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MED: Pele and pumila, etc.

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

Looks like the SDB 'Pele' will be the first to bloom here--with 8 stalks on
a first-year plant!  This in addition to a dozen increases.  Nice vigor.

Sad that there is evidently to be no bloom on Iris pumila this year.
Perhaps at last after ten years without disturbance, the planting needs
renovation.  I grew my plants from SIGNA seed and got a nice blue, a purple
and a light yellow, though none of them had much of the "pumila spot"
pattern.  I crossed the yellow successfully with a purple I. aphylla and
got an intermediate group of seedlings with rather greenish cream flowers.
All these (or what remained of them) were sent to Tom T. Little, and if he
is listening in, I wonder how they are doing for him.  The only things I
have remaining from this little experiment are one or two seedlings from
the aphylla x pumila seedlings crossed with unknown SDBs.  None of them
were very attractive or vigorous.

I was glad to see that I successfully rescued the only plant that ever
germinated from my many attempts to grow I. variegata from seed.  This
unusual specimen has the purple leaf bases, but the small, narrow flowers
are entirely light yellow, without any trace of red on the falls.  It will
not bloom this year but is showing extraordinary vigor.  Likewise some
material of I. subbiflora, a rich deep violet median, was saved from being
over-run by sedum and is doing famously in a new place.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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