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Re: tetraploid

From: Mike Lowe <mlowe@worldiris.com>

Dorothy Willott writes...

>I have never been able to understand LADY EMMA being called a MTB.  Other
>people say it conforms to the class, but wherever I have seen it blooming, it
>looked like an IB to me.  The blooms have been too large for MTB and the
>stems didn't have the necessary slenderness and gracefulness.

It's a long story and Frank Jones is *not* the culprit.

In Fall of 1987 I made a trip, with Lloyd Zurbrigg, to Frank Jones' New
Jersey garden. At that time I was editor of the 'Reblooming Iris Recorder
and Lloyd was the preeminent hybridizer working in the field of rebloomers.
Frank had brought LADY EMMA out as an 'MTB, M & RE' the previous year. He
was beginning to receive reports that L.E. went out of class in some areas
and was under pressure to reclassify her as an IB. We stood in front of a
huge clump of LADY EMMA, blooming abundantly, in class, in his garden and
discussed the merits of, and case for, reclassification of LADY EMMA as an
IB. Frank was and is, a superb plantsman, modest and unassuming, not
willing to create a furor. That is not the case with me.

My position on reclassification, strongly expressed to Frank, was as follows:

"There are no reblooming MTBs on the market and the leading hybridizers of
MTBs have absolutely no interest in producing and marketing a reblooming
MTB. We need to break the MTB bar with a reliable and consistent rebloomer.
LADY EMMA is just that, a willing rebloomer. That LADY EMMA may go out of
MTB class, at some time, in some locations, is not of importance when
compared with the role she can play in establishing legitimacy of rebloom
in MTBs. The debate over 'Is she...or isn't she?' will at least keep
irisarians talking about rebloom in MTBs."

I promised Frank that I would stir the pot, push remontant MTBs at every
opportunity; in conversations, in print, in slide shows and seminars. I
have done so and will continue to do so.



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