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Re: HYB:SURVIVORS was Cult: Iris Bloom

From: "Randy C. Meuir" <rmeuir@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

On Fri, 29 Jan 1999, Michael D. Greenfield wrote:

> From: "Michael D. Greenfield" <redear@infinet.com>
> I enjoy all parts of growing Iris. Even digging. I give the best care I
> can, that is part of  Gardening . I can understand , for landscape purposes
> an iris that needs very little care. But for me careing for them is a big
> part of it.
> All this work is for the great reward.---- Bloom Time----. take away bloom
> time and all my Iris will go. How many out there would grow iris just for
> there leaves?  

The only abuse they will
> not stand for in my experience is no sunlight. If they are growing in a
> patch of weeds the will not get enough sun. I am talking about bearded
> iris. 
> I am not interested in breeding for no care iris that have great leaves and
> poor blooms. 
> Michael D. Greenfield 
> redear@infinet.com  


I once believed that there was a correlation between strong plants and
plain or ugly flowers. I thought I would be lucky to get one or
two pretty flowers from several thousand of my seedlings. From what I have
seen in my garden I no longer think this is the case. In fact, if it did
not seem so illogical I would think the opposite was true, that there is
a correlation between strong and pretty.  

If you use beautiful cultivars for breeding purposes their offspring could
be both strong and beautiful. So if preselecting seedlings for strength
you are not necessarily preselecting for ugly.  

I don't think breeding for strength means you want to develop cultivars
you can abuse. But if a seedling performs well under abuse it should
perform even better in a regular garden setting. Bearded iris will
probably never be able to compete in a patch of weeds as some other perennials
might because of the structure of the leaves. I wouldn't want to grow my
iris in a patch of weeds anyway. That would look terrible <BG>.

As has been said, an iris would have to be tested in several locations
before you would know if it grows well in different enviornments. 
Thats why test gardens and guest beds at conventions are so important. But
an iris that has a beautiful flower and bloom stalk is of value even if it
does not grow well in all climates. 

Columbia, MO
Zone 5

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