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Re: NOV: Polytepals & Other Novelties

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] NOV: Polytepals & Other Novelties
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>
  • Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 12:02:03 -0600

> From: wmoores <wmoores@watervalley.net>
> When you say novelties, does this just mean novelty in form of the 
> flower on a TB?


The April, 1984 issue of the AIS Bulletin focused on Novelty Irises with
articles by Ben Hager, Allan Ensminger, James Mahoney, Austin Morgan, and
Keith Keppel. The following statement was provided by the Editor (KK) by
way of introduction:

"A novelty, the dictionary states, is something new, fresh or unusual. Many
iris traits we now take for granted were , not too many decades ago,
novelties. In the 1930's irises with curious bumps on the petal edges were
noted in the extensive Sass seedling fields. Their hybridizer looked upon
them as undesirable, the bumps a fault brought on by too much inbreeding. 
It was up to Agnes Whiting, Dave Hall and others of that era who were
working with Sass line material to accentuate and refine the trait.
CHANTILLY was a novelty when it was introduced in 1942, yet we now take for
granted the extravagantly laced blooms of GRAND WALTZ and LACED COTTON.

Also in the Sass fields of fifty years ago were seedlings with slight
suggestions of horns. 
Professor Mitchell used the Sass plicatas, and it was from the Mitchell
plicatas, in turn, that Lloyd Austin bred and selected his first horned
irises. The trait was there for decades before someone recognized its value
and began the refinement. 

And what of SNOW FLURRY, a sensation in 1939 because it was ruffled. How
many purists snubbed their noses at this novelty because it defied the
tradition of tailored petals?

As we survey the Novelties of the 1980's, we wonder what history will prove
them to be: wave of the furure - or flash in the pan?"

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2, AHS Zone 7)


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