Monday, June 9, 2014

Dominance and Patterns in a Reblooming Iris Cross

By Betty Wilkerson

Most of you know that I’m not an expert on iris genes. I’m going to take you down my garden path so you can see some of my seedlings. The plicata pattern has never been my favorite. I didn’t have a lot of options in the beginning, or when the irises, and I, moved to Allen County during the fall of 2003. 

In the spring of 2004, a couple of the brightest blooms were ‘Radiant Bliss’ and ‘Summer Radiance.’  This was not a cross I’d planned, but it did make sense.  ‘Radiant Bliss’ is a tall, well branched rebloomer and tall, well branched iris make the best pod parents.  It's a fall cycle rebloomer.   ‘Summer Radiance’ had refused to set pods and was being used as a pollen parent.  'Summer Radiance' is without plicata in its geneology and it reblooms in July and then in the fall.  

Genetically speaking, solid color selfs are dominant over plicata.  What does this mean to people that have never made a cross?  When using a self, in this case 'Summer Radiance,' that has no plicata in the parentage, none of the children will be plicata.  The children will be a mixture of variegatas, bitones, bi-colors, and blends, with possible overlay or apron patterns.  Many will have lots of haft lines & murky colors.  

'Radiant Bliss' (Wilkerson 2005)
Pod Parent

'Summer Radiance' (Wilkerson 1996)
Pollen Parent
In a cross like this, many seedlings will be some version of a solid color.  Some will have haft lines, like the ones in these pictures.  Some colors will be clear, while others are murky.


More exciting, for me, would be the variegatas.  I had hopes one of these would rebloom, but no such luck.

There were several red seedlings.  One (not this one) did try to rebloom, but really late.  I saw it as winter bloom. Haft lines were bad on the red ones.


'Summer Honey' (Wilkerson 2013)

In the end, 'Summer Honey' (#1814-02re) was the star of the crop.  She fall bloomed for several years.  During the summer of 2011, after a lineout planting the year before, 'Summer Honey' bloomed each day from spring bloom until the first fall freeze!  It was a good sized planting, but still nice to have bloom all summer.  Could a good sized planting be the solution to continuous bloom?  

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