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The Impact of Cold Climate Rebloomers

In a message dated 96-11-26 20:37:58 EST, you write:

<< That goes for everyone else......as you can tell, I love to "Push" 
 medians.  I personally think they are the future and salvation of the 
 bearded iris.  TB's are history if trends continue.
 I would assert that the salvation of the tall bearded iris is the cold
climate rebloomer.  The work with cold climate rebloomers that Lloyd
Zurbrigg, G. Percy Brown, Raymond Smith, Earl Hall, Frank Jones and others
did over the past 40 years was done for the love of irises.  These iris
breeders received almost no recognition until recent times, and in fact, were
often the but of jokes by some famous, well known hybridizers.  (Ben Hager
has also been in the forefront of breeding and promoting cold climate
rebloomers, but his work in this area was never the source of his many

In saying that cold climate rebloomers are the salvation of the tall bearded
irises, I do not mean that this is just because they rebloom.  Rather, it is
because of their genetic make-up which is heavy in its origins on I. trojana
and AMAS rather than the tender Ii. mesopotamica and cypriana.  Cold weather
rebloomers are hardy! 

A major shift in attitudes toward cold weather rebloomers occurred with Lloyd
Zurbrigg's introductions of BABY BLESSED and IMMORTALITY and with the work of
Monte Byers, under the tutelage of Ben Hager and Lloyd Zurbrigg.  Now, even
those West Coast hybridizers  who used to have nothing but disdain for cold
climate rebloomers are using them in their breeding programs.  And the
results of their breeding programs are going to be much more likely to grow
and thrive in the north and east than in the past.  Clarence Mahan in VA

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