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A landrace by any standard

 
pollinator
Posts: 275
Location: SE Indiana
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I've seen lots of definitions and even arguments about what is or isn't a landrace. I tend to go with the notion that it involves the aspect of a locally wild population. Maybe or maybe not that has been brought into cultivation. The arguments about it are actually quite irrelevant to me. Existing wild in the immediate geographic region, collected up from multiple sources and adapted, I don't care. I just like to grow stuff, terminologies and labels mean little and certainly have no effect on how or if something grows.

That said, when I first built my house and long before I ever heard of landrace, long before I got into seed saving let alone plant breeding, I didn't have any flowers. Well I have always loved the wild asters that grow in my area so one day I stopped along the road and dug some up. Turns out there are lots f kinds, even different species I'm told but I never paid much attention to any of that. I prefer those that have slightly larger flowers and with fewer petals on a flower.

So for 15 years all over SE Indiana and N Central Kentucky when ever I saw one along the road that tickled my fancy, I stopped and dug it up. I never saved seeds, I just let them disperse on their own. You can't tell before flowering exactly what kind one is so pollen is always dispersed but when one I favor less shows up I cull it before it disperses seeds. I had no clue about landraces or breeding but I remembered enough from high school biology to know I could artificially speed up and assist in the evolution of the wild asters. All I had to do was give a little cultivation assist to the the ones I liked best.

So presenting, Reed's Ohio Valley Asters. A Landrace by any standard, species unknown.
LandraceAsters.JPG
Ohio Valley Landrace Asters
Ohio Valley Landrace Asters
LandraceAsters-2.JPG
Ohio Valley Landrace Asters Closeup
Ohio Valley Landrace Asters Closeup
 
Mark Reed
pollinator
Posts: 275
Location: SE Indiana
163
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My Asters have generally larger flower displays along with the larger flowers. More flowers per stem is just a happy accident as I never really selected for that. I wonder now if a larger display stood out more and is what helped catch my eye as I drove down the road. Maybe I did select for it and not even know it.

I think flower color must be genetically quantitive cause they range from a darker purple to white. Pure white is rarely seen so I'm guessing maybe it is recessive or more so. Plants are perennial for two or three years and I always tag any pure white ones to be sure I don't accidentally mow them down or something. Still in an occasional season I don't have any white ones, I'm excited this year to have several.  

Seeds are in little puffs, sort of like dandelions and to spread them I just clip stems and shake them out in the wind over areas I want them to grow. The maintained part of the yard is about 1 acre. Over the years I have managed to get them to make an almost solid perimeter of fall color around the edges and in the wood lots.

In mass they are stunning in the dim light at dusk and seem to almost glow under a bright moon. Visitors sometimes comment they have never seen anything like them. I'm thinking, they are just roadside weeds you goof ball, you drive by them all the time.
WhiteAsters.JPG
White Asters
White Asters
AsterSpread.JPG
Perimeter of Asters
Perimeter of Asters
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