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RE: HYB: Tet x Diploid

>Neil Mogensen wrote: 
>Reading the history of the development of colorful,
>hardy modern tetraploids makes the process of diploid
>X tetraploid sound easy.  It isn't!
>I had the idea of going after small irises by using
>diploid species materials then crossing them with *I.
>aphylla."  In several years I made hundreds of
>pollenizations and never got a single pod... and
>found the whole attempt frustratingly unproductive...
>Looking at those successful products of the past, few
>of them have been from species materials on the
>diploid side.  An example is the Cordelia (diploid
>hybrid) X Macrantha, one of the collected species
>tetraploids. DOMINION, in the ancestry of almost
>every tangerine-bearded, red, brown or blended iris,
>is the only product of that cross of which I'm aware.
>Linda [Mann] and others speak of reaching back into
>the collection of hardy, healthy survivors among the
>historics as co-parents with the superlative modern,
>but often difficult, varieties, approaches the
>diploid x tetraploid gain from a different
>direction... I think this worthy of considerable
>One of the historics that may be especially useful is
>BLUE RHYTHM... Few of our modern varieties have the
>combination of luminous color, decent form (for its
>time), and superlative growth habits, branching, bud
>count and response to quality cultivation...

Neil, thank you for the wealth of iris knowledge that
you're always sharing so generously. I think you
probably know as well as (or better than) anyone, just
how much work you're saving us beginners.
I hadn't gotten the impression that the diploid X
tetraploid crosses would be easy, but I definitely
thought it would be easier than what you've
experienced. I'm especially taking note of your
attempts with diploid species and Iris aphylla -- I
had planned that same strategy. Looks like maybe I
should relegate that to a much lower place on my list
of things to try. I'd still like to try some more
diploid X tetraploid crosses but I'll probably try to
use diploids of a more hybrid ancestry. (Although, I
must admit I'm encouraged by the few, but large, seeds
I obtained from tetraploid pollen on ODORATISSIMA.)
As for Linda Mann's strategy of going back to the
historic survivors, to pair with modern TB's, I like
that idea a lot. I've got a little patch started of
some NOID irises that I got from my uncle (who got
them from his mother) so I think they qualify as both
hardy and historic. One is a white, one a dark yellow
and one a purple bitone. Whatever these NOIDS may be,
I see a lot of potential in breeding modern TB's back
to them. And I'm gonna have to add BLUE RHYTHM to my
wish list now too. Thanks again, Tom  
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