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recessive amoenas

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: recessive amoenas
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@erols.com>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 21:46:41 -0700 (MST)

This is part 3 of my reply to Linda, Bruce, et al.

A limiting factor in breeding with WABASH is that its pedigree is not
very extensive; thus, we don't know a lot about what produced its magic.
Its parentage was DOROTHY DIETZ x CANTABILE (and despite what some
pronunciations I have heard might lead one to think, CANTABILE is not
the product of a cross between irises named "CANTELOUPE" AND
"OLDSMOBILE"). CANTABILE resulted from "LENT A. WILLIAMSON x . . .",  as
the 1939 Checklist gives it, and LENT A. WILLIAMSON came from "AMAS x .
. .".  AMAS, from various reports, was a hybrid tetraploid clone
collected in Asia Minor, and is classified today as a border bearded.
listed as obsolete in the 1939 Checklist, and its parentage was not
given. Thus endeth the pedigree of WABASH.

The crosses of WABASH and its seedlings with the dark velvet selfs of
the '60s had given better flower form, but the blooms clustered close to
the stalks and branching was sparse. Largely, the results were dark
selfs with velvet falls, some with faint lighter bands.  It seemed to me
that I needed a parallel line of velvets with bitone or amoena heritage
to cross to the WABASH line if I were going to get more amoenas, and I
wanted better branching and bud count.  I decided to cross MOMAUGUIN (R.
Stephenson '60), classed as a red bitone, but having nearly black
crushed-velvet (but strappy) falls, with MARGARITA (Schreiners '68)a
brown-shouldered dark blue-violet amoena from the WHOLE CLOTH (dominant
amoena) line, and see if the velvet survived.  From several crosses,
seed count and germination were low.  But two seedlings had excellent
branching and bud count (up to 11), and a third was seedling 93RR2, with
cream standards and tailored dark red-violet velvet falls, which caught
Anner's eye at the Fredericksburg show a couple of years ago. The best
branching seedlings have flowers that aren't "there" yet, but which have
potential in both color and texture. They are being crossed with
seedlings needing better branching. I have now begun to cross the
MOMAUGUIN and TRUDY share a number of red and yellow ancestors. I think
the results should be some interesting amoenas and variegatas, which
will, in turn, be crossed with the most modern similar varieties.  

Meantime, in 1993 I made several crosses between WABASH-line and
WABASH/TRUDY-line amoenas and variegatas and some Blyth/Blyth-derivative
irises. These have produced several snow white amoenas with dark velvet
falls and crisp white edging on the falls. I haven't yet figured out
what in Blyth's varieties has interacted so well with my recessive
amoenas, but whatever it is, I want more of it.

Griff Crump, along the tidal Potomac near Mount Vernon, VA 

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