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Re: REB: cold climate rebloomers

In my experience vigor is one characteristic that is easier to overcome than most of the other characteristics.  The hardest part is getting vigor combined with the other characteristics in one plant.  I would pick plants to cross it with that have at least moderate vigor, broad blue-green and no less faulted in flowers or stalks than 'Lilting' is itself.   Two low vigor plants crossed can produce vigorous seedlings, though not many usually.  Your goal should be to obtain maybe around 200 seed in hopes that at least 50 of them will germinate without extra forced germination methods or protracted germination times unless you decide to take those on.

You may notice vigor differences among seedling of the same cross in the first year, but it is the second and third years that vigor differences will be quite a bit more obvious.

You may also want to consider how you want to protect the young seedlings from the most severe weather extremes you mentioned until they are established clumps.  Once matured (probably after the second Autumn) let Nature take her course and do the culling for you then.  If not you may not know what their true potential is as they were too young. 

After looking at your TB Iris photo pages I was pleased to see a few that I have been using heavily in my program and getting good results.  And now with your comments about 'Lilting' I will be working on adding it to my stock and working it into my lines.   Some good gene here and there.

Paul Archer
Raleigh, NC  Zone 8

-----Original Message-----
>From: Laurie Frazer <lauriefr@localnet.com>
>Sent: Feb 8, 2008 8:33 AM
>To: iris@hort.net
>Subject: [iris] REB: cold climate rebloomers
>For those of you hybridizing cold climate rebloomers:
>Up here in northern MN, zone 3b, I've only had six irises rebloom in 
>the last 12 yrs.  Five of those have only rebloomed once, and two of 
>those died right after the one time they did rebloom.  Only one, 
>however, has rebloomed twice for me, in addition to surviving the three 
>most devastating winters I've seen here in the last 12 yrs (I lost 150+ 
>iris cvs each year as a result of two of those winters and 200+ as a 
>result of the third).  The miraculous iris that has managed this feat 
>is one that I never see anyone mention among the lists of cold-climate 
>rebloomers.  It is the TB, LILTING.
>LILTING is not only a very lovely flower to my eye, but it is an 
>exceptionally reliable spring bloomer (which most TBs are not in my 
>garden).  Unfortunately, it is an excruciatingly slow grower, never 
>seeming to grow clumps of more than a few rhizomes.  I've never done a 
>bud count on it, but I suspect it's average to below average in that 
>respect, as well.
>Still, there is something about LILTING that loves cold weather enough 
>to reliably bloom and occasionally rebloom in zone 3b.  If I were 
>breeding for cold climate rebloomers, this iris would be at the top of 
>my potential parent list.  If someone would like to remind me in June, 
>I'll be happy to see if it has any pollen and try a few crosses both 
>ways with it just to see what happens.
>USDA zone 3b, AHS zone 4 - northern Minnesota
>normal annual precipitation 26-27"
>slightly acid, potassium deficient, clay soil
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