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Re: Hot colour iris performance in UK

In a message dated 96-12-07 07:12:57 EST, you write:

<< location of hybridizers: it seems to me (and I am prepared to be
 contradicted) that most hybridizers in the US of pink and orange irises work
 in milder and drier states - Ben Hager for instance. They are unlikely to
 pick up on breeding lines that do not perform well in climates like ours,
 simply because they never get that type of weather at their nursery. Does
 anyone know of a hybridizer working in a cooler or wetter area who is
 developing really good pink or orange varieties? I'm sure everyone would
 to hear!! >>

Your comments about the genetics of many pink and orange tall bearded irises
being behind their poor performance in England (and Virginia, I would add),
is surely correct.  I would not, however,  include the majority of Ben
Hager's irises in the group having too rich a heritage in the tender Middle
Eastern 48 chromosome "species", e.g. Iris mesopotamica, Iris cypriana.  Ben
has for the most part been very careful to include wet, cold climate
hardiness in his lines, which is why VANITY remains the best pink for our wet
climate. His ANNA BELLE BABSON does fairly good here too.   But most of the
pinks and oranges from out West don't do any better in Virginia than they do
in England. 

As for oranges,the late George Crossman's (a Virginian) LOUDOUN BEAUTY
remains one of the very best growers here. Unfortunately, I don't have it any
more.  It is dated but is a great garden iris and wonderful on the show
bench.  Beautiful branching and bud count. Also John Weiler's oranges (with
names starting with "Fresno") do fairly well  John has worked a lot on
rebloomers.  Sterling Innerst (Pennsylvania)  has some good pink and orange
lines coming on. 

And of course, for a lovely pink that reblooms, Earl Hall's PINK ATTRACTION
can't be beat.  Lloyd Zurbirgg's JENNIFER REBECCA is closer to rosy lilac
than to pink...but it is gorgeous and it grows wonderfully for me ....and is
one of the best rebloomers.  Clarence Mahan in VA

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