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SPECIES-X and AIS: group classifications

  • Subject: [iris-photos] SPECIES-X and AIS: group classifications
  • From: "David Ferguson" <manzano57@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 00:43:47 -0600
  • Seal-send-time: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 00:43:47 -0600

Hi all,
I would have to agree that combining all but TB's into a "median" class would be a shame, silly, and and a whole bunch of other negative sentiments come to mind.  I would agree with Robert that more classes make more sense than basically none.
It is true that some of the classes tend to be a bit ill-defined or unnatural, and some of them run together.  Even so, I think further refinement is the answer, not lumping together.  The sometimes unclear definition of the classes has a lot to do with breeding between classes.  Heck, most IB's are the result of breeding TB's with dwarves, and sometimes there is further backcrossing.  Sometimes plants from one pod can fit more than one class.  So it is that MDB, SDB, IB, and even BB and TB tend to be a bit blurry at the edges.  Even so they are very useful and somewhat natural classifications. 
On the argument for more classes I would have to say that it is inevitable that more classes should be made.  New and inventive breeding programs (and accidents too) create new types of Iris.  At first these are represented by a few novelties, but before long, especially if they become popular, the numbers of cultivars grow, and they need their own home.  The interaction between the traditional bearded Iris with the Aril species, the Regalia species, the Psammiris, and even with other previously little used bearded species is one big way where new classes are developing, and these should be recognized.  Another good example is the tetraploid MTB group (sort of the same thing, but largely past the species X stage now).  To me they are very different from the diploid MTB's and they should be recognized on their own merits.  They have completely or at least almost completely different ancestry, and they behave and look different.  One more class, that I think should have been set up a long time ago is a class for the various diploids that are larger than MTB's.  I don't see a way to split them more, and they form a natural, interesting, and nice group.  Now they are variously scattered between IB, TB, and sometimes BB.  This scattering through the classes obscures their similarities to one another, and their distinctness from more modern tetraploid BB's and TB's.  They are very different from the earlier blooming amphipolyploid IB's as well.  The line between these taller diploids and the traditional diploid MTB's is a bit fuzzy too.  However, I would still maintain the distinctness, simply because the larger ones mostly don't have the delicate petite qualities of the MTB's.
The lines will always be a bit blurry between classes, since people can't resist crossing the lines when they are breeding.  Even for the TB's it is fuzzy (where does TB end and BB start; not so clear-cut sometimes).  That doesn't mean the classes should be lumped together though.

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