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Re: HYB: haft marks


Linda, when I first started paying attention to irises (more than fifty years
ago, I hate to admit) I thought those marvelous patterns and gold markings
along with purple or brown lines in the haft area were not only decorative but
fascinating.

Tell Muhlestein's Hybridizer's Handbook and catalog was one of the places
where the standards for form and color were set, and Tell had a thing for wide
hafts, and unmarked ones.  Frankly, I think it is a matter of seasons of
fashion that determined haft markings being either characteristic or "bad."
"Hafty" was a dirty word for several decades.  It isn't now, and I think one
of the people who have helped reverse this unnatural trend is the very
independant-thinking and independant-acting Barry Blyth.

A lot of the Blyth irises glory in their fall markings, not just the one you
mention, 'Crazy for You,' I think you said.  I get a kick out of the
illustrations in Tempo Two and think, as I enjoy the pages, "Tell Muhlestein,
if only you were here with us now!"

It's a matter of fashion.  Are the marks attractive and lend interest and
variety to the cv?  Then they're good.  Do they detract from the over all
impression of the flower?  Then, no.  They are out of place.  Who would fault
a butterfly for its wing patterns?  Not I.  Nor would I fault an iris with
similar marks.

I introduced an Owyhee seedling for Melvina Suiter that was a half sib to
'Tomeco,' one of the early reds that had both wide and spotlessly clean hafts.
'Ochoco,' the half sib, had a rich deep red color, also substantial width, and
the added feature of PBF running up the fans as much as eight inches.  But--it
had a few, strong white "cat whiskers" along the beard.  They didn't
detract--but they weren't fashionable.  In today's market an iris like
'Ochoco' would be perfectly acceptable, and probably sell quite well because
of the extraordinary degree of PBF.  In those days, no one but Gordon Plough
at Eden Road wanted it.  He and I worked out a horse-trade for about a dozen
fans of 'Ochoco,' but I never sold a single other one.  'Tomeco,' the super
clean half sib, on the other hand, went on to take an Award of Merit and
appears in many Schreiner red-line pedigrees, and is still on the market--it
is in Riverview's current catalog.  It also travelled internationally,
appeared in the Firenze awards if I remember rightly and in some English
pedigrees.  Not bad for an iris from the Sand Hollow region north of Caldwell,
Idaho.

Neil Mogensen

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