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TB: summer deciduous foliage - aphylla?

From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>

I previously asked about iris cultivars that lose their green leaves in
summer, to which Walter Moores replied that he had never seen that
happen to a healthy iris (but he treats all his plants to real soil!). 
Others (sorry, I can't remember who) said they thought that was an I.
aphylla characteristic.  

This year seemed like a good heat/drought stress year to take some
notes, so here goes.  The new I. aphylla clones from Varner knew it was
gonna be bad where they were going, so were already losing their leaves
when they arrived.  The went bald completely - nothing green showing.  I
notice a few of them have a microscopic green nub starting after some
slightly cooler temps and 1/2" rain yestiddy.  WINDWALKER out in the
gravelly field is so dead looking I can't find it, but in the watered
rebloomer bed without rocks has started good growth and is completely
'normal' looking.  CRYSTAL GLITTERS, both in the rebloomer bed and in
the gravelly field, is still almost bald.  COLETTE THURILLET (gravelly
field) went bald earlier, but now has new growth.  SWERTII (from Walter
Moores in Mississippi), which I think is supposed to be an aphylla
clone, never lost its leaves, nor did the aphylla clone from Lowell
Baumunk in Colorado.  Both of these and the Varner clones are in the
gravelly field.  Other modern TBs with aphylla ancestry range from not
having much in the way of leaves to looking normal, though none are
bald.  Actually, I don't know that for sure - if they are totally bald
and labels stomped or missing, I might have overlooked them.

Conclusion?  Aphylla is variable in retaining leaves in summer
heat/drought stress and that variability is passed on to the children. 
This is a highly unreplicated (oxymoron?) comparison, but the trend
seems to be there.  Anybody else have ideas on this?

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA

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