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Re: AIS: registration, out of class

First I want to make it clear that I'm not really arguing for nor against
anything when it comes to judging Iris, I was stating an opinion as to
something that seemed silly to me.

Part of the problem with the animal comparison is that plants are inherently
variable and are influenced by their environment as a normal part of their
being.  An animal is not the same at all.  Of course it is influenced by it's
environment, but it is done growing when it is done growing, it does it once,
and that is that.  Generally an animal that does not meet standard can indeed
be registered, and actually if it is a pure-bred it usually is.  They are
usually registered long before they are grown.  The registration basically
just certifies that they are pure bred, not that they meet the standard.
However, such an animal will generally be disqualified in a show (that doesn't
keep some unscrupulous people from breeding them; there are cases where "bad"
parents have produced "champion" offspring too.).  We have a Great Pyrenees
that only weighs 40 lbs. and is likely under 20 inches tall at the shoulder
(never measured here, but she is a genetic dwarf).  She is indeed registered,
but she will never be bred.  {Some think these dwarfs should become a new
breed, but that's another story}.  There is no option to register it in
another class, it is the breed it is.  In Iris each cultivar is not a "breed",
it is an individual plant; plus, it re-grows from the root (sometimes
differently) every year, which no animal can do.  There is really no such
thing as a "breed" in a modern bearded Iris cultivar, as their genetics are
all mixed up (you might argue that there are breeding lines, but they are not
pure). Of course the whole Bearded Iris group might be considered a breed, but
it would be a mongrel breed, as each individual is different with highly
varied and mixed heritage (in animals the idea is that members of a breed all
be the same).  I guess the point is that a plant cultivar is generally not the
same as a breed in the sense of animals.  In a plant a cultivar is usually one
clone or individual.  In animals all individuals within a breed are different

The comparison doesn't work, as they are totally different situations; plants
and animals be two different beasts.  I'm not trying to argue any particular
way in judging Iris.  It is interesting to here different opinions.  I'm just
offering mine.

[There are exceptions where a "strain" is sometimes mistaken for a "cultivar"
in plants, where for instance an annual flower or vegetable crop is raised
anew from seed each generation.  Here we really are talking about the same
thing as a breed of an animal.  To my knowledge, no such thing has been
developed in Iris yet?]

I suspect that many BB's would grow to be TB's under exceptional conditions,
and most TB's would be BB's under less than optimal conditions.  That's a
problem if you want to show a short plant registered as a TB, but with a BB I
think most of us would just chop the stalk off short.

I do think that some Iris cultivars have been registered before their
potential was known, and that some have probably been misrepresented when
registered.  It doesn't seem unreasonable to correct these situations.  I
think it is important not just for meeting show qualifications (which is of
little concern to me), but also for properly representing a plant to the
public, which they will be buying.  I have been greatly disappointed by
numerous plant cultivars (not just Iris) which were registered or represented
to be one thing, and turned out to be something else entirely.  To me this is
a form of false advertising.
This is the same as say a Shetland Sheepdog or miniature horse, or any
breed where are standards for height that may not be exceeded.  A
animal that gets too big probably cannot be registered.

Border bearded as I understand it (not being a judge) is a class which
is supposed to be shorter than TB.  If it isn't shorter than a TB,
then it isn't a good BB.  That's one of the ways the standard is
written and that standard is what it should be judged by.

It isn't as if the option to register it as a TB isn't available.

>I'm glad I'm not a judge!  Plants and animals have genetic codes built into
>them.  Their potential for expressing those codes are affected by outside
>factors, in this case growing conditions.  It sounds as if both BATIK and
>CITY LIGHTS got conditions that allowed them to express something toward
>their full potential.  That it put them beyond standard indicates the usual
>conditions they grow under don't allow them to reach that potential.  To
>mark them down in a show seems odd to me.  They actually are being
>downgraded for doing their best, and rewarded when growing conditions put
>limits on what they can do naturally.  Show cattle come to mind.  Pampered
>and fed to reach as close to the full potential of their inherent
>capabilities, they look much different after being turned into range
>Still fine, but very much different.  Only in these cases it sounds like it
>might be working in reverse.  Any seedling I grow under my conditions is
>likely to ever have an accurate evaluation of what it might do in other
>places.  TBs so seldom reach registered heights, those that do are special
>and usually only do it occasionally.  If they just stretch toward the reg
>height consistantly, I think they're doing well.
>Donald Eaves
>Texas Zone 7b, USA

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