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Re: CULT: Red irises

This may seem an odd connection to make, but I wonder if one result of a successful genetically engineered iris might not be a simultaneously increased and decreased interest in preserving what will inevitably become the "old-fashined" iris bred the old-fashioned way. The shock of the shift to new methods might well lead some (including many on this list if still around) to work all the more to preserve what many others will reject as inferior to the newer disease- and pest- and Roundup-resistant colored-to-order superfloriferous eight-foot-tall varieties coming down the pike. Obviously there's some significant distance between getting a true red iris and what I just said, but it seems unavoidable, and the focus for commercial "breeding" will inevitably shift to genetic and related manipulation with the associated legal and commerical structures, leaving present methods as quaint relics strictly for hobbyists and resistors.

Well, I'm giving way to my general angst about the future of technology. When I think about it my whole future flashes before my eyes, in various permutations, all rather scary. But that's just me. I do antcipate nostalgia, sometimes of the genuinely painful kind, as those who have struggled to get the right crosses see how their life's work is supplanted by a far quicker and more flexible means of getting whatever kind of iris and quasi-iris one wants. It will change how we experience iris. But it will all be for the best, right? Ah, too much future before breakfast. Er, brunch.

Sanpete County, Utah

ChatOWhitehall@aol.com wrote:

In a message dated 8/20/05 7:06:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, loberg@adelphia.net writes:

<< Somehow, I think we'll be the same with red irises in a few years. >>

You know, I wonder sometimes.
One hears about how the world of irises is champing at the bit for a true red TB but I wonder if that is true, or whether red is a hybidizing goal achievement of which may carry prestige in some circles but may not reflect the highest desiderata of the greater iris buying public, whoever that is.
I am admittedly not of the mainstream in my tastes, but I could not care less about a crayola red TB, myself, and I have not formed an impression that red irises as they are currently known, or even variegatas, are among the more popular color patterns. Wonder what people really do love, and yearn for? Is it red?

So if they get to red, what are they going to do for an encore? Red plicatas? A red amoena? A red and black something? Something with purple foliage and lacquer red blossom? That might be good. Some gory sunset blends? Richer pinks? And then what? I don't think there is a whole lot of sustaining mystery in primary red as a color. Maybe I'm wrong about its attractions.

Boring as it may sound, I personally hope some of the best energies of the best minds are bent toward developing enhanced horticultural soundness in the coming stuff. Of course, if people are committed to buying and growing only the newest things, I guess they are yanking everything out of garden all the time anyway, so that on the cutting edge of the hybridizer/consumer fandango maybe there is no long haul as such.


Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA Zone 7

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