Linda, the form problem in PINK FORMAL and its
lineage is of another sort. I'll try to describe it more carefully
First, I would like to say that for the cross, I
think you have something worth working with. That is a pretty decent
flower, and it carries a lot of genetic potential hidden within.
Most of our "improvements" from the time of Pink
Formal's heyday are stubborn recessives one could spend several generations
attempting to regain, but they are present in this seedling, and you might
strike it hot and get a major jump forward in one or two
As an example of the sort of progress I mean, take
a look at PROGENITOR's photo on the HIPS "Quick Fix" and compare it to WHOLE
CLOTH in the same list. Paul Cook took a first rate set of blues and
generation by generation not only recovered but exceeded the standard of quality
of the time. That was remarkable progress considering he began
with an outcross to an iris far more primitive than the one you
The pedigree of WHOLE CLOTH linked to the photo
there is worth studying.
Your idea of reaching back to powerful historics
like PINK FORMAL is a good one. Just don't expect modern-looking results
right at first.
I am thinking seriously of using BLUE RHYTHM in a
similar manner. Not only is it a survivor, it can have awesome branching
and budcount when well grown. That's an array of qualities I'd liike
to incorporate into my seedlings.
Now--to the form problem. Under some
conditons, but not all, Pink Formal, Party Dress, even June Meridith had a
tendency for the standards to rumple and recurve inward, giving an unbalanced
look to the flower.
Beginning with an example from the line--PINK
ENCHANTMENT--I outcrossed to pinks from other lines, including Lapham and Fay
lines in three successive generations--before I began to escape the issue in the
majority from a cross.
Other issues cropped up, and my last registration
in those days, PORCELAIN ROSE, was a mistake. The year it got away from
home it was awful. Keith Keppel, to whom I had sent it (in Stockton) wrote
me back and said, quite politely, "the blooms were a little small for the
When I saw it at Eden Road that year, I asked
Gordon Plough to pitch it. I was red in the face. Tell never said a
word, but he really didn't get a chance. He died. (No obvious
relationship between my gaffe and his demise need be assumed,
Neil Mogensen z 7 western NC
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