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  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Re:SPECIES-X
  • From: Robt R Pries <rpries@sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 19:33:52 -0700 (PDT)

It seems like a very long time ago, but I chaired the committee that proposed the species and species cross awards to the AIS board of directors. On the committee were Ben Hager, Currier McEwen and Francesca Thoolan. The Species Cross award indeed was meant to call attention to first generation crosses. But there would have been little point in doing so if the innovation they represented was not continued by second third generation and indefinitely further. The point of creating the award was to encourage innovation. To limit it to a single generation would have been counter productive. I can sight numerous examples that were given at the time, Calsibes, Sino-Siberians etc. Of course the emphasis was on the creative use of species to form new types of Iris. To do this and limit it two one generation would have made no sense whatsoever. Indeed often the most interesting results come in the second generation when the genotypes of the hybrids are reorganized in new unexpected ways. First generation will often be an average of the traits of the two parent species. But second generations are where the new combinations really appear. I understand that many Irisarians still do not understand this award category. Simply put I like to consider it an award for innovation. Species are an important link because that is where new genes are discovered and from where new combinations originate, but to limit plants in the species cross class to first generation would be to stifle this further development. This is more understandable when one looks at groups such as the Calsibes that fit in no other class. But it must apply equally to plants that may fit an established class such as SDBs but are intrinsically different than the plants in that class. Critics sometimes refer to this as a miscellaneous class. Indeed it offers sanctuary to any plant that does not fit the expected model of its class. But limiting it to only first generation crosses it seems to me would destroy the whole concept. Who would want to develop a breeding line based on a single generation?

Vicki Craig <vicki_c@comcast.net> wrote:
I personally think the term SPECIES X is being misused.  I think it
quite apropriate when one parent is a species. i.e. I. aphylla, I.
croatica, I. pumilla. etc.  With iris 2 generations or more removed 
from an actual species, I do not think the Species X term is applicable.
I think the term SPECIES X  is a great classification for any first
generation crosses with different species.
Also it is my understanding  there are Irisarians who want to eliminate
all the classes outside of TB's and want to lump them into one class
known as Medians.  This would no doubt fragment the membership in the
AIS.  It is possible the AIS would loose several hundred members if
they  do eliminate these classes.   It would do away with SDB, IB, MTB
and BB classifications.
Time will tell.

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