Sunday, June 3, 2012

What's Happening in Luminata and Plicata Irises?

First, I want to confess my ignorance in the various new classes that are developing in plicata breeding. Sure I know what a plicata iris pattern is and I am fairly sure I know what a luminata is. After that, it begins to get fuzzy. I am getting old and you young guys and gals need to cut me some slack. You will be here some day too.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I decided that plicatas were very overlooked and I wanted to start some new crosses along those lines. I set aside a couple of special guest beds and acquired a lot of named plicatas. Some of these were from the 80s and 90s and I didn't know of the exact patterns that were represented in these varieties in the 2000s. I started my crosses and I was quite pleased with my early results. There was a new line developing as these crosses were made. Luminatas started showing up regularly. I got interested in these and started making luminata crosses. I soon learned that some parents were good for adding form to the luminata crosses, even if they were regular plicatas.

I have had what I think is very good success with my plicata crosses, and I see some very good new seedlings on the horizon that I think will be quite different than what is out there. I wanted to share two these luminata seedlings with you and see what you think. Both crosses involve a luminata on one side and regular plicata on the other side. If they aren't luminatas, just let me know and I will be happy to call a spade a spade. At any rate, things are happening in plicatas. Watch for the next wave of new things.

Thank you for listening.

Jim Hedgecock

Comanche Acres Iris Gardens


  1. Jim,

    The blue is absolutely stunning!!! I love how it's edged in darker blue! This would be one I would love to add in my iris beds! Of course I have to admit, I have a soft spot for the blues!

    Dlae Ann ~

  2. Unique and beautiful irises. Each of these must have stopped you in your tracks!

  3. luminata blue is prettier. which does not mean that maroon is not pretty. What do you think gyby white lines were clearer and fading at the edges of the lower lobes? i.m!

  4. Did either of these perform well enough to consider introduction? They're gorgeous, especially the blue.

    I'm not a breeder, so take this with a massive grain of salt, but I've noticed that luminata-plicata breeding often turns up iris like these. Specifically, ordinary plicata markings (dark anthocyanin colors on pale ground) in the inner falls/hafts that turn into pale lines on a darker ground in the central and outer falls. I've seen these called "luminata-plicata" iris.


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