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HYB: Progress

From: John I Jones <jijones@ix.netcom.com>

Hi All.

The following was forwarded to me from (I think) a Hem list. I thought
it would be a good subject for our list and will forward responses to
the original author.

Your thoughts?

> Amen to this on TB irises -- I was quite active ( a judge and chmn of
> Western NY Iris Soc) in the 50's, and did quite a lot of breeding TB's
> and the SDB's (standard dwarfs).  I have been astonished, in recent
> years, to try growing some newer TB intros and find that the difference,
> if any, between these and what were commonly grown in the 50's is ( to
> me) practically indistinguishable, and the new cvs seem tougher for me
> to grow well. I defy anyone to point out important improvements in, for
> instance, tangerine beaded pink TB's since Dave Hall's early ('60'S) MAY
> HALL compared to the newest of that color. Talk about breeding on a
> plateau! Not just 10 years, but 30!
> But the seeds of this problem were sown back then when practically
> everybody employed SNOW FLURRY (Rees '39: PURISSIMA X THAIS), a lovely,
> heavily ruffled white TB, in their breeding. Seedlings from crosses like
> SNOW FLURRY X CHIVALRY (bright blue) produced as many marvelous, ruffled
> beauties as you'd care to see. SF X almost anything gave great stuff (it
> is pollen-less).  But SF was tender and rot prone, and the seedlings
> were notorious for that, too.  You had to select out the tender rotters,
> and many folks opted for the novel ruffling instead.
> So, as with Steve, I no longer even try to grow the TB's except
> for a few accent plants. The smaller IB's, SDB's and MDB's are better
> actors ( and have been less intensively bred, it is interesting to
> observe).
> And I can't but think we're heading down the same path with our hems --
> perhaps haven't reached the "plateau" as far as novelty edges, ruffles
> and flourishes, but the upswing of problems relating to culture should
> be sounding the alarm!

John                     | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.

USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay) 
Fremont, California, USA 
Visit my website at:

President, Westbay Iris Society
Director, Region 14 of the AIS
AIS Special Committee for Electronic Member Services

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