Re: HYB: getting started
Pigments and patterns of pigments are complicated, and quite a few of us
have had a hard time getting what's known straight in our minds.
What Colleen is talking about is different from dominant vs recessive.
Blue and purple pigment dissolves in water or alcohol. Soak a blue iris
petal in hot water and the water will turn purple and the petal becomes
Pink pigment doesn't dissolve in water. Soak a pink petal in hot water
and the water stays clear (unless there were some blue veins) and the
petal stays pink.
Most yellows and oranges are like pink, and don't dissolve in water.
"Red" irises have <both> blue/purple color <and> yellow/orange/pink.
Soak a "red" petal in hot water or alcohol and the water will turn blue,
leaving the petal yellow (or maybe pink or orange, but <not> blue). You
can try this with a petal from WAR SAILS when it blooms.
SWEET MUSETTE has pink standards and purplish falls. Soak it in hot
water/alcohol and the blue will wash out of the flower, leaving both
standards and falls with pink. So SWEET MUSETTE is a pink flower with
blue added to the falls, but not to the standards.
These pigments stay separate inside the flower because they are in
different parts of each individual cell - the blue/purple pigments are
in the watery cell sap, the pink/yellow/orange (mostly) pigments are in
oily dojiggers whose name I can't think of at the moment.
Hope that helps. I have enjoyed soaking petals and beards in hot
rubbing alcohol (or hot water) - really has helped me understand what
I'm seeing in various colors. Biggest surprise has been how pink some
of the blue pigments can look - when I hold them up next to a true pink,
it's obvious that they are really "orchid" colored, not pink at all.
Betty, do you have anything in red or blue and yellow or maybe brown
blend in bloom now that you could soak and photograph before and after?
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
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