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Re: Iris-Talk Iris of the Milennium

From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <cwalters@digitalpla.net>

Bill Shear writes: 
> My nomination for the iris of the millenium (well, the century anyway)
> would be SNOW FLURRY.
> Has there ever been a more important iris, both for its own sake as an
> excellent and beautiful garden plant, and as a parent of other hybrids?
> I'm sure some of you data-crunchers with extensive holdings in pedigrees
> could probably trace almost every Dykes winner since 1940 back to SNOW
> FLURRY in some way....


SNOW FLURRY does have an impressive record as an ancestor of Dykes
Medallists, though it was not quite as precocious as your enthusiasm
implies; its first descendant to take the Dykes was VIOLET HARMONY in 1957.
After that there was BLUE SAPPHIRE (58), WINTER OLYMPICS (67), SKYWATCH
(70), PINK TAFFETA (75), and every Dykes Medallist (with a traceable
pedigree) from MARY FRANCES (79) through CONJURATION (98), except
EVERYTHING PLUS (apparently the one thing it didn't have was SNOW FLURRY
for an ancestor).

I agree with you that Ii. pallida and pseudacorus and other species belong
to the ages, and not specifically to the Second Millenium AD, and are
therefore not really eligible for the honor in question.

Arguably, the most significant development for iris in the current
millenium was the creation of modern tetraploid TB's in the early years of
the present century (I know this slights the other nine centuries of the
millenium, but our co-millenialists of earlier times aren't around to cast
their ballots - life is unfair and the alternative is a real bummer).
Perhaps, an outstanding first generation tetraploid TB from a diploid X
tetraploid species cross should be named "Iris of the Millenium" to
symbolize this tremendous achievement. There are a number of candidates to
choose from, but why not consider CONQUISTADOR (Mohr, '23)?
Not only is it SNOW FLURRY's grandaddy, it is the virtual godfather of
nearly every TB (any many medians) being bred today. Along with being the
ancestor of all of SNOW FLURRY's Dykes descendants (usually by pathways in
addition to those that run through SF), CONQUISTADOR is the ancestor of 14
more Dykes winners stretching all the way back to the beginning with SAN
FRANCICO in 1927. 

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2)

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