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Re: HYB: stratification

The most extensive study of iris seed germination using "garden irises"
was reported by Randolph and Cox in the Proceedings of the American
Society for Horticultural Science (V43, p 284-300, 1943):
"Low temperature storage for periods shorter than 2 weeks had no
appreciable effect on the final germination percentage but storage at -2
degrees C, 4 degrees C for periods of 4 to 12 weeks did have a
beneficial effect which was apparently independent of the temperature
within the range. Wet storage combined with low temperatures increased
the rate of germination as compared with dry storage, but the final
percentage germination was the same."
If you're really interested in seed germination, you should read "Seed
Dormancy and Germination" by JW Bradbeer. It's out of print, but you
should be able to get it through interlibrary loan. It's a concise
little book (146 pages), but it is crammed full of information, NOT
about irises specifically, but about seeds in general. By the time you
finish it, you will question most of the conventional wisdom you have
heard about iris seed germination.
Another article of interest is "Germination Preventing Mechanisms in
Iris Seeds" from the Annals of Botany (V58, p 551-561, 1986).

It would be a lot simpler for you if I were to give you a condensed
version of these works, but I would really like for someone else to read
these works, then we could discuss the conclusions, their validity and
their impact on iris breeding and culture. 

R. Dennis Hager, who is "in too deep"
on Delmarva

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