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   I received the following message from Clarence Mahan. I
have included the original post for reference.


From: J.F. Hensler  <christyh@p...>
Date: Sun Aug 20, 2000 0:20am
Subject: SPEC-X: new photos

Hi All, 

Just wanted to let those who have an interest in the
progress of the JI-SIB seedlings know we have new images
and info online at 


Christy Hensler 
THE ROCK GARDEN http://www.povn.com/rock/ 
--- CEMahan@aol.com wrote:
> As I am sure you know, and as others have probably
> already pointed out, there 
> has never been to my knowledge a documented successful
> cross of Japanese and 
> Siberian irises.  Iris ensata is 2n=24 chromosomes, and
> Iris siberica and 
> Iris sanguinea are 2n=28.  Resultant offspring, if they
> were possible, would 
> have either 26 or 52 chromosomes and, by all evidence, be
> infertile.  Many 
> expert plant breeders, using strict controls, have failed
> at getting such a 
> cross.  Both types of irises readily self-seed.  Even if
> siberica or 
> sanguinea pollen is put on Iris ensata, unless the pod
> parent flower were 
> protected (say with a paper sack tightly closed with a
> tie) even before it 
> opened, and the pollen parent was also protected in the
> same way before the 
> flower opened, any resultant pod would be MORE than
> suspect.  If seeds were 
> planted and produced vigorous fertile plants, that would
> be further evidence 
> that the seedlings were pure Iris ensata.  
> I have lived long enough NOT to declare that anything is
> impossible.  But I 
> find it difficult to adopt even a modified version of
> White Queen's theory 
> and conclude that anyone can learn to believe 6 highly
> improbable things 
> before breakfast.  I would be interested in what others
> have said about this 
> subject. Clarence Mahan

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