John Chwekun one of our featured Plant Artisans. John is an artist from Southern California whose medium is ceramics, mixed media and lest we forget -plants! Lets take a look at some of his creations.
Haworthia truncata x comptoniana
This is the most impressive truncata hybrid I can remember seeing. And I've seen many. Anyone working with truncata hybrids knows that in such hybrids the nice leaf markings of the parental plants usually get lost or muddied and you end up with drab etiolated-looking plants.
By crossing together carefully selected choice plants John has created a plant which has a unique flattened wide-leaf phenotype thanks to the truncta parent and big fat shiny windows with a beautiful intricate network of tesselate leaf lines from the comptoniana parent.
This hybrid evokes a polished soapstone or alabaster sculpture. A true work of art!
'Oobleck' x comptoniana 'Pelser'
This glossy beauty was created by crossing Oobleck (a hybrid derived from a Bob Kent seedbatch) with the comptoniana 'Pelser'. The beautiful traits of comptoniana -the network lines and glossyness are magnified in this plant. There are lots of comptoniana hybrids out there but few as elegant and stunning as this one.
'Oobleck' x likely 'Amazoness'
This hybrid is remarkable for the very wide lines on that windows that create a unique pattern that to me evokes ferns or a lush landscape scattered with lakes. Several pollen donors were used in this cross but John believes the father of this plant is likely the Japanese hybrid "Amazoness"
(splendens x picta) x 'D-Light'
This hybrid is exquisite. Dark, thick-lined, spotted and with remarkable sheen. One thing John's hybrids have taught me is the importance of leaf gloss as a trait to breed for. It elevates other traits like coloration and imparts an elegant look.
(splendens x picta) x splendens
Splendens and picta are admired for their window spots and pink red white coloration. Careful crosses of the two can intensify these traits and this cross is the basis of my own "Scarlet Begonias" series. In this cross John has taken it further by crossing to a splendens x picta hybrid with splendens again. The results are beautiful and speak for themselves.
Haworthia D-Light x Magnifica
This beauty is a hybrid of the Bob Kent hybrid D-light (one of the Bev's wonder series) and magnifica. The windows have an ethereal shiny translucence accentuated by dramatic red edged leaves. This red is NOT due to stress (the plant is healthy and robust) but a result of careful breeding.
Haworthia PP 32 x Chockwonder
I couldn't be more delighted and in awe at the results of this careful combination of one of my hybrids with a hybrid by the master plant artisan Gerhard Marx. Words don't do this magnificent hybrid justice so I wont try. Just look at it!