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CULT: deepening pink


I am no expert at iris pigmentation, but when reading the section on Tangerine Pink iris pigment in The World of Irises p.409, I got a general understanding that I thought I would share.

Pink iris pigment is called lycopene.  It is a carotenoid pigment, just like yellow iris pigment is.  Basically, the pink irises are (in essence) a yellow iris.  The pigment however is slightly different.

From what I gathered, the yellow pigment is dominant to the pink.  In other words, pink X yellow = yellow.  (This is a very general basic understanding - there are a lot of other factors involved).

Reddish irises also possess a lot of carotene pigment.  I look at them as an iris that has a greater concentration of carotene and possibly some other pigments blended in to give it a ruddy hue. 

Without studying genetics or iris pigments, I think it is possible to get a darker pink by crossing a pink to a reddish iris.  However, I believe since there is a lot of carotene in a reddish iris, and the carotene is often dominant to lycopene in the pink iris, I feel the majority of seedlings from a red X pink iris will be some shade of yellow.  Pink irises will be a very low percentage of the offspring if there are any at all.  

Therefore, it would be worth crossing the red and pink irises as much as possible with each other to obtain as many seeds as possible.  Perhaps (and I am guessing here) a good number of seedlings would have to be more than 100 to see if that cross will produce any pink irises.  Now, to get a GOOD pink irises for introduction, that would be something altogether different.  






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