In response to both Betty and Sandra, I might
There have been a number of times I've seen rather
dramatic change in an iris from first bloom to later appearance, and have given
some thought to why the change, mostly for the worst.
New seedlings <may> be free of some of the
various viruses that inevitably become part of our plants, such as the tobacco
mosaic virus for example.
Before infection with the viruses, the plant's
energy, its chemistry and even its genome is one thing, and after,
another. It won't look the same. This was the reason Orville Fay,
many years ago, took his own Hall-ancestry pinks and bred one back to *Iris
pallida* ( he used a named clone ) to claim the apparent virus resistence many
clones of the species have. Then he bred this back into his
His project got reinforced when he bred his pinks
to Snow Flurry (one generation away from a "Pallida Pink"--THAIS), New Snow (a
child of Snow Flurry x Katherine Fay), and inbred seedlings through sib and
inter-seedling crosses. From this he selected LIPSTICK, a "red"
bearded white retaining a lot of the qualities the Snow Flurry family
contribute. Several generations of this sort and the *pallida*-bred
seedlings produced more and better versions of these and eventually
RIPPLING WATERS, a phenomenal and very widely used parent--and a winner of the
DM in 1966--resulted. If you look at the pedigree family tree linked from
the HIPS DM list photo of it and scan down the right hand columns--especially
the next to the last one you will find Snow Flurry or New Snow more than once,
and *pallida* right near the top of the chart on the extreme right.
Fay's objective was virus resistance--which he
apparently did get--along with a lot of good qualities such as ruffling,
attractive foliage and a line of winners. Many, many of his irises are
involved in the ancestry of the good things we grow.
One other thing that can make a first year seedling
anomalous (what a good word!) is some of the internal chemistry the mama packed
into the endosperm of that seed. The first year baby still has some of
that circulating through its vessels, I would think. Whether this is true
or not, and whether if true, makes any difference I cannot prove. But it
could help contribute to those amazing shifts in quality both directions--to the
better or to the worse.
I had a seedling R 19-1 posted after its maiden
bloom in 2003 as a rather plain, but nicely colored, orchid-rose sort. It
didn't look like anything special:
R 19-1 in 2003--Maiden
Then this past season it looked like this after
lining out in better soil:
R 19-1: Power Woman X Fogbound in
Not only is the branching better, the
flower is astonishingly wider and fuller and the color shifted toward
amethyst. Definitely a "keeper," this
sure does illustrate the change from worse to better (the exception), but also
says something about the enhancement of quality by going to the *pallida*-rich
heritage of the blues and whites.
FOGBOUND is going to be recognized, I
suspect, as one of the great "Benchmark" breeders in the development of Tall
Beardeds. Its seedlings are phenomenal. I look forward to seeing
advanced generation babies from its heritage. In the meantime, what fun they are
Neil Mogensen z 7
western NC mountains
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