Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Substantial Impact

 Substantial Impact


2021 - Reeder - Diploid
(Mercedes x Heavenly Angel Ice) x Substantial Evidence
24" scape - 4" flower - 3 branches - 11 buds
Midseason - Dormant

Very flat flower of cream shades above big green throat fading into chartreuse.

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Truly a Substantial Impact! The name derives from an interesting chance coincidence. I was reading an article in Science Magazine in 2018 about the Greenland impact crater under the Hiawatha Glacier, and the crater was described as "evidence of a substantial impact'. Of course, that range a bell, as I had been growing and breeding with Substantial Evidence for seven years at that point, and the thought crossed my mind that 'substantial impact' would be a great name for a Substantial Evidence seedling that was an icy, pale color with a radiating green throat. I had a few that fit the bill at that time, but no way to know if any of them would make it to introduction. So I wrote the potential name down in my 'potential names' file and forgot about it. As I was preparing introductions, and considering names, that all came back to me as I was thinking what to name this seedling. Well, obviously! Substantial Impact...and it really is.

First year of flower as a seedling, growing in a 20 gallon seedling testing tub (I broke that sepal digging around for the cross tag)

Substantial Impact was hybridized in 2013, from a seedling that was a cross of the old Gilbert H. Wild introduction 'Mercedes', which I had grown for decades, and Heavenly Angel Ice. I put Substantial Evidence over that seedling in 2013 just because I was using Substantial Evidence pollen on everything that year. The result was quite grand!

At sunset after a long, hot day, still showing the big, green throat

The foliage is an attractive medium green and is dormant, showing no summer dormancy, and the plant is a good increaser and is hardy in my winters. Germinated in 2014, Substantial Impact went through the last three years of my rust resistance screening, scoring A+ level all three years. The thrips resistance is moderately high.

The substance of Substantial Impact is very thick and heavy, as is frequent in the Substantial Evidence family line. The flower starts the day a light butter yellow with a huge, radiant green throat. As the day goes on, the flower fades to a light cream with the throat green in the center fading to chartreuse and then to bright yellow with chartreuse hints and streaks. The effect in the garden is very light and clear, bright, especially toward sunset, and it holds its strong substance past sunset. The flower shows good resistance to sun and rain.

The fertility is good, strong pollen and moderately high pod fertility. It passes on the big green throat and the high rust and moderate thrips resistance to its offspring. It also passes the very clear flower color and has produced some very bright, clear pink and lavender seedlings when crossed with half-sibling Barbie's Dream Flower. The flat, open flower form also passes, as does the thick substance. I suspect a cross of Substantial Impact to Substantial Substance would produce some incredible substance in the seedlings, but I have never gotten around to making the cross, and now that I am not actively breeding diploids, I probably never will, so that is open territory for others to explore. I would suggest crossing Substantial Impact with any of its half siblings from my program through Substantial Evidence. My observation is that this line does not quickly deteriorate through some inbreeding, if there are non-related relatives on the other side of each plant crossed.

I think that Substantial Impact will be a valuable breeder, both for fancy, modern flowers and for rust resistance. I also think that the good plant traits combined with the amazing flower combine to make a great garden plant. The plant has been a regular performer here and I have never seen the dreaded center die-out that occurs in plants that have to be dug and divided to be refreshed every few years to keep the flowering active. I think Substantial Impact will be enjoyed by a lot of gardeners for its carefree beauty.