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Re: rot parade

Someone asked why the old bearded irises don't get rot in the areas with wet
climates.  Many of the irises in "grandma's garden", and in the gardens of
those of us who love antique cultivars, and most miniature tall bearded
irises, even newer ones,  are diploids. These irises have none of the genes
of the tender mediteranian species, esp. I. mesapotamica and I. cypriana in
their make-up. (I. germanica and I. florentina are hybrids but lack the
tender genes also).  These irises can, once in a great while get rot, but is
almost never fatal.  They increase rapidly and coming from areas with cold,
wet climates, tolerate the rain of Britain, the hot humid coast of Virginia,
and the wet, cold of the northern U.S.    

Almost all modern tall bearded irises have some I. mesapotamica and/or
I.cypriana genes, but many have a background that is heavier on two other
tetraploid cultivars, namely I. trojana and "AMAS."  These two historic
tetraploid "stud" irises are much more cold, wet climate tolerant.  Clarence
Mahan in VA

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