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JI:first flowers:substance

From: "Dan & Marilyn Mason" <dmason@rainyriver.Lakeheadu.ca>

A week ago I was thinking about I. Setosa and I. Versicolor
flowers: "How did some of the hybrid bearded irises get to
have flowers with such substance or sturdiness to stand up
to the weather, shed water like plastic? How could that
substance be brought into hybrids of beardless irises?"

In the last 3 days I've seen JI flowers for the first time.
Ian from Ottawa had sent me a couple of JI clumps this
spring. These first flowers came from a white 'Higo
cultivar.' The flowers are just over 6" across, falls just
over 3" wide, overall plant height 2' tall.

The petals are wide and very thin, clean white. It's hard to
believe such a fine leaved, thin stemmed plant can have such
large flowers and yet be so delicate. It's substance is like
the finest thinnest cotton material, compared to many
modern hybrid bearded irises, where the substance is
more like permanent-pressed polyester.

When it rains the JI flowers look wet. I put my fingers
behind a wet fall. I could see my fingers through the petal,
like looking through a wet t-shirt.

Anyway, the plastic or carved wax look is maybe not the only
way to go. The thin delicate, soft, and even the translucent
appearance of the soaked JI flowers are so appealing.
To try and attain this look with other beardless irises,
like Versicolor or Setosa hybrids, would probably be
just as suitable as attempting to bring their flowers'
substance in line with modern hybrid bearded irises.

Maybe I'm using the word 'substance' the wrong way in
regards to iris. If it has a different meaning among Iris
judges, please correct me.

Dan Mason  zone 3, NW Ontario
(Where we've had too much rain for the last two months.)

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