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Re: CULT: Trial garden form

It's waay over the top for gardeners in areas where <many> cultivars
fail.  The World of Iris warns that bearded iris will <not> live in a
zone not far south of where I am.  That's an exaggeration, but it <is>
true that many/most TB's selected in a Mediterranean type climate will
not live here.  Why we started calling it the 'death zone', "vale of
despair/despond", etc.

So for trial gardens in this kind of climate, and for gardeners/pollen
daubers looking for good irises for this area, the main data to have is
whether or not it <died>.

I suspect the same is true for other climates/soils where survival of a
lot of cultivars is marginal for other reasons.  In many cases, the very
same cultivars that won't even live here are the very best in a
different difficult climate and vice versa.

Additional data of interest would be whether or not the terminal fan was
killed and stalk height.  Even if a Mediterranean climate selection has
foliage that will live here, often the terminal fan will either be
killed by late freezes, or stalks will be badly stunted.

Bloom size, branching, and bud count would also be of interest, but
without that information in registration descriptions, is hard to
evaluate.  All these characteristics seem to be affected when stalk
height is affected (miniaturized blooms to match stalk height, reduced
branch number and length, and reduced bud count).  However, some
cultivars have normal sized blooms on stunted stalks.  I've seen full
sized blooms open on a 3 inch stalk.

Disease resistance of foliage/rhizomes is another area of interest, but
growers don't always agree on what they see ...I took some photos
yesterday that I will post of what I view as a good indicator of soft
rot susceptibility <in MY growing conditions>.   I have always assumed
it is soft rot in the foliage,  but others see the same symptoms and
view it as normal plant growth, others call it southern blight, water
damage, etc etc.

<If anyone thinks it is a bit overboard please say so. >

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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