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Re: CULT: Special care

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] CULT: Special care
  • From: Bill Shear <wshear@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 13:56:44 -0400

On 9/5/01 12:45 PM, "Mike Sutton" <suttons@lightspeed.net> wrote:

> I know this subject has been hit on before but I would like to toss in my
> two cents worth.  It is extremely hard to consistently hybridize plants that
> are prone to rot or are weak growers.  They just don't survive and so are
> not around to work on.  --and so on.

Right on, Mike.  It's deja vu all over again.  This subject was treated
exhaustively just before I left the list temporarily in the late spring, and
Mike's thoughts summarize that discussion pretty well.

Just like bacteria and antibiotics, insects and insecticides, the iris world
is the product of (not-so-)Natural Selection.  The weak fall by the wayside,
and the strong survive.  A relatively weak variety will stay around only as
long as people are willing to coddle it, and no longer.  Then it will be
replaced by something prettier or more vigorous.

But the environment, which includes the gardener, is the measure of all
things.  Our archives are full of complaints about 'Variety X' which cannot
survive in East Podunk, but is taking over vacant lots in West Widget.
Those few (very few) that are gangbusters everywhere will be the mainstays
of gardens in the future and will continue to top the Popularity Poll year
after year.  That's why the PP is a much better guide to selecting varieties
than the Dykes Medal.  The DM gets awarded too fast for a full evaluation of
a variety's vigor and adaptability to take place.  But if something stays on
the PP for 25 years, it must be doing something right.

Bill S. 

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