"I brought up the site, and can't see anything that
even slightly resembles horns."--Jim [Ennenga] in Knoxville
Jim, "BS" and "BSE" are carefully defined terms
developed within the Space Age Robin for use in the genetics project about which
there is to be an article in the upcoming April *Bulletin.*
Neither BS nor BSE describe horns as such.
They do describe, however, a vertical thickening of the fall's midline from which the beard arises in the case of the "Beard
Spine" (BS), and an extension of that structure onward into the fall in the case
of "Beard Spine Extension."
It is this latter phenomenon to which Bill Burleson
refers. The Beard Spine often can be seen, and if not seen, can be
felt. There is a definite ridge present. The Beard Spine Extension,
however, can easily be seen, even in photographs, and is present in a
number of TB varieties.
An extreme example of a BSE is that structure at
the end of the beard on the ancestral variety to Austin's horned
irises, ADVANCE GUARD. On the HIPS site, Advance Guard's photo has an
inset accessed by a click of the mouse with a close-up of the structure at the
end of the variety's beard. Mike Lowe's photo shows the triangular
structure at the end of the beard, apparently a result of fused tissue from
beard hairs, beard spine tissues and perhaps even possibly some tissues normal
to the fall surface. The URL for the site is http://www.worldiris.com/public_html/Frame_pages/QFix.html then
follow the alphabetical listing down to Advance Guard.
It has been observed by Sharon McAllister and
others that the varieties demonstrating BS and BSE structures are more
productive of SA progenies when crossed with them than the ordinary run of
bearded irises. Sharon worked quite intensively with SpaceAge irises at
one time, although now her energies are directed toward the aril species
She is not alone in noting the propensity of such
irises in the breeding of the SA type.
Bill Burleson's use of the terms "proto-horn or
beard spine extension" preceeds the first publication later this month of
the latter term, developed for the very reason that "proto-horn," a previously
used term to describe this phenomenon, often misleads. Bill's comment
applies, but the older term gives rise to misunderstanding.
Neil Mogensen z 7 Reg 4, western
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