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Re: HYB: wide crosses

  • Subject: Re: HYB: wide crosses
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 16:02:57 -0400

Patricia Brooks Whidbey Island, WA, zone 8 said:

<I was interested in your saying that most of your crosses were wide.
So I'd have some to compare germination-wise.  I'm wondering how you
measure "wide.">

In my case, I'm trying to create some tough TBs as breeding stock with
enough mixed genetic background so that if I live long enough, I can
breed a diverse collection of colors and patterns that will thrive (?)
here in my peculiarly difficult growing conditions.  What I try to do is
track pedigrees before bloom season so I know more or less which
cultivars are the result of line-breeding for a single color and pattern
(usually these  turn out to be selfs or plics here), which ones have
potential I. reichenbachii genes, which aphylla, which variegata, which
pallida (all species that have various survival traits here).  (aphylla
cultivars don't do well at all here (barely live), but sometimes some
TBs with some aphylla in the mix seem to handle summer drought by
shutting down, dropping leaves if things get too bad), & which ones have
high potential for recessive this 'n that (patterns & colors).  Then,
during bloom season, I try to avoid crosses with the line-bred
same-color selfs, try to mix things up as much as possible, with the
following constraints:

At least one parent has to be tough enough (to the best of my knowledge)
to thrive & bloom reliably here (more or less), I don't cross two
historics (well, sure I do, but not to tell anybody...<g>),  I try to
cross something with wide falls with narrow, modern 'weak' with old
tough, good branching with no branching, consistent height (usually only
historics meet this criterion) with variable height, or anything with
IMMORTALITY.  After reading Walter Moores really interesting summary of
'progenitor' irises in rebloom pedigrees, I think I need to back up a
generation and start crossing anything with I DO, which I haven't tried
to grow.

<As sisters-in-growing-zone, >

ROFLOL and other general hysteria <g> - you've got to be kidding <g>!
On your island, with the moderating effect on climate of all that ocean
around you, you will never have the kind of mid-continental freeze
damage we get here.  So you should be able to cross darn near anything
that's at all inclined to be fertile.  Not so here - after all that
careful pedigree searching and thinking, I wind up using whatever pollen
I have that looks possibly viable on whatever blooms.

Somebody with more experience where irises actually grow can probably
give you a better idea of what to expect re: seed viability in the kind
of wide crosses you are making.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8


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