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I've decided to send the 3rd part of Hortus today. Enjoy.
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The Era of Iris Hybridizing Comes to a Close - Part 3
Pointing out that Japanese irises all arise from Iris ensata,
some people have hinted that one might collect various
forms of other species and breed them toward achieving
bigger flowers, clearer colors, differently formed flowers,
dwarf plants, and more patterns. They cite such species
as I. veriscolor, virginica, setosa, prismatica, cristata, tectorum
, laevigata, and missouriensis as good candidates for such
hybridizing efforts. I am not even going to comment on such =
ideas except to say: "Some people just don't seem to
have common sense." =
There are people who think that miniature tall bearded
irises could be improved. They seem to think that all the
clear colors and various flower forms now represented
among tall bearded cultivars could be produced in miniature
tall bearded lines Some of these same people think it
might be possible to develop better border bearded
cultivars that grow in class. They even opine that strains
of miniature dwarf bearded irises that do well in the
southern part of the U.S. might be achieved. In every
field of endeavor there are unrealistic dreamers.
Do these people really think that working on such
goals would be worth the effort?
And who in the world really needs better branching? =
Or higher bud count? Or irises that hold up better in wind and rain?
Or dwarf Siberians? Or aril, arilbred, and Pacific Coast Native irises
that are more adaptable to a diversity of climates and soils? Who, indeed!=
"No!" I say. The era of great iris breeding achievements is entering
its twilight time. We will all be better off when we recognize =
there is little to be done in the future. I, for one, would rather spend
my time more productively building cold frames in which to grow
tender tall bearded irises. And unlike some lazy people, I enjoy staking
the many modern tall bearded cultivars that fall over in the slightest bre=
Just because breeding irises is a really fun thing to do does not justify =
fighting Nature. There are no more worthy goals to be sought. Don't waste=