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Re: OT-BIO, Mel Cross

Mel -- I'm not sure it's the most important thing I've learned, but it's the first thing that comes to mind:

A cross of two of your favorite irises may produce disappointing results, in that none of the resultant seedlings seems as good as either parent. Don't throw them all away. Cross the two best siblings with each other. Or, if you have another lot of seedlings from the same cross, try crossing the "cousins". The reason for this is that the genes which made the parents beautiful are still there in the progeny, but may simply not have been expressed in the first generation. It's sort of like the reputed response of George Bernard Shaw to the proposal by a beauty of his time who said to him (and I have no idea whether it really happened or is apocryphal), "You and I should marry. With my beauty and your brains, think what we could produce!" To which Shaw allegedly replied, "Yes, Madame, but what if it should have my beauty and your brains?" So, see what happens in the second generation. -- Griff

----- Original Message ----- From: <lscross@peoplepc.com>
To: "Iris List" <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2007 4:10 PM
Subject: [iris] OT-BIO, Mel Cross

Hi. I am a new member to the Iris Digest. I live in Olympia, WA, where we get
lots of rain. My wife and I have approximately 400 TB's, including my
seedlings, iris collection, and the irises in our guest garden for the Region 13 2008 spring meeting. I started my collection in 1994 and began hybridizing in 2003. I am seeking any and all kinds of information regarding hybridizing,
selection process, gernination of seeds.  My current observations indicate
that parents will effect pollination success, as well as gernination success,
correct?  I am seeking info on 'good parents," and also parents that would
produce good form, branching, and prolific growth and health habits. Of
course, living in a rainy climate, I am always contending with brown leaf
My first question would be, "What is the most important thing you have learned
about hydridizing?"   Thank you for any input you can give.  I am looking
forward to meeting many of you at our Spring Meeting of Region 13.

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