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Re: CULT: HYB: Good Irises

The longer I grow irises, the more I breed my own, the more I talk to
people in different regions/soils/climates, the more I view the task of
identifying 'good' irises <before> purchase as hopeless.

Although I used to fuss about the absence of information from growers
about performance in other climates, it seems unreasonable to expect any
hybridizer (other than maybe the huge commercial outfits) to send
samples of their seedlings to even a few of the many possible
combinations of climate and soil to find out where they fail or

HOWEVER (that's a <big> however), it does seem like such information
<ought> to be available for at least <some> irises within 10 years of

Unfortunately, in my experience, most hybridizers see the silver lining
of their children, not the big clouds in the middle.  'if well grown, it
can be spectacular'; 'maybe next year, the weather won't.... and it
will...'; or 'you need to ....whatever' (basically it's all my fault the
plant doesn't live up to its potential).

I basically agree with you Anner, but am not sure what AIS could do to
change things.  I think it would take an AIS member or group of members
with passion about the issue and energy, time, cash and maybe their own
private jet to put some real value on cultivars that are as
spectacularly 'good' in culture in various climates as, for example, a
Dykes medal winner is in appearance under ideal conditions.

As it is now, I rarely will buy a recently introduced iris unless I know
its relatives will do reasonably well here or unless somebody gives it
to me because they are sure it will do well for me.  Usually those don't
do well, but occasionally I find a winner.

<There is, I suggest, no shame whatsoever in an originator putting forth
                   lovely new iris and stating candidly that it is
something of which s/he is very
                   proud, but it is probably not suitable for gardens...
[in various climates]....Anner Whitehead
                   Richmond VA USA>

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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