Splash Group Breeding

777 Raai

Splashed group with a focus on 777 breeding

In our early years in clivias one of the plants that attracted us to this hobby was Andrew Gibson. In a time when peaches were still rare this plant with its red splashed sepals on the outside was something otherworldly. We got to know Brenda and Etzel Nuss and from them we eventually got an offset of the original plant Etzel received from his business partner Andrew as a “yellow”. Andrew originally collected the plant out of the habitat.

Due to the reference to yellow from Andrew Etzels early breeding attempts with Andrew Gibson were mostly focussed on using Group 1 and Group 2 yellows. Much to his disappointment these crosses gave pigmented seedlings and when they flowered, they were oranges, a large number of them though with large white throats which seems to be something Andrew Gibson and other splashed types tend to give in their outcrosses.

 We decided to self our offset when it first flowered for us as there simply wasn’t anything similar to cross it with. We got no seeds from that first flowering however later attempts did produce a few seeds which when germinated gave unpigmented seedlings and when they flowered, they had the typical Andrew Gibson colouring. Some of these selfed seedlings have produced improved flowers in size and shape.

At the time we got our offset we also got one of the orange F1 seedlings from Etzels yellow breeding attempts. Crossing this with Andrew Gibson again gave a percentage of unpigmented stems and knowing the results Etzel got we realized this could not be from the yellow side. We grew on the unpigmented stems and the ones that have flowered have all given the typical Andrew Gibson colouring.

Shortly after we got our plant Sean Chubb released his “Splash” series which were bred out of Andrew Gibson and a similar coloured plant called Candy Stripes. We managed to get a “Splash” and when crossing it with Andrew Gibson we found again that the resulting seedlings were unpigmented. Subsequent flowering of these seedlings also produced plants with the same type of colouring with varying flower shapes.

Two other habitat plants that were doing the rounds at the same time were Msubo Wow and Msubo Nguni. Both are habitat plants with small yellow flowers with a speckling of red on the backs of the sepals. From these crossed with Andrew Gibson Val Thurston bred her Fairytale series, seedlings from these are also unpigmented.

Shortly after this Liz Boyd released her Royal Gala series of plants which were bred using Andrew Gibson and Naudes Peach.

From our own breeding results and these breeding results other breeders were getting it started to indicate that there are a group of plants with colour on the back of the petals in varying degrees that are all compatible (when crossed with each other they give green stemmed seedlings and flower with splashed type flowers) They all seem to form part of the same mutation type which we loosely call the Splashed Group

Over the past decade or so I have been collecting various splashed type plants and have identified a number of these plants that are compatible and breed “true” when crossed with each other. These include Andrew Gibson, Msubo Wow, Msubo Nguni, Naude’s Peach, Splash, the Fairytale series, Royal Gala series, Rumplestilskin, Dilly Dally, Ruby Stewart, Johnsons Blush, Strawberry Cheesecake, one of the two Melzers Picotees, Waterkloof Blush, Discovery and of course the cream of the crop Pikkie Strumphers 777 series.

The 777 plants cropped up in Pikkies Bronze breeding as a few unpigmented seedlings from mixed bronze seeds which when they flowered resulted in splashed types with full umbels with an improved flower shape, broader leaves and intense green throats, something that few other splashed types have. Pikkie has been line breeding these for the last 10+ years and some exceptional seedlings have come out of his efforts.

From our own breeding using 777 (777 Angelfire and 777 Envy) we have flowered several crosses with the other splashed types with varying results. In general, we have found that unless 777 is used as the berry parent the green throat does not come through strongly in the next generation unless the berry parent being used also has a green throat.

We have flowered Msubo Wow x 777, unfortunately the poor flower shape and small flowers of the Msubo genetics came through strong but the typical splashing of colour was there.

We have also flowered two different crosses using Naude Peach F2 plants we have, the one is a splashed type with no green throat and the other we call Emerald Rouge as it does have a green throat. Seedlings from the non-green throated one have had little to no green throat while the ones using Emerald Rouge has produced plants with excellent green throats.

Another cross we have flowered was using a plant from a local grower Petra Pietersen we have called Pietersens Blush (also known as Waterkloof Blush). Again, the berry parent has no green throat, so the green did not come through, but the splashed colouring came through very strongly even though the berry parent has very little colour itself.

One cross that did surprise us was using a Fairytale we have with a very slight green throat and this seems to have come through quite strongly on the seedlings. Pikkie has also flowered a number of seedlings with Andrew Gibson as the berry parent where the green throat has come through in the seedlings however not as intensely as it is on the 777’s, doing the reverse cross has resulted in much better green in the seedlings.

Using 777 as pollen on plants outside the mutation group has had varying results. Similarly, to Andrew Gibson it seems that if it is used on plants with large throats it carries through that characteristic – see the pictures of Seven Delight and Seven Heaven, both from a Hattori Blush crossed with 777

We have also tried using 777 in our interspecific breeding with mixed results. Jingle Bells (a versi-colour interspecific) crossed with 777 has produced only orange plants with a hint of green in the throat, however using 777 pollen on Emma Charlotte (a large throated interspecific from Charl Malan) has produced a pleasing result with open small miniata like flowers with a large lime green throat.

Some breeders have reported green stems from crosses of yellows x 777 however we have only had pigmented stems out of these crosses using Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 yellows and all of these have flowered orange. We have used one of these orange plants from a Group 2 yellow cross that had a nice green throat and we have managed to recover some 777 type flowers by putting 777 back onto the orange green throated F1 and growing on the unpigmented resultant seedlings 777 Raai is one of these recovered 777’s

We still have a number of other crosses to flower from the various splashed types and look forward to sharing some more breeding results from these plants that have fascinated us for many years in the future.


777 Angelfire
777 Raai
777 Envy
Andrew Gibson x 777
Fairytale x 777
Emerald Rouge x 777
Naude F2 x 777
Msubo Wow x 777