This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There is yet a wide field unexplored in the physiological conditions involved in the infusion of distinct individuals in one hybrid form. In chemistry the union of two different bodies always results in the same identical product; but it is not so in plant life. If we take the flowers of two distinct species to-day, and cross-fertilize them, the progeny will be different from what the same two flowers would yield to-morrow. Again in the progeny of the same individual cross the young plants raised are different from one another. The progeny partake of some of the characters of both parents, just as a chemical infusion would; but the proportions vary in each. Just now some interesting hybrids have been obtained in England between the Utah yellow columbine and the blue columbine of the Rocky Mountains. Instead of the blue and yellow uniting together and making a green, as in an ordinary color mixture, the blues and yellows in the progeny are just as bright as in the original parents. Some parts of the flowers are |blue and some yellow. In one case the nectaries have the bright blue of the Rocky Mountain species, while the petals are golden yellow. Thus it appears that parental influence may affect only particular parts of the offspring; or one parent may influence one part, or one another.
But under what law these peculiar influences operate no fellow of any learned association or any other " fellow " has so far been able to find out.
[A kind correspondent sends us the above, as taken from a " Boston paper." It so happens that it came originally from the Science Department of the New York Independent, from the columns of which paper more items of this character are copied without credit, - " stolen," we believe is the New York Tribune's expression, - than from any other paper that we wot of. We suppose, however, that unlike the Tribune, the Independent does not feel so overbad about it, as it has to show that the human race needs regeneration, and must be glad of some awful examples now and then to illustrate its teachings. - Ed. G. M].