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Historic hysterics, Rainacres who?

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Historic hysterics, Rainacres who?
  • From: RAINACRE@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 22:24:48 -0700 (MST)

Thinking about historical irises it seems to me that the ones we have now are
the result of natural selection over a 25 (or more) year period. I am quite
certain that may of  the introductions of the past were poor growers, disease
prone and had a low survivability. I recall a writer in an old Bulletin (in
the 30's I believe) declaring that the new introductions of the day were just
not as hardy as the intros of the previous decades. I am just as sure that
among the iris being introduced in the past few years there will be some that
will be around long into the future. I do not see that anyone has the gift of
predicting which varieties these will be. Perhaps Jesse's Song. Others can
nominate more.  I don't think that a blanket statement that the intros of the
past were hardier or more "gardenable" on the average that present intros can
be proven, in fact I suspect it could proven that the percent surviving into
successive decades is about the same. I don't think that hybridizers of the
past were any better than the hybridizers of the present. I do think we
vastly underestimate the power of natural selection.

Someone wanted to know where Rainacres is. It's short for Rainbow Acres and
we are located near Sacramento, CA in zone 9. We have been hybridizing for
about ten years, mostly TB's but we have done some SDB's and IB's as well as
some Japanese. We have chose not to inflict any but our TB's on the iris
public to date although an IB is coming out this year.  When the catalog
(about 300 varieties) is ready I would be happy to send one to anyone so
requesting. Our own stuff plus a lot of newer things. I keep little
introduced more than five years ago, except things I use in hybridizing and a
large collection of Ben Hager's things, most not listed this year.

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