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CULT: Bloom Sequence Project

From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>

Hello Talkers,

As a number of members of this list having expressed an interest in joining
in a project to investigate the bloom sequence of irises in various
environments, I am offering the following observations with the hope of
focusing the discussion and moving in the direction of getting such a
project under weigh. Your comments, suggestions, and criticism is invited.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the timing and sequence of bloom of the
different classes of iris in a broad variety of environments.

METHODOLOGY: Timing and sequence of bloom for each class of iris will be
established by recording the date that the first flower of the season opens
on indicator cultivars for each class grown in a given location.

Indicator cultivars will be designated on the basis of their observed
consistency in initiating bloom in the middle of the season for their
class. This criterion has been proposed on the assumption that there is
less variability in performance of mid-season bloomers compared to those
that tend to bloom at the beginning or end of the season for their class
and that characterizing the middle of the bloom season is the most valid
single index of timing of bloom for each class.

The same set of indicator cultivars will be observed by each collaborator
participating in this project, though it is not expected that any
individual collaborator will grow all classes of iris or every indicator in
each class.

The classes of iris to be observed will include: Dwarf Bulbous (e.g., Ii.
danfordiae & reticulata), MDB, SDB, IB, MTB, BB, TB, AB, SIB, SPU, JI, and
LA. Aril and PCI classes are omitted due to the limited areas in which they
are typically grown, and SPEC irises because their diversity makes it
infeasible to characterize their bloom sequence as a class by the method

Ideally there should be three indicator cultivars for each class included
in the project; initially perhaps a greater number should be selected to
allow for the probability that some will ultimately prove to be
unsatisfactory indicators.

This will be a multi-year project. The 1999 bloom season will be considered
a preliminary study in which the methodolgy will be refined and the initial
indicator cultivars identified. Following the 1999 bloom season
collaborators will cooperate in ensuring maximum distribution of the
designated indicator cultivars to all participants who feel capable of
growing them. Where necessary, collaborators will use their own resources
to acquire indicator cultivars to grow. 

PROCEDURE: A key factor in launching this project will be to establish the
initial list of the indicator cultivars. To reduce clutter on Iris-talk,
anyone who has suggestions for potential indicators may send them to me
offlist at my private email address listed below. I will collate and
combine all responses I receive and post them back to the list for further

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2)

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