I've been wondering about heritable traits. Loic's post on Zing Me passing
along open standards to its offspring has me considering which traits are
highly heritable and which ones are not. How heritable is the trait of open
standards? I'm not really considering bloom color here, but other traits.
For me plant strength has proven to be almost non-existent as highly
heritable. Two strong growers producing a majority of weak plants and two
poor growers producing a high percentage of strong plants. Substance has
proved to be strongly heritable and often improved over either parent
(including correcting a weak midrib in the standards). Stalk height may be
heritable, but my growing conditions impact that so strongly it would be
impossible for me to determine how heritable it might be. Snaky stalks are
affected by conditions, so earlier bloomers are considerably more apt to
have them than those later in the season but there also seems to be some
inheritance for it showing up. I've not been able to determine how much
(variable conditions again). So far I haven't been able to determine if
resistance or susceptability to leaf spot is particularly heritable.
Conditions have been too variable to make any conclusions even though
clearly some parents fall into one category or the other. Ability to give
reasonable increase is another area. It sort of goes along with strong
growers, but there are some plants that are slow increasers and still strong
growers. I have some seedlings growing now where one parent had extreme
open standards (like the one in the photo) and the other parents' standards
weren't closed, but not as extreme. If the trait is highly heritable, then
they should be open if they live to bloom.
I know this is a discussion that is more suited to iris-talk. I'm not a
member, but keep up with posts via the archives so I'll see any responses
posted to that forum.
Texas Zone 7b, USA