorite brugmansia as possible with the mutant gene pollen. Now the second generation seedlings with mutant foliage are beginning to bloom and I'm hoping to see lots more color in the blooms. I currently have over 200 second generation seedlings with mutant foliage in various stages of growth. Many of those should bloom this winter/spring.
The first second generation mutant seedling to come into bloom is pictured here, and it looks to have great potential. The pod parent was a soon to be named double pink brugmansia from a cross I made between brugmansia 'Lizzy' x 'Angels Exotic'. The father was brugmansia 'Insanity', one of the named cultivars I acquired with mutant foliage. The foliage is deep green and heavily serrated. The single blooms are pink with very long corolla teeth. The blooms start out a light pink and the color deepens as the blooms mature. The initial blooms were long lasting and held up well during a recent warm spell with 80+ temps. This seedling plant is about to enter it's second bloom cycle and I'm anxious to see how it unfolds. It will be hard to improve on it's debut performance last month.
Of course I pollinated all of the original blooms and so far it looks like those crosses will hold. I also used the pollen from the first blooms to make several crosses with double pink brugmansia in my collection, including a cross back the the original pod parent.
Stay tuned for future updates on my mutant hybridizing efforts!