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Re: Re:HYB:Colchicine

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Re:HYB:Colchicine
  • From: "wmoores" <wmoores@watervalley.net>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 10:53:39 -0600
  • Priority: normal

What bearded irises have been introduced as a result of colchicine-
induced tetraploidy?  Are there such, or were all by natural 
selection like SNOW FLURRY?

The only irises I grow that have been converted to tetraploids are 
Louisiana irises introduced mainly by the late Joseph Mertzweiller.  
He introduced probably no more than ten or fifteen through the actual 
treatment process.  Sam Norris has introduced only one.  The other 
tetraploids have come from a few hybridizers by crossing tet x tet. 
The Durios have produced quite a few this way.  It seems many 
seedlings die or revert to diploids after a few years, so we don't 
have a lot of tet La's out there.  By and large, the tetraploid 
Louisianas are troublesome growers and thrive mainly in warmer 
habitats than mine.  Sudden drops in temperature in the late spring, 
as we have here, can topkill them and eliminate any expected blooms.  
Dips are usually unaffected. The interploidy, CREOLE RHAPSODY, seems 
to fare much better with cold snaps.  It is diploid x tetraploid.  

Kevin Vaughn, who works for the USDA at Stoneville, MS, has done work
with colchicine on Louisiana irises.   He might be a source of 
information on this subject, particular the hazards of using such a 
toxic chemical.

Walter Moores
Enid Lake, MS USA 7/8

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