" I wonder if anyone could confirm an instance of identical siblings
: in irises. Sibs are often so similar that they cannot easily be
: told apart; this would make it tough to spot true identicals. Was it
: Mike Lowe who wrote about using veining patterns to identify irises?
: Perhaps the same could be used to identify twins.
Yes, my first set of surviving "identical twins" bloomed this year. Twins are
the most common, and the most likely to have at least one survivor, but last
year, I had one set of septuplets (no survivors) and one of quadruplets (one
survivor). By this I mean from the same seed, not just the same pod, as I
consider "podlings" the genetic equivalent of fraternal twins.
BTW, I do not expect to see a greater similarity among "podlings" than siblings
from different pods. When this does happen, I consider it a red flag and go
back to double-check the records. This has happened twice in 20 years, and in
each case could be traced back to the importation of a replacement clone that
proved to be mislabeled.
But back to Tom's identical sibs. These would probably have gone unnoticed if I
relied on in-ground planting, but they're hard to miss with all the seed
handling that forced germination procedures entail. Sometimes a single seed
will produce several tiny germination points rather than one vigorous one, but
few of them survive. A few years ago, I started experimenting with these,
strictly as a matter of curiousity. I've potted each of these clusters
separately, growing it until the babies are large enough to divide, then
treating the survivors as I would any singleton but tracking their development.
The afore-mentioned twins were planted side-by-side so it would be easy to
compare them. They bloomed at the same time and I was not able to detect any
difference in color, form, pattern, substance, etc.
Interesting -- but, like Tom, I see no practical application. Genetically,
these are simply pieces of the same clone. They are weaker, compared to
singletons, so are poor candidates for introduction.
Sharon McAllister (email@example.com)
Southern New Mexico, where bloom is long gond and pod harvest is almost over