Sunday, January 21, 2018

Buttered Popcorn

Buttered Popcorn

Benzinger – 1971 – {[Mary Todd x (Ann Russell x Elfin)] X [(Ann Russell x Elfin) x sdlg]} – Tet – 32” – 6” – ML – Frag – Dorm - Re – Butter yellow self 

Buttered Popcorn is one of those old cultivars like Stella De Oro - so ubiquitous that no one seems to ever really consider it. North Carolina alone must have a billion fans of this one planted along its interstate system. Surprisingly though, in spite of many good traits, it has very few registered offspring.

Buttered Popcorn is a hardy senescent (dormant) tetraploid that has large numbers of bright golden yellow flowers and tends to rebloom here most years, especially with a little extra water. The plant is large and the foliage is pretty. It establishes quickly after division but will remain as a large clump for a long time without being divided. It is lovely in the garden and a reliable splash of color in the mid late through late season (and in a year when it reblooms, it can go until fall).

Buttered Popcorn is very pollen fertile and slightly pod fertile here. I have raised a few very useful bridge plants from Buttered Popcorn as pod parent, in spite of getting few pods after many pollinations. Buttered Popcorn shows very high rust resistance here most years, though in the summer/fall of 2015 I did see some pustules on Buttered Popcorn. Whether that was due to exposure to a strain of rust it is susceptible to, environmental variations or both, I don’t know. I have produced seedlings from Buttered Popcorn that have shown equal or higher rust resistance than Buttered Popcorn over several years of screening for resistance. In addition to breeding value for rust resistance, Buttered Popcorn also shows good breeding value for reblooming traits as well as nice plant traits such as beautiful foliage, fast increase and good branching/high bud count.