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Iris season has now begun in my frigid back yard (the front yard
has had iris bloom for several weeks already). I've been acquiring
MDBs of pure Iris pumila background for my breeding program. Yesterday
BEE EARLY opened (yellow with delicate brown spot), today it was BUZZ
BEE (similar, but with the spot much more intense). My arils haven't
started yet, so I guess I'll cross the pumilas with each other to kill
some time. Several others are in bud now.

There was an even earlier one that tried to bloom last week--but we
had a sudden snowfall and frost that froze the almost-open bud. It's
a seedling sent to me by Francesca Thoolen: Topa x Piroschka. Like its
pollen parent, HUGE for a pumila.

If you haven't tried them, pumilas are the tiniest of the bearded irises,
typically only about 3 inches tall. They bloom very early and show a
great variety of colors, patterns, and forms. Apparently they are
not easy to grow in the warmest parts of the country, but they seem
happy here in my zone 6a mountain garden.

Happy irising, Tom.


Tom Tadfor Little         tlittle@lanl.gov  -or-  telp@Rt66.com
technical writer/editor   Los Alamos National Laboratory
Telperion Productions     http://www.rt66.com/~telp/

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