Re: HYB: breeding historic type iris
I don't grow many diploids or germanica 44 chromosome type irises here,
but a couple of comments about them.
The pallida group has wonderfully healthy foliage here usually, but
unlike the variegata group, they tend to bloom very early here. Their
bloom is particularly sensitive to late winter/early spring damage here,
where temperature swings can sometimes be extreme. The timing of bloom
seems to vary among locations/climate/soil - some folks have said their
pallidas bloom late. When they do bloom well here, they are usually
The variegata group blooms towards the end of tall bearded bloom
season. I've never seen bloom affected by late freezes, but it doesn't
appreciate the heat and drought in the gravel soil here. They are
usually very short here.
Variegata, pallida, and germanica are highly tolerant of a lot of
rainfall and accidental mulch. I have them growing around the house
where they runoff get from my roof (no gutters) and tree leaves that are
blown in or fall on the roof and wash down onto them.
I have several of the pallida x variegata types that Dave mentions -
most of them bloom late enough to avoid freezing out, and early enough
to keep from being totally fried by heat and drought. They do seem to
resent the drought - don't seem to have the root system to handle
growing out in the gravel when it's hot and dry. Most are short. The
exception being the very tall, very late stripy unknown that Neil and I
see everywhere in our neighborhoods.
Neil, did you send a start of that one to Dave? Maybe he can figure out
what it is if it will live for him.
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
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