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Re: CULT: turning white

From: Gerry Snyder <gcsnyd@loop.com>

> Mary Blatz wrote:
> Hi All!
> Another question from this novice:  What's the real truth behind this
> phenomenon--TB varieties that (allegedly) revert to white after a few
> years?

There are a few possibilities, with varying probabilities.

>  I have never witnessed it myself, but the subject came up in
> recent discussion with some gardening friends, so I offered to bring
> the question to you, my panel of iris experts.  If I understand the
> iris' process of vegetative reproduction correctly, it doesn't make
> sense to me--how could any increase off a mother rhizome be
> genetically different?  

There are mutations, called "sports." Can happen in iris, but rarely.
Almost all "reversions" are something else.

> Must be that the color is expressed
> differently, which I suppose has to do with cultural requirements and
> maybe some trace mineral being depleted in the soil????

Intensity of color varies with conditions; however, regular iris turning
white, if it happens, is virtually always the result of pesticide

> Either that or it's all a hoax, perpetuated by the Burgermeister
> Meisterburger, who hates color and sends his police out with a bag of
> white rhizomes to uproot all the colorful ones and replant them with
> plain white. . .

Even more likely is that a vigorous white overcrowded the other iris. Or
the bed got overcrowded and iris are blooming only every other year, and
this was the year for the whites.

This topic has been discussed here at least a couple of times in the
past. If you want a lot more information, search the archives.

But please, always feel free to ask questions.

Gerry, in weedy Los Angeles, 3 miles from a brush fire a few days ago

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