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Re: Remontants or rebloomers.

In a message dated 96-12-29 18:12:50 EST, you write:

<< Neither the word "Remontant" or "Rebloom" is listed in my Random House
 dictionary, so these words are open for interpretation.  However, like I
 mentioned before, American irisians use these words interchangably.  And
 most consider a iris that blooms "again" out of the normal spring season
 to be a rebloomer/remontant.

As Rick Tasco points out above, the terms "remontant" and "rebloomer" are
used interchangeably by the Reblooming Iris Society...the French word
"remontant" being adopted from the lexicon of rose breeders (French rose
breeders, using the American bred "Champney's Pink Cluster, were the first to
develop a strain of roses that bloomed almost continuously, i.e. the
"noisette" roses).  The term "repeat bloomer" or "preferential repeat
bloomer" is a term applied to Siberian and Japanese iris cultivars which in
some climates will put forth a second slue of bloom stalks soon after
blooming in the spring---I think the term "preferential repeat bloomer" was
first used by Currier McEwen.  The term "repeat bloomer" is nearly always
used in connection with beardless irises.

Remontant or reblooming bearded irises normally give one or more sets of
bloom in late summer and/or fall...and good cold climate rebloomers, e.g.
IMMORTALITY, do this almost everywhere except in very northern climates.
 (And sometimes even in upstate NY and Minnesota!).  On the other had,
preferential repeat bloom Siberian and Japanese irises, WILL NOT NORMALLY
 give their second flush of bloom in most places.  Gigi Hall says that the
Japanese repeat bloomers do their repeat in her Fremont, California area, but
most of the repeat experience is in VERY cold climates such as New England,
Canada, and the northernmost tier of U.S. states.  

Of the scores and scores of Siberian irises I grow, the only cultivars which
have given me repeat bloom more than once here in Virginia are MY LOVE and
REPRISE. No Japanese iris cultivar has ever given me repeat bloom more than
once here in Virginia.  I personally believe that "repeat" bloom in Siberians
and Japanese is caused by some cultivars sending up bloom stalks early, which
then get "set back" by late freezes.  (Some noted Siberian breeders, e.g. Bob
Hollingworth, George C. Bush,  hold this view as well, but other
knowledgeable breeders, e.g. McEwen, are loath to accept this view, so it
remains a matter of debate in the iris world.)  

I hope Lloyd Zurbrigg will comment on this, as he is THE authority on this
subject.  Clarence Mahan in VA

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