Suzanne Hye, Bow Bells, Bob Betts, Jose Marti, and Mother's Favourite
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  #1  
Old 02-26-2016, 03:37 PM
terryros terryros is offline
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Suzanne Hye, Bow Bells, Bob Betts, Jose Marti, and Mother's Favourite Male
Default Suzanne Hye, Bow Bells, Bob Betts, Jose Marti, and Mother's Favourite

The link at the end is to a current blooming of Catt. Jose Marti, a wonderful, classic white hybrid. I think the history of this hybrid is remarkable, but if you are not interested in such things, just skip to the picture and be done.

Most of the below is taken from Chadwicks' "The Classic Cattleyas", a beautiful, easily readable book about the unifoliate, large-flowered Cattleyas.

Cattleya mossiae was found in Venezuela and described officially in 1836. Cattleya gaskelliana, also found in Venezuela, was not described until 1883. In 1906, the cross of these two species was registered as Suzanne Hye.

At least a few of the Suzanne Hye cross were very fine whites. One of these was crossed with trianaei and registered as Edithiae in 1914. Finally, the British firm Black and Flory back crossed one of the finest examples of Edithiae to what they thought was the very best example of Suzanne Hye and this cross was registered as Bow Bells in 1945. The name came from the bells of a prominent church in the London financial district that were damaged during World War II.

Their particular Bow Bells cross produced uniformly outstanding white hybrids. The special Suzanne Hye parent was thought to be the key ingredient and to preserve it during World War II, Black and Flory carefully packed the plant and sent it to the United States for safe keeping. Unfortunately, the ship carying the plant was sunk.

That left Bow Bells to become the best white parent in the world and a number of excellent crosses followed. The most famous, registered in 1950 by McDade, was Bob Betts, which was Bow Bells crossed with mossiae var. wagneri. Bob Betts turned out to be almost better than Bow Bells. However, attempts to remake Bob Betts have not turned out as well, probably demonstrating the importance of the particular Suzanne Hye used in the cross.

In 1959, the back cross of Bob Betts to Bow Bells was registered as Jose Marti (I am omitting the diacritical marks). This was also a uniformly excellent white hybrid. In 1990, this same cross was registered again with the RHS as Mother's Favourite, which is something that the RHS tries to avoid, but it happens. Mother's Favourite is thus not a clonal name that should be appended to Jose Marti but just a synonym for the cross.

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  #2  
Old 02-26-2016, 05:54 PM
Leslie Leslie is offline
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Suzanne Hye, Bow Bells, Bob Betts, Jose Marti, and Mother's Favourite
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Interesting history.

Sometimes a particular plant is the major step in a breeding line, as seen in this case. It goes to show that preservation of unique cultivars with good records are important! Hint hint to RHS .)

Thanks for taking the time to impart these facts.


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Old 02-26-2016, 09:53 PM
Mandy2705 Mandy2705 is offline
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Suzanne Hye, Bow Bells, Bob Betts, Jose Marti, and Mother's Favourite Female
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I LOVE the history behind the names and plant parents. This was great, thank you for sharing.


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Old 02-27-2016, 01:48 PM
No-Pro-mwa No-Pro-mwa is offline
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Suzanne Hye, Bow Bells, Bob Betts, Jose Marti, and Mother's Favourite Female
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Thank you so much for the history lesson. I also have a Jose Marti and it does have the Mothers Favorite in quotes on it so that's nice to know.

It is a huge plant and mine just started opening yesterday.
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