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Re: SHOW: taller than R&I (was Tall ones, for Christy)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: SHOW: taller than R&I (was Tall ones, for Christy)
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <cwalters@digitalpla.net>
  • Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 20:42:07 -0700 (MST)

Celia Storey writes:

> Here's my big duh for the night: If you have a cultivar bloom way over
> registration height and you want to take it to the show because in all
> other respects it's an outstanding stalk, do you trim the stalk down to
> registered height, or is excess tallness considered a virtue? If not, why
> not?

Hi Celia!

The Scale of Points for judging TB iris in the AIS Judges' Handbook allows
30 points for the stalk under *Cultural Perfection*, but none of these
points is assigned to height of the stalk. Stalk height is one of six
characteristics listed under *Condition and Grooming*, which is allocated
25 points in toto. The Handbook states, " It is generally recommended that
a stalk be exhibited at an appropriate height that is proportional". Fair
enough, but the catch is in the next sentence, which continues, "Indeed,
proportion is an individual perception . . .".

I have observed that this individual perception is highly correlated to the
height of the judge. Taller ones will say, "Why did they cut that stalk so
short?"; more vertically challenged judges will opine, "Why did they leave
that stalk so long?"

I cannot imagine exhibiting an overly tall stalk at its full natural
height. For one thing it would be so top heavy that you couldn't keep the
container from tipping over - at least that would be the case at the shows
at which I have exhibited. Moreover, the stalk would probably lack
proportion in almost anyone's eye as the size of the flowers does not
increase as the length of the stalk does. To my eye, this was a problem
with LADY MADONNA in the garden, as it always seemed the flowers were
ridiculously small relative to the height of the stalk. At the show, at
least, you can cut a long stalk down to size, whereas there is not much
that can be done with a stalk that is too short to be in proportion.

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4, Sunset Zone 2)


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