Monday, April 4, 2016

The Joy of Maiden Blooms

                                                         By Joe Musacchia

     One of the most exciting times for a hybridizer is spring bloom in the seedling beds. You go through the winter with great anticipation of the upcoming spring to see what your work has produced. Over time you learn that only one in a hundred may be a really special iris, but as the stalks start forming, there is always hope that maybe this year there will be more good than bad.  Finally the morning comes when first color shows. You start watching the weather reports. Is there a late freeze? Any storms coming with hail? All is good, and they have started. What excitement! Then the evaluating starts: how many bud positions, how strong is the stalk, is the color fading, is it different than mama?  Maybe we will keep this one another year. But then, HEY! Look at you! Aren't you something. This is what it's all about: the emotional ups and  downs going through the seedlings one by one, looking for that winner. 

    These are pictures of my 2016 maiden blooms. Much evaluation remains to be done, but I thought you might like to see what I saw when they first opened. 

    'Hush Money' has produced some real nice kids:

12-46-1 stalk
12-46-1 'Ginny's Choice' X 'Hush Money'

12-46-2 'Ginny's Choice' X 'Hush Money'

'Hush Money' X  'Tchoupatulous'

I have been trying to make a cross with 'South Yara Darling' for several years, and finally it happened:

13-05-01 'South Yara Darling' X  'Pointe Aux Chenes'



 This is a seedling that was lost and found last year, and this is its first time blooming in my garden.

08-03-01  'Charlotte's Tutu' X 'Honey Galore'

 'In The Navy' X 'Our Sassy'

   Another difficult cross was with 'In The Navy'. Here is a first look at 'In The Navy' X 'Our Sassy'.


'Simply Irresistible' X 'Pink Poetry'

'Queen Jeanne' X ' Mardi Gras Mambo'

This one was a real surprise. At first glance I thought Court Jester. But that name is taken.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my maiden blooms. Hopefully in the future you will see one or two introduced with their new names. Here is wishing everyone a wonderful bloom season.


  1. Thank you! What beautiful pictures of your maiden blooms--hope to see them introduced--they're lovely.

  2. Joe, it was fun seeing your seedlings. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Gosh I live in Illinois and I wasn't expecting a frost my iris buds are 4-5 inches tall already I quickly ran out with my favorite T shirts and my sons tossing them to and fro for the love of flowers


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