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Re: SDB colors

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] SDB colors
  • From: "Neil A Mogensen" neilm@charter.net
  • Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 13:03:23 -0400

Laurie is a good one for a resource.  Those were beautiful pictures!

As to the odd mixing of colors, the reason is relatively simple.

SDB's originate as crosses between Tall Beardeds and a very small dwarf, *I.

The genetics of color in *pumila* itself is somewhat complex, as chromosome
studies have shown that it contains *all* the chromosomes of both *I.
attica* and *I. pseudopumila,* both being tiny dwarf species in the
Mediterranean, in or near Italy and the Balkans.

The SDB hybrid in its earliest form had some unusual colors, but none so
startling as what began to emerge in advanced generations.  These hybrids,
half tall, half dwarf, have a somewhat confused set of chromosomes.  There
are two sets of 12, all from the tall beardeds, and these stick to
themselves for the most part.

The other chromosomes at first were a set of 8 from *attica,* and a set of 8
from *pseudopumila.*

Over several generations, those pieces and parts of the two sets of 8 that
more or less matched got mixed together, but the parts that couldn't match
wound up having all sorts of things happen to them.

The mix produced more and more odd colors, with pigments coming in from four
or more different sources.  Tall Beardeds, themselves, are complicated
hybrids involving perhaps as many as six to eight (or more) species in their

The color genetics try to be several things all at the same time, and
sometimes those processes get in the way of each other.

I love the old SDB TANTARA, a two toned brown to coppery-reddish brown with
a blue-purple beard.  What a startling contrast!

Those blue beards on ivory colored ones with deeper creamy spots around the
beard are beautiful!  Nothing like this happens in Talls.  Maybe in time, it

As it is, there are weird color mixes that can show up in seedling Tall
Beardeds too.

I have one that is the ugliest grey ever one could imagine, and a related
one that is a grey with pink flush in the fall.  Those will either get
tucked into a back corner just for fun, or go to the compost pile, I'm not
sure which, or worse yet, get crossed with each other.

Every one who breeds Talls ends up with the "uglies" that are so awful they
are cute.

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Region 4  western NC mountains

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