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Well, my old friend 'Hortus Veritas' has written to me again. I am
posting the 1st of 3 parts of the article appearing in the Spring issue
of NEWSCAST - Region 4.
Enjoy the article. The 2nd part will be here tomorrow - same bat time,
same bat channel!!!
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The Era of Iris Hybridizing Comes to a Close
As the 21st century approaches, the age of great advances in iris
hybridizing comes to a close. Iris breeders have done just about
all there is to be done. In the future, new introductions are likely =
to be only minor variations on cultivars already on the market. =
Those of us who have had great joy in witnessing the creation of
brown, pink, orange and large-flowered plicata tall bearded irises;
seeing Louisiana irises with bright colors and ruffled flowers emerge
from species growing along the bayou; and living at the time I. pumila
was used to create modern dwarfs of extraordinary characteristics,
must be saddened. There just aren't any areas of iris breeding left
for young people (or not so young people) to work in any more. =
I have heard some people say that cold climate reblooming bearded
irises comprise opportunities for people starting out to breed irises. =
Really! We already have a lot of nice rebloomers. Just because we
don't have a good brown, or a good red, or a dependable orange
rebloomer surely does not mean there is much to do. These missing
components from the cold climate rebloomer array will almost
certainly be created in the next year or two. And just because there
are many beautiful once blooming irises that are nowhere to be found
duplicated among the rebloomers does not mean we need them!
It has been suggested that some lines of tall bearded irises seem
susceptible to rot in areas with wet climates, such as the eastern
portion of the U.S. This might suggest there are breeding improvements
to be sought. In modern teenager language,
my response to this is: "I don't think so." =