(#17 Y x AB2) X ‘Tango’
Named “The Chameleon” by Peter Hey
Enthusiast Peter May bred the berry parent plant by crossing Kevin Walters #17 Yellow with an Alan Bull bicolour “AB2”. Peter gave one of the resulting seedlings to Ken. Ken grew it to flowering and recognised its potential. He crossed it with pollen from ‘Tango’, the result is as extraordinary as it is variable in colour and pattern. Ken passed #17yXAB2 X ‘Tango’ to a good friend of his who passed it to me for my breeding purposes.
For the first three years a different colour pattern has emerged.
Spring 2014 – “Wow!” (I thought)
During the year the feeding regime for all of my adult plants was modified with a focus on additional protection against fungal attack by increasing calcium and iron to build cell wall strength. Nitrogen was also increased.
This may have been a contributing factor in the ‘different’ pigment placement that the plant demonstrated in Spring 2015.
Just opening Spring 2015 “Double Wow!”
As the season progressed one memorable photo opportunity arose and fortunately I had my trusty Olympus TG4 on hand to record the following image
In 2016 “The Chameleon” was one of the first to flower and again demonstrated a change, this time with the intensity of the pigments.
The yellow (carotenoid pigment) was significantly brighter. The orange/red on the outside of the petals/tepals was far more intense than either 2014 or 2015.
In image, note that the pattern changed slightly once more. Pigments were noticeably bolder. Petals are overlapping, slightly.
In 2017, (left) there were further changes to this extraordinarily variable plant. Orange (anthocyanin pigments) were slightly paler, and the yellow carotenoids softer.
Of particular note – there is a slight gap between the petals/tepals
The following crosses (amongst others) were made during 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Chameleon did not flower in 2018.
· X “Cassandra” Interspecific
· X “Nice” C. miniata with a white edge on each petal.
· X unnamed bicolour C. miniata
· X Euro peach ‘Noel Giddings Peach’
· X “Rubavitch”, a distinctly patterned C. miniata
· X variegated ‘Hirao’
· X Appleblossom Q1xQ6
· X ‘Gon Lee’ watercolour C. miniata
· X (‘Andrew Gibson’ x ‘Wittig Pink’)
· X ‘Green Dragon’ Group 2 Yellow/Green
· X ‘Tango’
· X Self
· X (Japanese Akebono x ‘Andrew Gibson’)
· X Bill Morris’s “Best Kept Secret” x “Sky Chase”
A number of reverse crosses were made using some of the above as berry parents with “The Chameleon” as pollen parent, thus providing groups of similarly bred siblings to strengthen future breeding possibilities.
Structurally “The Chameleon” has great integrity.
According to McClelland the florets could be described as reverse bi-tonal. The petals/tepals are thick, flattish and ‘stiff’, notably they last for a long period on the pedicel post pollination – up to two weeks. The flower shape is very good, quite open, consistently. Seeds are large though not particularly numerous.
Foliage is of average width and medium/long.
A very good breeding plant.
It is frustrating that these wonderful plants take such a long time to flower.