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HYB: wide falls

Linda Mann's question about wide falls and where they can be found and where
they come from is a concern of mine also.  A few observations about haft width
come to mind.

First of all, selection for haft width would result, and has resulted, in ever
wider cultivars in recent years.  Even so, in chasing back the pedigrees of
some of the most conspicuously wide modern sorts one tends to run into some
ancestors rather more often than others.  FOREIGN STATESMAN and its offspring
CONCISE (the other parent of which is SILVERADO) are both remarkably wide.
Foreign Statesman includes both TITAN'S GLORY and  Babson's SHIPSHAPE in its
ancestry.  Both of these appear repeatedly in wide varieties, as do Cliff
Benson's SKYWATCH and Neva Sexton's PACIFIC PANORAMA.

Merle Roberts and Grant Richardson both draw on the astonishing width of WIDE
HIPS in their breeding.  Wide Hips is from Carriage Trade X Five Star Admiral.
CARRIAGE TRADE is also the pollen parent of SILVERADO, and if you look at the
photo of THUNDER QUAY in Sutton's 2002 catalog you will see evidence that Wide
Hips is not alone in the capacity to throw extreme width.  Many, many other
introductions could be mentioned in talking about the bloodlines mentioned
above, including Schreiner blues and blacks in general.

The Gatty/Keppel pinks draw heavily on Nathan Rudolph's work, which is in turn
based on Moldovan/Fay/Hall breeding.  This line includes SNOW FLURRY and NEW
SNOW many times over, and BABBLING BROOK also appears through Keppel's
MARASCHINO.  The line has shown wider and wider width of haft as the years
have progressed, more a result of rigorous selection from David Hall onward
than from the particular genetic background I believe..  A very large number
of generations of breeding by some very astute people is involved.

Two catalogs that I have found to be noteworthy in mentioning width of haft
are Keith Keppel's catalog and that from Phil Williams' Rocktop Gardens.  I
find their comments particularly useful and their concern for haft width
kindred to my own.

Reaching back into remote iris history, some early ultra-wide iris (for their
time) included MEXICO, Mel Suiter's OWYHEE, one of the parents of TOMECO which
is in the ancestry of many Schreiner reds.  Among the blues CLOUD CASTLE and
its pollen parent GLORIOLE were also quite wide for their time and appear in a
large number of modern pedigrees if one is looking at the extreme right hand
edge of a very large sheet of paper.

Tell Muhlestein, in his catalog and "hybridizers handbook" during the fifties
often mentioned DOMINION, which he held largely accountable for much of the
every widening haft width as irises developed.  His observation is worthy of

Neil Mogensen  z 6b/7a near Asheville and Hendersonville, NC

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