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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:09 am 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
My planned cross experiment for 2012

Introduction: There are a number of gross characteristics of Nicotiana tabacum which distinguish it from Nicotiana rustica. Both are historically cultivated varieties. Neither is "wild," and neither (with a rare exception) is capable of naturally reproducing itself in a temperate environment for more than a few consecutive seasons without human intervention. (A single known variety of N. rustica exhibits dehiscent seed pods, that is, pods which reliably and spontaneously split open to disperse their seed.)

The most obvious differences between the two species are:
  1. plant height
  2. leaf size
  3. blossom color
  4. blossom shape
  5. bud distribution
  6. branching
  7. time to maturation
  8. average alkaloid content

My impression is that, by the first six measures, Mt. Pima and Papante group with N. tabacum. I don't have data on the remaining values.

Hypothesis: Both Mt. Pima and Papante should be assigned to Nicotiana tabacum, rather than to N. rustica.

Theory: N. tabacum and N. rustica cross pollinate one another poorly, and when successful produce seed of low viability. N. rustica pollen is said to be ineffective at pollinating the pistil of N. tabacum. The reverse cross is only marginally more successful. Attempting a cross (in both directions) between a known N. tabacum variety and an undetermined variety should provide strong evidence as to whether the undetermined variety is N. tabacum or N. rustica. Similar information can be obtained by attempting the cross of the undetermined variety with a known N. rustica variety.

Method: I will use Little Dutch as the know N. tabacum variety, and the yellow blossomed Sacred Cornplanter (thanks to Doug at Nicotiana Project) as the known N. rustica variety. The two undetermined varieties are Mt. Pima and Papante.

Each of the four varieties will be separately crossed in both directions with each of the other three varieties, by manually opening the sealed blossom of the pistillate (female) parent, removing its stamen, then manually pollinating it with pollen from the staminate (male) parent, and sealing the blossom with tape. Each variety will serve as a pistillate host for three crosses, and as a pollen source for the three reverse crosses. Little Dutch x Sacred Cornplanter will serve as a control cross. So there will be a total of 12 distinct pistillate hosts of the various crosses, of which I expect 6 (those involving Cornplanter pistel or pollen) to be either sterile or nearly so.

Any viable seed from any of the above crosses will be grown out the following season for evaluation.

Discussion: Although I am certain that more specific laboratory methods exist for determining the correct species assignment, my proposed experiment can be performed in my own garden beds, and without expense or specialized techniques, and should resolve the question as clearly. My chief concern is following the exponentially increasing number of distinct progeny in the F1 and into the F2 generations and beyond. Should promising hybrids appear, I plan to severely cull them at each generation. Establishing a new variety would likely require several seasons of crossing and back-crossing, followed by three to five years of selfing to the point of stable and predictable progeny.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Cool Bob and wish you the best of luck :shock:

Once the flower opens you got less than a 1% chance of doin your thing and if you can sneek in there early(preopenining :lol: ) it may work.

My question is why bother ?

Seems alot of hassle for very little future gain.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
taxedenough wrote:
My question is why bother ?

Well, it just comes down to knowledge (sometimes called idle curiosity). The director of the seedbank at Native Seeds/SEARCH, has been unable to clarify the species of Mt. Pima and Papante. Both are described by writers and seed sellers across the world as N. rustica. If they are N. tabacum, then they--together with Macchu-Picchu--may represent the oldest uninterrupted lineage of unaltered, unmanipulated, un-"improved" N. tabacum on the planet. They may offer traits lost over the past 500 years of modifications, such as specific disease resistance or maybe unique flavors and aromas. If these cross readily with other varieties of N. tabacum, then many possibilities open up.

So, like all basic science, the knowledge may or may not be important or useful. On the bright side, I'm not applying for a federal NSF grant to fund the study.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:35 am 
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Location: South Florida
Skychaser wrote:
What other varieties did Doug send you? He sent me a few extras last year too. A couple of them turned out very interesting.


Sky,
Sorry, modem's been out for a while -- I missed this one. Besides the Mt. Pima and Papante that I ordered, he included isla pueblo and sacred cornplanter. Once the midewiwan I'm currently growing is done (early Jan) I'll do one of these.


I think the info on the pollen grains and length of pollen tubes is interesting. Sounds like a fun experiment. Good luck.

One side observation was seed size. I first noticed this earlier this year when I made an order for silkleaf that included my midewiwan cultivar. The rustica seed is quite a bit larger than N. tabacum. When my recent package arrived, the seeds for Mt. Pima and Papante were noticibly smaller than the other two. I know feild characteristics don't tell the whole story with cultivated plants, but all of these observations seem to be pointing to a different species, or a cultuvar with different parentage.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
Jolly,

I've not grown sacred cornplanter yet but did grow Isleta this year. It is a very fast and vigorous growing plant. It thrived in our cold spring weather last year and grew to about 5 feet high. The leaves are smaller than Aztec or Mohawk but its a good producer for a Rustica. Unlike Mt Pima or Papante, the similarities between Isleta, Aztec, Mohawk and Wayandot are obvious and I have no doubt they are all Rusticas.

I noticed the same thing about the seeds. Mt Pima and Papante seds are the same size as other tobaccums. The others are much larger.

The Mt Pima I grew has been hanging now for about 90 days, so today I decided to give it a try. It's not quite ready yet. Still has a bit of that perfumy, not done aging kind of taste to it and it probably needs another month. But that aside, I have to say that it tastes great! It is mild to medium in flavor, has just the right hit going down and is quite satisfying. It does not have the high nicotine content that other rusticas do. It's more than turkish or virginian but definitely not like smoking straight Aztec. Not to hot, not to cold. Its just right. :) So I'll cast one more vote for it turning out to actually be a tobaccum variety.

My wife and I both agreed we could smoke Mt Pima with no blending and be quite happy with it, once it has aged properly. We were very pleasantly surprised. It also did very well in the cold wet spring of 2011, so it might be an excellent choice for people in northern latitudes.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Skychaser,
Thanks for the info. Since I cut the midewiwan yesterday, I just sowed some cornplanter seed, so we'll see how they turn out. Good info on the isleta -- sounds like a winner.

My pima is growing well, and right now looks very much like my fl sumatra, but it's still pretty small. I'm getting pretty vigorous suckering, though. Thought that was wierd -- I've never had a plant sucker like that prior to being topped. That happen with yours? I haven't decided if I want to pull them, or see what happens.

As for the nicotene content -- that's a bit dissapointing for me. I was really hoping to find a potent high yeild rustica. I'm still excited to see how it cures and smokes. Who know's, it might become a favorite.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:11 pm 
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BTW, did you prime or stalk cure?

I keep seeing comments that there is a significant difference.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
I did both. The leaves I primed cured to a beautiful dark brown. Yesterday I checked the ones I hung in the barn whole, and they are half brown and half green now. Like most everything I hung whole in the barn looks right now. Except for the Costello. It's a beautiful golden brown.

All the leaves I primed, no matter what the variety, were cured in my greenhouse. I hung a few whole plants in there too to cure. It works great either way! It heats up in the days like a solar kiln and the sunlight really seems to help in getting the green out of even the most stubborn types. I packed up about 1/2 of what was in there to let it age and moved another 100 or so plants from the barn to finish curing in there today. It was 38 degrees here today but was 61 in the greenhouse at 80% humidity. I have about 3 months left to use it for curing before it's time for baby plants again. :)

One thing I noticed about the small sample of the Mt. Pima we smoked was that it seamed to burn rather quickly and a little unevenly. I only picked off a couple leaves from one string so I'll with hold my final judgment on its burning qualities for now. Wasn't enough to judge it fairly.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:57 pm 
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I topped my 2 potted Pima today. Potted plants were pretty short, right at 2 feet. I'm thinking this is due to the shorter photoperiod, and being in a pot. The two in the planter have not been topped yet and I don't see signs of buds, but they're also a bit shorter. Overall I'm getting quite a bit of difference in leaf length and width between plants. This may be due to genetic variation, but more likely the result of growing just a few plants in less than optimal conditions. I'm going to let the plants in the planter go to seed.

Still getting massive suckering, mostly from potted plants but also a bit from the others. Even prior to topping this was pretty dramatic. Again, maybe the conditions, maybe just low apical dominance from the plants (similar to rustica). Anyway, so far these appear to be a tabacum cultivar more than anything else. When the flowers appear I'll take some pics.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:52 am 
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I only grew 4 mt. pima plants, two in pots and two in the ground. In all cases, I got pretty short plants -- just under 3 feet, but the leaves were decent sized. I think this is due to the sunlight on the porch now -- it'll get better through the spring and into summer.

I've cut 2 plants and they are curing fine -- not yellowing much but going from green to light brown. Since they were shorter I'm stalk curing.

I thought it might be interesting to post some pics of the flowers. Sorry for the pic quality -- this was taken in the evening.

Image

Image

There is nothing "rustica" about these. In fact, I can hardly tell them from my FL Sumatra. Rustica has much shorter, squat flowers that are yellow green, and the lobes are more rounded. The only thing that was remotely rustica-like was the tendency of the plant to try to branch as much as possible. They have needed constant suckering. The proof will be in the smoking regarding whether or not I'll grow these again.

Thanks.

I look forward to hear the results from others later this year. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:48 pm 
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The petals seem quite spiky. Does that change from daytime to nighttime?

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:16 pm 
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deluxestogie wrote:
The petals seem quite spiky. Does that change from daytime to nighttime?

Bob


Not really. They have a long tube, and once the flowers open the corolla bends at 90 degrees with very acute lobes. They would be really striking if there were more of them.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Hey jolly, did you ever find out the yield of the rustica strains? I have indian rustica growing, about 2ft, 0.5 ounce i think?


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:42 pm 
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fadatim3 wrote:
Hey jolly, did you ever find out the yield of the rustica strains? I have indian rustica growing, about 2ft, 0.5 ounce i think?


I'm probably not a good one to ask -- my rustica yeilds have been pretty low. Last year was my first time growing it, and I put it in less productive areas while I was growing other varieties. I also grow in pots, since I don't have much space. I regrew some midewiwan in December that are just finishing up with much better results, I landed at around .1 oz per plant. Maybe Skychaser can wiegh in (bad pun, I know). .5 ounces per plant may be on the high end of what you could get depending on the culitvar and how well you're able to grow it, but it's not something I've been able to get close to yet. I've got sacred cornplanter growing right now, and a couple of other varieties on deck to grow throughout the year.

That said -- I don't think mt. pima should be called a rustica variety. I think if you sent this out to everyone on the board for a test grow and didn't tell them what it was -- they'd never identify it as rustica. I'm also noticing that the seed pods loose seed more redily than than other tabacum cultivars though, so maybe it is a more primative form of tabacum. I wouldn't call it a full seed pod rupture, but they do spit open enough to drop seed. The window sill in my kitchen where I'm drying them is now covered with seed. I've not noticed that much with other cultivars.


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 Post subject: Re: N. rustica (Mt. Pima)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:23 pm 
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i weighed in some stem too though, i will have to check again. i inhaled one mouthful today and i though i cud fly for a few seconds :D


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