Updated: Feb 29, 2020
This is also my first blog attempt!
Sherry and Terry Cherry were my very first hemp plants I grew. They started as seeds we found on the floor. We picked them up and dusted them off, scuffed them up a little with an emery board, and plonked them in the dirt. A few days latter, these little ones emerged. As they grew it became clear that they quite different phenotypes even though they came from a stock of seed from the same crop, the same harvest, and the same strain (yes, strain....come back later when I write about why it really is ok to use the term).
Sherry (the short one on the right) was much more stocky with darker broader leaves and presented what one might consider and indica-type morphology. Terry (the tall one on the left) on the other hand was taller and spindlier with much more narrow leaves and presented what one might consider and sativa-type morphology.
These floor babies, grown under identical conditions in controlled growth chambers, clearly had some genetic differences. You might be thinking to yourself (as I was), why would these plants be so different if the seeds came from the same stock?
Phenotype = genotype + environment
If the environment for these two was identical, the different phenotypes can only be attributed to differences in the genotype. I am still conducting genetic analyses, but I'm guessing this crop was cross pollinated from a neighboring farm that was growing something different- these ladies are from Cherry mothers, but they have different fathers!
I think this nicely demonstrates how pollen drift can impact the genetic lineages. Female plants that are pollinated from unknown sources can introduce unknown and variable genetics. If you are collecting seed to grow next year, you might end up with unexpected variability in your phenotypes, which can be problematic for hemp farmers who need to have plants the consistently produce flowers with < 0.3% total THC in order to have compliant hemp.
Welp- that's the end of this little introductory blog. I'll be telling some more stories soon- stay tuned!