How a parent plant’s DNA affects the hybrid

The hybrid Angraecum Veitchii Angraecum eburneum

This month we have a perfect demonstration of how the DNA of parent species influence the character of  their hybrid. We have  the two species Angraecum sesquipedale and Angraecum eburneum, and their hybrid Angraecum Veitchii all in flower at once.

Angraecum sesquipedale is a large growing species that produces a few large flowers each with a twelve inch ( thirty centimetres ) long spur. It is pollinated by a moth with a tonuge the same length as the spur. Angraecum eburneum is another large growing species but with many smaller flowers and short spurs.

The hybrid Angraecum Veitchii has an interesting combination of its parents’ characteristics. It is a large growing plant with leaves longer than A. sesquipedale. The flowers are smaller than A. sesquipedale but bigger than A. eburneum. There are many flowers on a spike but not as many as A.eburneum can produce. The flowers have a  lip with a similar shape to A. eburneum but the other sepals are wider as in A. sesquipedale. The length of the spur is intermediate between that of its parents.

Have a look at the photos for yourself and try to spot the similarities. These photos were all taken by me on Saturday.

Angraecum sesquipedale (Darwins orchid)


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  1. Eden Project visitor says:

    Surely “plant’s” and “affects”, no?