[PHOTO] RE:Plicatas & Luminatas
- Subject: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] RE:Plicatas & Luminatas
- From: "grower" firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 19:58:53 -0700
Here is Keith Keppel's description of what a plicata is.
Los Lunas, NM
Its raining at last!!!!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 7:39
Subject: [iris-photos] First
This is an iris I bought from a
questionable garden center. It's
supposed to be First Snowfall,
Austin 62. It appears to match the AIS
description but these can be
vague. The iris appears to be the faintest
plicata I've ever seen,
you have to get very close to it to see the
markings. Would this
qualify as a plic ? Otherwise, it looks like a
It's supposed to be a rebloomer but nothing appears to rebloom
I'll never know. Anyway I dug the entire clump up and gave it
friend who wanted some older looking whites to go with his new/old
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From: "Keith Keppel" <email@example.com>
Subject: [iris] Re: Luminatas (very long)
Date: Thursday, February 06, 2003 12:01 AM
OK, gang, skip this if you don't want to get bogged down in the fine
points of luminatas and plicatas.... Of the discussions so far, Sergey
seems to have the best grasp of the situation.
We need to start with some basic understandings of what we're trying to
define. With both luminatas ("lumis") and plicatas ("plics") we are
dealing with two separate types of pigments, and the distribution of
each type is independent of the other.
Let's start with the ground color. This can be white, or can be due to
various oil-soluble pigments which can vary from cream, yellow, pink, to
orange. The ground color may be solidly applied (self-colored), or in
various other patterns, such as what would be a self except the color
gradually shades lighter toward the center; or the Joyce Terry pattern
(colored standards and band around falls); or white with just the hafts
colored, or the coloring continuing down the shoulders; or white
standards and (yellow or pink or orange) colored falls; or colored
(yellow/pink/orange) standards and falls paler, even white, generally
with some of the standard color on the hafts. The color is not
necessarily uniformly applied; for instance, most pink-ground plicatas
will have hafts which are more salmon-toned, due to the presence of more
than one form of oil-soluble pigment. This is what the ground is. It
has NOTHING to do with an iris being or not being a plicata; but it will
always be there....this is the "canvas" on which the plicata is
painted. It will, of course, make a big difference on the final look of
The paint for the plicata pattern is a water soluble pigment -- which
does not mix with the oil soluble ground pigment. This "paint" is
applied in much-varying degrees. If found nowhere else, the plicata
pattern will be found on the fall haft. If more pattern is found, it
will start to encircle the fall and the marginal band will widen. There
are MANY variations of the pattern distribution in tall beardeds (and
probably more in dwarfs, etc.).
The patterning may occur as darker pigment IN the veins (think Madame
Chereau, for one) with the area between the veins being unmarker or at
least paler. The patterning may be in random dots, seemingly
independent of the veins. The patterning may be so solid that there is
no way to tell where veins occur. The markings may occur in dots or
other applications forming "strips" leading from the edge in toward the
center of the flower. There may be veining or striping through the
center of the fall to the pigmented edge, or the center of the fall may
be clear. They are plicatas because they have this water-soluble
pigment (which is lavender, blue, violet, purple, or orchid pink)
occuring in some manner as indicated above..
But plicatas may not LOOK like plicatas. To look at Laced Cotton, you
would say it is a white self. Pull the flower apart and you will find a
very few, very minute orchid dots deep on the haft. These are plicata
markings. Don't believe it? Then cross Laced Cotton with a plicata you
recognize -- the seedlings will be plicata. (Plicata pattern is a
recessive trait, so both parents must carry the factor.)
There may be very definite plicata banding, but it is very faint,
because a gene which inhibits the appearance of the pigment is present.
If you are familiar with the variety Grecian Gown, this is an example.
When in bud and the pigment is a bit darker, it is very obviously
patterned a plicata; when open, it is hard to impossible to see as the
flower ages. We sometimes refer to these as "ghost plicatas".
The paleness or darkness of pigmentation may change the looks of the
flower drastically, but it does not change the fact of whether it is or
is not a plicata.
But remember.....the plicata marking ALWAYS starts at the haft. There
is no large unmarked area alongside or around the beard. There will be
some sign of dotting or striping alongside the beard. (Warning: not
all haft marking is plicata, so marking does not PROVE the iris is a
plicata; it is the absence of ANY marking which may help prove it is a
luminata....more to follow if you haven't given up at this point!)
Now for luminata.... In luminatas, there is a wash of color (the
water-soluble ones, as with plicata) over the blade of the fall. There
is a tendency for this wash to be paler, or missing from the veined
areas. There is a tendency for the petal margins to
be devoid of the water-soluble pigments. This is very obvious in some
varieties, such as Spirit World, very subtle in others. There is ALWAYS
a clearly defined area around the beard which has NO water-soluble
pigment, not a single dot, and the beards carry no blue or purple
coloration. Style arms carry little to no water-soluble pigment. New
variations on the pattern are coming. The unmarked ground area around
the beard is expanding, forming larger and larger blazes, or extending
as a spear pattern. The pale veining on an almost-completely marked
fall is changing to broad veining or banding, with "islands" of pigment
rather than an almost solid wash.
As with plicatas, the luminata pattern variations can occur on the same
ground-color patterns (self, Joyce Terry, yellow amoena, etc.).
Looking down a row of seedlings is like looking into a kaleidoscope:
there are so many variations possible. This is what makes breeding
patterned irises so fascinating.
And now that you all understand what a plicata is, and what a luminata
is....<g>..we need to go one step further. BOTH patterns can occur
simultaneously, to give us luminata-plicatas ("lumi-plics"). In effect
what you have is one pattern superimposed on the other. The pale edge
of the luminata is pigmented by the plicata. The unmarked area around
the beard of the luminata now has plicata markings marching across the
hafts and obscuring it. Blue pigment in the plicata beard may color the
blue-free luminata beard. The normally unmarked central area of the
plicata fall is now washed with color by the luminata. In most cases,
you will end up with a flower which is totally, but unevenly
patterned/marked. (Joseph's Mantle, Pandora's Purple, Test Pattern,
Casbah, --- there are many lumi-plics in commerce).
Before anyone starts asking about red plicatas, or brown plicatas,
etc..., those "colors" are due to the overlay of one type of pigment on
another, or they are due to the incapability of our eyes to discern
separate very minute transmission of light from adjacent
**Keith Keppel, in Salem, Oregon ( where Iris reticulata 'Harmony' and
'George' are in full bloom), trying very hard to live up to his email
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