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NOV: Polytepals & Other Novelties

  • Subject: NOV: Polytepals & Other Novelties
  • From: "Iris Moose" <irismoose@daylily.net>
  • Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 23:36:53 -0400

Can't find my list of approved tags, but hope there is one for the Novelties.  If not, perhaps there should be one  ; )

Bill Burleson brought up a good topic and one that I am also am interested in.  I believe the iris community groups all these strange critters into one classification called "novelties."  Now we have to go a step further and start giving names to these types based on their unique characteristics.

At this point, some of you may be cringing and saying, " no, we don't have to name these freaks, nor do they deserve elevation to any status beyond the compost heap."  I say "phooey" to that.  

We are all gardeners here, and we each have our own gardens.  How we get enjoyment from our gardens is a personal thing.  I do not see how growing one type of iris in my garden is going to affect anyone else in this forum in a negative way.  Nor, if someone in this group is growing a form of iris that I do not care to grow, there is no way that their gardening habits are going to affect me in any way.  We all garden for our own reasons and purpose, which I also believe is a positive experience for each of us, and benefits others that share our common interests in the flower.  Now back to my original purpose of this letter.

Bill asked about irises with four falls and four standards.  I am not aware of any "official" name for this characteristic relating to iris, so for now, let's call this characteristic "polytepalous."  Any individual iris "bloom" which displays four falls and four standards would be described as having a polytepalous nature.  If SILVERADO throws one bloom with four falls and four standards once in every 1000 blossoms, then that cultivar has a very low percentage of polytepalness (in fact, it isn't even worth mentioning except to say that it had that freaky polytepalous bloom once in twenty years).

However, if a cultivar called FOUR ALL THE TIME has four falls and four standards 99.9% of the time then I would call this cultivar a "polytepal."  Note that at this point we have gone from polytepalous as an adjective to describe an individual bloom, to polytepal as a noun to describe a specific cultivar. Perhaps the term polytepal should be reserved for cultivars that exhibit a polytepalous nature  in excess of 50%.  

I am not versed on the technical parts of the iris so I hope someone will lend me a hand here.  I believe the polytepalous nature should be extended beyond the falls and standards and also include pollen anthers and pollen receptors in equal number to  the falls and standards.  This would then be four falls, four standards, four anthers, and four pistils designated 4,4,4,4.  

We're not finished yet.  Now we can move on to the "super polytepals" or super polys for short.  These would be the plants with five of each part (5,5,5,5), or six of each part (6,6,6,6).  I think the parts should be kept equal, therefore, a plant with four falls and three standards would be a deviate bloom and not blooming "true to form."

Some people have mentioned cultivars that have no standards but extra falls such as SIX-PACK.  I do not have a name for this.  It definitely does not fit in the polytepalous definition.  This type of novelty does deserve a name for the characteristic, and if someone is aware of it then please share that information with us.

I am also interested in hearing about any other types of novelties that exist.

At this point I am volunteering to create section of the Iris Moose website ( http://daylily.net/irismoose/ ) dedicated to the novelties.  My site was originally intended to show my iris photography. I then expanded the site to design and host free webpages for anyone in my region that had a display garden.  The free webpages got not response so that project is now on the compost heap.  I am now promoting on the site my first iris CD-ROM and iris garden video.  I think the time is right to add an educational element to the site and this will be the "Novelty" section.

If anyone can send me images of cultivars that have any of the novelty characteristics I will work them into the section.  I also would like any articles you may have written relating to these characteristics.  Are there any hybridizers that are working on these novelty characteristics?  What are the names of the other novelty characteristics?

It seems that Space Agers have now gained enough popularity whereby they are no longer considered novelties, but I would like to include them in this new section of the website, too.  Specifically, I would love to receive images that show all the different types of space age components such as the horns, spoons, flounces, etc.  Also any articles you have written about this form.

I look forward to a continuing dialog relating to these uniquely enhanced characteristic cultivars.

Happy Gardening!!

Iris Moose
Wake Forest, NC


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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