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Re: HYB: Purple Leaf Base

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] HYB: Purple Leaf Base
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 19:13:09 -0600

> From: vince lewonski <vincelewonski@yahoo.com>
>    V. sez:
>    One of those "old irisarian tales" is that irises with
> plb tend to be more vigorous and disease resistant than
> their green cousins. Have any of you hybridizers noticed
> any difference in growth/vigor between seedlings with plb
> and their green sibs?


I believe that modern TB's inherited the purple leaf base trait from I.
variegata and/or I. aphylla. These were the two "hardiest" ancestors of
modern TB's, as they were native to interior parts of Central and Eastern
Europe with continental climates, while all the other ancestors originated
in or adjacent to the Mediterranean basin (think Pennsylvania vs.
California for comparative purposes). However, recent TBs are probably at
least 12 to 15 generations (and sometimes more) removed from the original
crosses that produced the first tetraploids 80-100 years ago, and that
means there have been plenty of opportunities for the gene producing purple
base foliage to become dissociated from "hardiness" genes present in the
ancestral species. Therefore, it is unlikely that at present pbf by itself
is a reliable indicator of hardiness or vigor.

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2, AHS Zone 7)


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