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Re: HYB: kashmiriana, ploidy, pallida crosses

  • Subject: Re: HYB: kashmiriana, ploidy, pallida crosses
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@volfirst.net>
  • Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 09:44:43 -0500

Neil Mogensen in snowy? Asheville NC said:
<Randolph and Mitra's published chromosome counts included the species,
I think, and showed counts of both 44 and 48 if I remember correctly.  I
have a vague memory of some discussion, or a count, of a diploid form as

If what I bought as kashmiriana is indeed either 44 or 48, it certainly
has smaller stature than either diploid pallida or modern tetraploid
TBs.  So, Walter, that is another example of not being able to tell
diploidyness <g> of bearded irises from appearances.  Unless this is the
diploid form.

<Linda, might what you have be hybrid?>

Wouldn't surprise me.  That's why I'd like to do a DNA comparison with
the kashmiriana I bought.  However, I also wonder whether or not many of
the bearded iris "species" are also hybrids, natural or otherwise.

<With the pallida that produces abundant seed with tetraploid crosses,
is it possible you are getting self-pollinated pods? Thrips seem to love
pallida and its fragrance, I recall.  I trust you have bloomed
seedlings.  Did you not post a picture of one of the pallida X Dolly
Madison progeny last year?>

None of the seedlings have had blooms that looked like the parent
pallida - all have had larger blooms, midway in size to the modern
bearded parents.  I think I may have posted a few - seems like I posted
at least one of the DUSKY CHALLENGER crosses (or was that a 2nd
generation....) and I'm sure I posted S1, the first 'keeper' cross
(pallida X MULBERRY ROSE).  I'm pretty sure I also posted a picture of
an open pollinated seedling from S1.  I'll check and see what I posted &
can post more seedling pix if you are interested. I don't grow DOLLY
MADISON (in fact don't know what it looks like), so that must be
somebody else.

Also, interestingly enough, I don't remember any 'bee' pods on pallida,
tho I did get a pod on a flower of S1 next to the one I intentionally
pollinated (that didn't take, of course!).

<Thanks, Sharon, for reminding us of the old-timers' rule of thumb of
the "One in ten thousand."  I had known that at one time and forgotten.
My "hundreds" of crosses didn't begin to scratch the probabilities, did

Neil, do you remember which diploid crosses you tried?

<So how do we incorporate astrachanica, timofejewii and what other
jewels may emerge out of Russia and Afghanistan in our coming "peace?"
Breeding with these at the diploid level may be fun, but doesn't
introduce the potentially useful genetics into modern tetraploid lines.
Tens of thousands of pollenizations take time, space and more patience
than most of us have.>

I think a productive approach would be to go back to the technique a lot
of early pioneers of breeding seemed to use - mixed pollen with repeated
pollination of the same flower and saving bee pods.  I think that is why
I've had such easy success with some of these crosses - I had so few
pallida blooms open, I repeatedly smeared them with whatever pollen was
available, adding pollen morning & evening until the bloom folded.

With the first cross (pallida X MULBERRY ROSE), I don't remember how
many blooms I pollinated to get one pod, kept no notes on germination,
and forgot about them until one sent up a bloomstalks from the fescue
that had swallowed it.  Two similar seedlings survived, one since
discarded.  I was so careless with these seedlings, I guess I should be
less positive of the parentage, tho that's the cross I made & S1 is
intermediate in appearance between the two.  There is an outside chance
that these seedlings came from some other seed source (seeds given to me
or collected somewhere or brought in on the wind...).  I make that
caveat just for you Bill Shear <g>

The second batch of seedlings were from mixed pollen on about a half
dozen flowers, from which I think I got two pods and about 48 surviving
seedlings.  Many of those were floppy stalked floppy falled ugly
ducklings that I've been gradually getting rid of over the years.  A few
were very short (almost SDB in size) with light colored (white?) blooms,
which is why I wonder if this is truly a pallida species.  (or once
again, sloppy record keeping & maybe a few seeds from another source?).
A few are nice blues that are tough, durable latish bloomers - I suspect
CARIBBEAN DREAM as the pollen parent.  I've not tried to set pods on any
and none have set pods on their own.

The third batch are DUSKY CHALLENGER babies - 4 surviving seedlings that
bloomed this year, from one pod.  Or these may be second generation S1 X
DUSKY CHALLENGER babies..I'll check my notes if you are interested.

I kind of lost interest in making crosses with these - the babies (other
than S1) weren't picking up the intense fragrance of pallida & I didn't
have any direction I wanted to go with these other than into continuous
rebloom, which wasn't working, or into a wider range of colors, which
wasn't working either.  I keep trying to get pods from S1 X IMMORTALITY
or vice versa, with no luck.

S1 sets a bee pod or two now and then - most of the babies from these
pods have looked pretty much like S1, only with less desirable growth
habits.  However, one that bloomed this year is a fairly nice white,
which set a pod with seeds with pollen from DESIGNING WOMAN.  (what was
I thinking??? I have no idea....probably an improvement in bloom
placement, size, form, substance, or something else totally unrelated to

So, how boring is all that?  Let me know if you want to know more or to
see more photos.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8

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