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Re: HIST: Origin of Early Hybrids


From: Gerry Snyder <gcsnyd@loop.com>

James Brooks wrote:
> 
> At 08:09 AM 8/17/99 -0600, you wrote:
> >From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>
> >
> >> From: James Brooks
> >> .... Hybridized introductions, probably beginning with
> >> Honorabile, go right to the beginning of your period.
> >
> >James,
> >
> >I am not sure that "hybridized" is the correct term to use with iris
> >cultivars originating in the Honorabile-Madame Chereau era (mid-nineteeth
> >century). It is my understanding that these cultivars and others of that
> >era resulted from sowing the seeds from bee pods and making selections
> >among the resulting seedlings - not exactly the process of hybridizing as
> >we understand it today, which only began to be practiced towrd the end of
> >the nineteenth century.
> >
> >Jeff Walters in northern Utah (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2)
> >jcwalters@bridgernet.com
> 
> At least Lemon and his ilk knew one parent. As I remember, Dykes introduced > Gold Seal from a plant that just appeared in his garden, neither parent known!

Lémon may have known the pod parent when he collected the seed, but did
he keep track?

The article on development of 19th century iris in the January 1921 AIS
Bulletin does not mention that he kept any records of parentage. The
passage quoted below doesn't say he didn't, either. Do you have some
source that indicates that he did? Inquiring minds want to know.

'It is remarkable to observe that none of the seedlings obtained by de
Bure, Jacques, or Lémon are the result of hybridization. We learn from a
report by Loiseleur-Deslongchamps in the "Annales de la Societé Royale
d'Horticulture de Paris" of 1845 in which various Iris collections are
described that Lémon was declared never to have hybridized, either
irises or any other genus of plants. Mr. Loiseleur had asked him to,
because "Hybridization is so very much in fashion now," but satisfied
with the excellent results obtained by mere chance seed Lémon did not
see that hybridization would have given better flowers, and he doubted
whether he would have done better by causing himself much trouble
instead of leaving it to nature. He was convinced that in order to
obtain meritorious varieties it was sufficient to sow much, and above
all to sow the seeds from varieties already improved.'

Gerry

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