Using stray seeds from branded leaf hops.

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I have heard of people finding seeds in their Amarillo and such; why doesn't anyone grow them out? I have been reading countless threads where people ask for these rhizomes and are always told it is impossible.

Here is an idea; order some leaf hops and grow any stray seeds you find. I'm just a newb though so what do I know. Can anyone confirm having found seeds in a branded strain?
 

DarkCoder

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If you find seeds in a branded whole leaf hops, you should be able to germinate them and have some seedling. Some of those seedling will have similarities with the original mother plant and some won't. This is the magic of genetic... by doing a screening of those seedling, selecting those with similarities with the mother plant and re-breeding those seedling together, you might be able to come close to the original mother plant, but you will never be able to obtain a 100% identical plant. Years of effort will be necessary to make all those selection / breeding. That's why most people don't bother to germinate their own seeds. Seeds are ok if you are patient and ready to play a bit with genetic. :eek:
 

DarkCoder

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Btw, just do a search on the current forum...there are already a couple of threads for growing hops from seeds and hops breeding. :mug:
 

PapaBearJay

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I have heard of people finding seeds in their Amarillo and such; why doesn't anyone grow them out? I have been reading countless threads where people ask for these rhizomes and are always told it is impossible.

Here is an idea; order some leaf hops and grow any stray seeds you find. I'm just a newb though so what do I know. Can anyone confirm having found seeds in a branded strain?
DC and Dan pretty well touched on both points. Most plants are not self-pollinating (separate male and female plants), which means the father was likely random male, either in a nearby plot (field research tends to occur close by in PNW) or from outside the cultivated area. Either way, the resulting plants that could potentially grow from those seeds will only be half Amarillo. That means there are potentially some very desirable traits within it, but likely to be many that you weren't hoping for.

There are several of us who are interested in growing plants from seed, for both similar and different reasons, but would be happy to include you if you wanted to grow them yourself, or be happy to report back on our progress if you wanted to share.

Feel free to visit our thread and join in the conversation.
 
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JacksonPollock
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If you find seeds in a branded whole leaf hops, you should be able to germinate them and have some seedling. Some of those seedling will have similarities with the original mother plant and some won't.....
Good point; I guess it would take a lot of refining to get back to the mother plant.

Btw, just do a search on the current forum...there are already a couple of threads for growing hops from seeds and hops breeding. :mug:
Actually, it isn't the growing from seed that I am interested in; it is what is growing.

On top of what darkcoder said, most likely the male was not "amarillo" or whatever new variety it is that you found the seed in, so now you will stray even farther from the original profile.
If there were a grouping of seeds all together, it would seem more likely to be from a nearby hermy than from a rogue male. I think the chances of the "father" being Amarillo would be pretty high.

DC and Dan pretty well touched on both points. Most plants are not self-pollinating (separate male and female plants), which means the father was likely random male, either in a nearby plot (field research tends to occur close by in PNW) or from outside the cultivated area....
True, but you have to remember that hops are cultivated primarily (virtually entirely) through rhizome cuttings; insuring that all plants should be uniformly female. Where would there be random male hop plants? I don't know, maybe there are wild males that could do it. Another possibility that I think is more likely is that the seeds were pollinated by a nearby hermaphrodite. Plants in the Cannabaceae family are known for their tendency for female plants to produce rogue male flowers.


Actually in retrospect, I think buying a batch of wet hops of any given variety and then trying to root them would be the best bet for getting a clone. If only I could get my hands on some wet hops where I live!

Edit: I just thought of a good test:

If you plant the seeds and about half come out male then you can assume they were pollinated by a male plant. If you plant the seeds and they all come out female, it must have been a hermy.
 

GVH_Dan

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If there were a grouping of seeds all together, it would seem more likely to be from a nearby hermy than from a rogue male. I think the chances of the "father" being Amarillo would be pretty high.
Probably not.

The deal is that at one point it was thought desirable to have the hops pollinated. I've heard in some parts of Europe they still do. Hops back then, especially the "noble" hops from Europe, had an earthy/tobacco flavor that was popular. It turns out this most likely had nothing to do with seeds but that wasn't understood in the year 1900. So to replicate this, the history books mention farms planting males at the corner of the field to provide the pollination.

Hop pollen is reportedly able to travel a mile or more, so one bad boy can take care of a lot of gals.

Fast forward to today...some of those boys still are out there but they are the old varieties. When a new one (amarillo, simcoe, etc) is developed, I am quite certain they don't release any males out to the public. Therefore, it would have to be an older variety.

As proof, we've probably planted over 100,000 rhizomes between our fields and other in our network and at least 3 times a true male has sprung up. You would be surprised how hard they are to kill off. If we were a larger farm with totally automated system to cut them out of the field, I could imagine a male could live for years without ever being found.
 

GVH_Dan

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If you plant the seeds and about half come out male then you can assume they were pollinated by a male plant. If you plant the seeds and they all come out female, it must have been a hermy.
Yeah but...but if its female but hermi...uh...OK, I follow the logic but that statement just doesn't seem right to me. But hey, I'm engineer, not a botanist or geneticist. Anyone want to confirm/deny this before my brain explodes trying to wrap around it?
 

nagmay

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"OK, I follow the logic but that statement just doesn't seem right to me."

JacksonPollock's thinking is correct. The hermaphrodite plant is producing what is known as "feminized pollen" - which should only result in female offspring. So if you grew out a 100 seedlings from the batch and all were female, there would be an extremely high likelihood that the "father" was a female that threw male flowers.

However, as other's have pointed out - this does not mean that you have an Amarillo clone. For one thing, hop pollen can float/be carried by bees from miles away. In a place like Yakima - where most of the US hops are grown - you could have a dozen different varieties in this area. Beyond that, it is important to recognize that Amarillo x Amarillo will not produce Amarillo. In fact, each seed is likely to create something a bit different. The genetics of hops are a bit more complicated than, say, tomatoes.

All this said, I would be interested to know if actually have the seed in question. Please PM if you do. I am experimenting with growing from open pollinated seed.

Cheers,
Nagmay
 
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