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HYB: Purple Leaf Bases

  • Subject: HYB: Purple Leaf Bases
  • From: neilm@charter.net
  • Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 07:00:23 -0000

Among recent introductions showing purple leaf bases, Lynn Markham's 
TEAPOT TEMPEST and Keith Keppel's FIERY TEMPER are intense examples.  
The closely related FOREIGN LEGION is only slightly less colored.

Keppel mentioned in a conversation about pbf that "in one of the 
black plic crosses that was rotting like crazy on maiden bloom one 
wet spring, the total progeny was half-and-half green/purple base.  I 
made specific counts on the rotters, and it went right down the 
middle.   In that cross at least, there was NO difference in the 
incidence of soft rot, pb/non-pb."

The old wisdom about pbf and hardiness may have had some basis in 
fact in the early years.  Forty years ago those varieties I grew that 
had pbf often were strong in Sass lineage.  The natural selection of 
Nebraska winters and the proportion of *I. variegata* ancestry in 
Sass varieties would seem likely to have some influence in winter 

The mixing of lineages since those days is so complex that perhaps 
whatever merit the pbf may have once signaled is long gone.

Chuck Chapman's comment about bud and spathe coloring being quite 
differently related agrees with my own experience.  In the late 
sixties a group of seedlings from AUGUST ASTER showed one with red 
bloomstalk, a couple with some stalk coloration, and a number of the 
cross with colored edges of the spathes, a characteristic present in 
the grandparent CHIVALRY.  None of the seedlings had pbf.

Phil Williams in his current Rockytop Gardens catalog mentions that 
INTERESTING EXPRESSION of Sterling Innerst has purple bloomstalks.  
This looks like a characteristic that would be fun to explore.

Neil Mogensen  z 6b/7a near Asheville, NC

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