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Re: Re: CULT: Pod setting

  • Subject: Re: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] Re: CULT: Pod setting
  • From: "Neil A Mogensen" neilm@charter.net
  • Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 11:00:01 -0400

Bill, your comment, "My suspicion is that the rich mixture in modern tall
bearded iris ancestry cause many pollens, perhaps including some totally
alien, to trigger seed capsule (pod if you prefer) growth even when all the
essentials for production of viable seeds are not present...." is probably
quite accurate.  I'm not sure what pollen vectors/carriers were active late
in the bloom season, but we did have some weather that allowed crosses to be
made for a few days without rain.  I think that is when the "bee" pods

The hormones are triggered by pollen growth, I believe.  The capacity to
produce them is in the genome, of course.  It takes a triggering event to
initiate their synthesis, and you may have pointed to a significant
issue--the complex hybrid nature of our garden varieties.

I'm surprised that so many of them are as fertile as they are, but I've also
noted that certain crosses produce a whale of a lot fuller, fatter pods than
others, even when multiple pollenizations are made.  I hit a jackpot when I
crossed POWER WOMAN (Swingtown x Romantic Evening) both ways with
HAPPENSTANCE, VIENNA WALTZ and FOGBOUND. All six crosses had very high seed
counts--89 was the highest, I think, but none of them were small pods.  That
Happenstance and Vienna Waltz would give similar results was no surprise, as
they are sibs from a fairly closely inbred set of ancestors, but Fogbound
has a strongly different input from the blues and more.

I'm still sorting through the progeny from these crosses, gradually
eliminating one, then another, waffling about saving one or two others, etc.
There've been a remarkable variety of good things in these crosses and I am
glad I wasn't rushed to sort through them like the growers of tens of
thousands of seedlings have to just to stay afloat.

I grow by tens of hundreds, not thousands, and can be very picky about
crosses--plenty of time to select parents, being mindful of ancestries (not
that the major breeders are not) and relationships.  I do get some rather
remarkably good things from a relatively small number of crosses compared to
what I did in my younger years where I was growing by a few thousands per
year and getting nowhere because I didn't recognize what I had--I ran after
will-o-the-wisps and left the competent, very high potential things sit
there unused.  They just weren't "interesting" enough.

I look back and remember a row of seven seedlings from some really good blue
seedling crossed with Arabi Pasha.  They were all so much alike I couldn't
choose among them. They were all 40" well-branched deep blues of decent
form, good substance, color-fast in murderously hot sun--.

It never occured to me to just pick one, any one--the best branched or
highest bud count, or maybe the one with an eighth of an inch wider haft or
SOME thing and go ahead with it.  They were beautiful--and I never did a
darned thing with them.  I grieve at my failure to recognize what I had.

I had a twenty some year break to think about what I had done right, what I
had done wrong.  I'm glad I did!  When I came back into irises in the late
'90's I had two definite objectives in mind, one major, the other on the
back burner, but rolling along jig time now.  And I'm making progress, but
"keep it simple" is darned hard to do!

That was my biggest mistake--I tried out everything--instead of picking one
or two objectives and working them intensively like I'm trying to do now.
The old "wanna try it all" is still there...I work at stomping it down every
day.  I'm a sucker for a purty picture or a fabulous pedigree......

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Reg 4  western NC mountains

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