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Re: MED?/AR?

From: Tom Tadfor Little <tlittle@telp.com>

Sharon has covered the background on Easter Holiday quite well. I just want
to add a few small pieces of (non)evidence.

The chromosome count by Freeman Yendall was reported in the 1970 ASI
Yearbook. The text accompanying the counts was apparently written by the
editor, Tom Wilkes. I was hoping that there might be at least a word or two
indicating whether the forty chromosomes included any aril sets. This is
easy to determine when one is making the count. However, there is no
comment. (Only one of the irises whose count is reported in this article is
commented on.) Easter Holiday, though, is listed in the article under the
heading "ARILBREDS", indicating, at the very least, that Yendall or Wilkes
took the "Sari" in the parentage to be I. sari.

[It is worth mentioning that, in this period, some hybridizers chose to
register arilbred medians in one of the median classes, even when the aril
content was not in doubt.]

Although it is possible that "Sari" refers to the oncocyclus clone
distributed by Schreiner in 1932, I think it is more likely that it was one
of many aril clones in circulation in the 50s, imported through the efforts
of Lloyd Austin or some of the other early aril enthusiasts. The fact that
it was recorded as "Sari" rather than "I. sari" probably just reflects a
carelessness regarding the conventions of botanical nomenclature. In any
case, I think it quite unlikely that the name refers to an unregistered SDB.

Given the reduced chance of pollination when using aril pollen on bearded
irises, the decision of the hybridizer to register it as an SDB, and the
chromosome count of 40, I think the most likely explanation is that the
cross was contaminated with pollen from an unknown SDB, leaving Easter
Holiday as a pure SDB with (at most) a few aril genes from its Zwanenburg

The second possibility (less likely, but not unthinkable) is that I. sari
produced an unreduced gamete, giving Easter Holiday two sets of aril
chromosomes and two sets of bearded chromosomes. It does sometimes happen
that irises of this type of breeding do not show much aril appearance.

Is the plant still in cultivation? Has anyone seen it?

Detailed notes from the Durrance might settle it, as might detailed notes
from Yendall. At this point, though, it seems it will remain uncertain.
Tom Tadfor Little                   tlittle@telp.com
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Telperion Productions           http://www.telp.com/

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  • References:
    • Re: MED?/AR?
      • From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

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