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AR: C. G. White arilbreds

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

The old C. G. White arilbreds were a very interesting lot.  I'm saddened to
hear that some of them have become extinct or nearly so; certainly they
deserve preservation.  Perhaps the ASI should make a concerted effort
before it's too late.  I'm thinking of the National Collection Scheme in
Britain, where people or institutions agree to accumulate, propagate and
maintain collections that are as complete as possible of a particular genus
of cultivated plants.  Wouldn't it be possible for someone in SoCal to set
up and keep going a C. G. White collection?

I grew a number of these back in the 1950s and 1960s.  'Jallah Effendi' I
remember as particularly adapatable, surviving for many years in northern
Pennsylvania.  It was described as streaked and mottled, and indeed it was.
Now we would realize that it was heavily virused.  'Joppa Parrot' was one I
could never grow.  'Kalifa Gulnare' did OK for a few seasons here in
Virginia before we had a series of wet summers (think of what nice
arilbreds we could have grown the past four dry summers!). 'Laban Effendi'
if I recall correctly was a very red arilbred with a small black signal
that looked more like a quarterbred.  I also grew 'Capitola' and 'Ib-Mac'
here in Virginia and played around with their pollen on some modern
TBs--the results were quite nice, better than the earlier quarterbreds that
used what we would now regard as less desirable TB parents ('Snow Flurry' X
'Capitola' must have been one of the most repeated crosses in iris

Is there anyone today working for quarterbreds using the much improved
halfbreds and up-to-date TBs?  If not, this is an empty niche in the iris
world that a young hybridizer would do well to fill.

As we were speaking of Lloyd Austin today, another catalog that was a
goldmine of information (but not of illustrations) was the one put out by
Val Slamova.  It listed most, if not all, of the C. G. White hybrids.
Again, I sure wish I'd kept my copies.  It's kind of like those people who
saved their old stacks of comic books and are now getting rich off them!

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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