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Re: TB: Inside Seed Pod

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] TB: Inside Seed Pod
  • From: "Patrick Orr" <irisdude@msn.com>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 19:23:42 -0700
  • Seal-send-time: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 19:23:43 -0700

Hi Sharon and all!
In extreme heat and or wind, the plant will abort pods, flowers, leaves, etc. because (as it seems to me in Phoenix) the wind/heat is so drying, TB iris plants cannot replenish the moisture faster than they loose it. 
We can rarely bloom more than three or four buds during the late season because the flowers just "melt" or dry up and never bloom when they are in bud stage.  During mid-late to late season, we usually warm up too much for our iris flowers.  That is when the hybridizing really becomes a challenge.  You can get the best most fluffiest pollen on a freshly opened or partially opened flower early in the morning when it is still cool, and it still will not produce a pod. 
Patrick Orr
Phoenix, AZ  ZOne 9
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 5:12 PM
Subject: Re: [iris-photos] TB: Inside Seed Pod

In a message dated 4/9/2004 3:14:26 PM Mountain Daylight Time, oneofcultivars@aol.com writes:
Kindly elaborate when you have time.

I was gardening under severe conditions -- hot, dry, and very windy -- and losing pods in the early stage.  Most of the experts I consulted [who shall remain nameless because they had not hybridized under such conditions] thought I was experiencing the normal "drop" of failed crosses.  One suggested dissecting the aborted pod to find out whether the cross had actually been successful.

In most cases dissection revealed a mixture of the tiny proto-seeds and growing, viable ones.  So I started dissecting the ovaries of flowers I had not crossed, which showed no signs of swelling -- and found only uniform proto-seeds. 

That's when I started making my sacrificial crosses.  Harvesting and dissecting pods in various stages of development taught me a lot about the maturation process and gave me a basis for comparison.  Post-mortems reveals that most of my problems occurred in the very early stage, before the folded flower had dropped off of the ovary.  Our hot, dry winds tend to dessicate the flower and turn it into a wind-catching flag. Simply cutting the flower off as soon as it was dry increased my success rate enormously.

Not that this particular bit of insight is of use elsewhere, but the process could prove quite illuminating.  

Sharon McAllister

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