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Re: Iris Breeding

Patti Wenham wrote:

:  I meant to get back to you about Arilbreds and the desirability of using 
:  them instead of the Arils.  I did not realize the Arils would be so 
:  difficult to work with.  I do have a few Arilbreds too.  I would like to 
:  leaarn more about using them in a breeding program.  

I was talking about genetics, rather than culture, when I recommended crossing
TBs with arilbreds instead of with arils.  Modern TBs are tetraploids.  Most
arils are diploids.  Such a cross rarely produces viable seeds, and even the few
that are viable rarely prove fertile.  It's the type of cross that has produced
some important breakthrough breeders -- but it's a line of pursuit best left to
fanatics (like me).  If you're one of those fortunate few who can grow both
arils and dwarfs, however, you might want to try for arilmedians.  These are
valuable garden subjects, not expected to be fertile.

Some arils are tetraploids.  These are more easily crossed with TBs than are
their diploid relatives, but none of the tetraploid arils are fully compatible
with TBs.  "More easily" does not mean "easy".  In the 20 years I've been making
this type of cross, I've produced only one F1 seedling good enough to be

:  Are Arilbreds less finicky about dry summers or do the 
:  Aril characteristics prevail?  

Most arilbreds are probably  "less finicky" than most arils -- but there are so
many different types of arils, and so many different types of arilbreds, that
you'll find many exceptions to this rule.  Most hybridizers have been trying to
put flowers with aril characteristics on TB-like plants.

:  Could you recommend some good reading material that would help me?

AIS Bulletin & ASI Yearbook articles.  The World of Iris.  (And my booklets, of

Sharon McAllister

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