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PHOTO: HYB: Pink Formal reb seedling

  • Subject: [iris-photos] PHOTO: HYB: Pink Formal reb seedling
  • From: "Neil A Mogensen" neilm@charter.net
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 14:23:58 -0500

Linda, the form problem in PINK FORMAL and its lineage is of another sort.  I'll try to describe it more carefully below.
First, I would like to say that for the cross, I think you have something worth working with.  That is a pretty decent flower, and it carries a lot of genetic potential hidden within.
Most of our "improvements" from the time of Pink Formal's heyday are stubborn recessives one could spend several generations attempting to regain, but they are present in this seedling, and you might strike it hot and get a major jump forward in one or two generations.
As an example of the sort of progress I mean, take a look at PROGENITOR's photo on the HIPS "Quick Fix" and compare it to WHOLE CLOTH in the same list.  Paul Cook took a first rate set of blues and generation by generation not only recovered but exceeded the standard of quality of the time.  That was remarkable progress considering he began with an outcross to an iris far more primitive than the one you made.
The pedigree of WHOLE CLOTH linked to the photo there is worth studying.
Your idea of reaching back to powerful historics like PINK FORMAL is a good one.  Just don't expect modern-looking results right at first.
I am thinking seriously of using BLUE RHYTHM in a similar manner.  Not only is it a survivor, it can have awesome branching and budcount when well grown.  That's an array of qualities I'd liike to incorporate into my seedlings.
Now--to the form problem.  Under some conditons, but not all, Pink Formal, Party Dress, even June Meridith had a tendency for the standards to rumple and recurve inward, giving an unbalanced look to the flower. 
Beginning with an example from the line--PINK ENCHANTMENT--I outcrossed to pinks from other lines, including Lapham and Fay lines in three successive generations--before I began to escape the issue in the majority from a cross. 
Other issues cropped up, and my last registration in those days, PORCELAIN ROSE, was a mistake.  The year it got away from home it was awful.  Keith Keppel, to whom I had sent it (in Stockton) wrote me back and said, quite politely, "the blooms were a little small for the height."
When I saw it at Eden Road that year, I asked Gordon Plough to pitch it.  I was red in the face.  Tell never said a word, but he really didn't get a chance.  He died.  (No obvious relationship between my gaffe and his demise need be assumed, however.)
Neil Mogensen  z 7 western NC mountains

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