The other day I was taking the camera out for a walk. We do that often around here. Just my camera and me wandering through the garden. Gazing at flowers, bugs, butterflies, and anything else of interest. I think you know this already - but I take a lot of pictures! I stopped by to examine a zinnia intending to take a picture of it to highlight the flower parts for a possible post on hybridization. I never did any actual hybridization on the zinnia but I did notice something I though was very interesting on this zinnia. If you take a look in the picture below, pay close attention to the petals. As you get closer to the center of the flower the petals turn a purple color making the zinnia have bi-colored petals!
The coloring is very faint but it gives the zinnia an effervescent look in the sunlight. Looking for little traits like you see here in the bi-colored zinnia that can be developed is what hybridizers do. They find an interesting feature then try to enhance it through breeding. I'll collect seed from this flower and plant them next year to see what comes along. The purple highlight may not return in the offspring or it could be even more pronounced. Who knows what nifty gifts nature will bring?
Labels: annual, flowers, hybridizing