Linda Mann wrote:
: Seems odd if they don't increase very well in iris heaven -
: where would they all come from?
An iris has to manage a reasonable rate of increase to produce enough stock to
be introduced. It's just that some do better than others. Varieties in least
demand get dropped from catalogs to make room for newer ones. Sometimes demand
is low because it's simply not popular. Sometimes, it's because the variety is
so widely available no one has to resort to mail order to get it.
I'll give you just one example of a variety that has stayed in our catalog
longer than usual. TRIBE OF JUDAH (Hunt, 1984) is a predominantly onco arilbred
that has been one of our best-sellers for years. I can offer several reasons:
1. It combines the much-desired globular form and large signal with
unusually good branching and bud count. So it passes the "popularity test".
2. It's a very strong grower, and one of the most rot-resistant of its type
that I have ever grown. So it passes the "gardenability test".
3. Nothing similar, but "slightly improved", has come along to supplant it.
4. It's not indestructable. Like others of its type, it benefits from
annual division -- but unlike most of them it doesn't demand it. If it's
planted with TBs and given the same food and water, it responds with rampant
growth. If it's in a climate where TBs sometimes rot, a crowded clump is apt to
rot right along with them. But people like it enough to order a replacement
when this happens.