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Re: Re: HYB: selecting seedlings (was carried away)

> Some of mine had to be watched for 6 yrs to see any bloom...

Freezes?  It's hard to tell what will happen to what you see when you're
subject to late freeze damage.  When I see stalks that normally have seven
plus buds to a stalk blooming at registered height with only two or three
buds, I wonder what might have happened to the seedling stalks.  I have TBs
blooming like arils this year - a single bloom on a stalk.  That bloom
appears normal, but where the buds should/would have been are just tiny
dried bits of tissue.  They aren't recognizable as a bud.  This was a result
of the coldest freeze of the winter occurring in late February after
everything was tricked in growing and starting to form buds.  The buds
affected by later freezes are identifiable, but dried up or empty.  Probably
those are from the March freeze.  The clearly blasted buds and freeze-burned
blooms showing up are from the two consecutive nights of freeze in April.  I
don't think there is anything trying to bloom with more than four buds this
year.  So I take that into consideration on a seedling.  I also take my
expectations of the cross into consideration.  On good years I generally
have found that bloom on seedlings does not give a different appearance.
The bloom time tends to get a bit later, the bud count and substance tend to
improve and the blooms tend to be somewhat smaller than on maiden bloom.
But color and appearance of the bloom have been pretty static. What I don't
know is what has changed when maiden bloom was frozen and the next year the
plant blooms.  Is it still considered maiden bloom?  Or has it settled down
to what it will be for infinity?  When I buy an iris and it is unhappy, I
fiddle around with it to see what might work to get it to bloom and grow
better.  Is it reasonable to do that with a seedling?  Or should it perform
as is?  I haven't tried that with seedlings for the record.  I'm looking for
reasons to eliminate, not keep them around.  There may be an exception to
that someday, though.

> I have a very healthy, nicely branched, pretty, somewhat small flowered,
> nicely ruffled, gold TB with nice carrot red beards that I can't make
> myself get rid of.  But stalks were falling down after storms last
> year....

How much of this tendency is genetic, I wonder?  With wild swings in
temperature and varying amounts of moisture thrown in at different times,
not to mention exposure to wind and sun, it seems to me that under certain
conditions just about any iris will exhibit snaking and flopping.  I'm
seeing an awful lot of it this year.  Some on cultivars I've never observed
doing it before.  This year it seems to be in patches, where all the
cultivars and their neighbors are twisting and swirling or trying to lay
down on the ground while other areas everything seems to be standing up.
That would indicate an outside influence rather than a genetic one.
Arilbreds seem more prone to the condition, as do earlier blooming TBs.
Both attempt to start their bloom cycle when there are abrupt temperature
changes and often less consistant wind patterns.  Later ones seem less apt
to fall prey to the phenomenon.  This year, though, has had those extremes
much later in the season and I'm seeing quite a bit of snaking where it
hasn't shown up before.

'Course, I'll blame just about anything on the weather.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7b, USA

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