The Contribution Of C. M. Hovey
C.M. Hovey produced new hybrid strawberries by 1838. The most important, Hovey's Seedling, became the leading strawberry for more than 30 years. Unfortunately this variety was finally lost, although some derivatives were maintained. Hovey was also successful with flowers. He crossed existing yellow calceolarias (binomial) with the purple Calceolaria purpurea, imported in 1827. Flowers ranging in color from pale yellow to deep orange, and from light red to deep scarlet, were subsequently produced.
Hovey was later involved in the development of hybrid grapes. In 1844 he advocated a breeding strategy that required crossing the Isabella and Catawba, two cultivars derived from native species, with European varieties such as Golden Chasselas as pollen donors. The Delaware, named about 1850, was a chance hybrid between native and European grapes. Although many useful grape hybrids were subsequently produced by American breeders in the latter part of the nineteenth century, the grafting of European cultivars onto American rootstocks proved to be more beneficial for this crop on a worldwide scale.
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