Discussions and Q and A about hybridizing irises forum: Hybridizing bearded iris

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Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:00 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
This is going to be in sections so the picture will go with what I have just written

As hybridizer’s we are often asked how to do it…Really it is not hard! It is however addictive. You decide I want to try it. Do not be afraid, as the best way is think you might have an outstanding iris not only worthy of introduction but also along the way win awards.

There are several ways hybridizer's decide what to cross in their gardens or when visiting another grower or hybridizer. Here are several ways that I know. First, many well known study the genetics of the ones they think they might use for a particular pattern, coloration etc that they are looking to either improve, change, or increase etc.
Second way is random. Most hybridizer’s today do not use many or any of the older iris because of what is in favor now. Such as taking a historic (any iris introduced more than 30 ago) and putting it to one that is highly ruffled and many patterns to it. You usually will get an older form with some lace, but the falls usually not always will be narrower than today’s iris.

OK, let’s get into the meat of hybridizing

First you want to really know what the parts of the iris are and where they are located and what they really look like.

Now I have gotten permission to use Dan Holt’s pictures on this subject here, as I think he has some of the best pictures on the internet to help us understand.

The Anther is located inside and behind the stigma lips on/in the style arms. This holds the Pollen, see it right below Dan’s thumb.

Thumbnail by irisloverdee

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:04 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
The Stigma is located behind the Anther in the
Style Arms; this is the place the pollen from the anther will be placed. Note that the stigma looks moist and sticky.

Thumbnail by irisloverdee

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:07 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Apply the pollen to the stigma; I prefer to put the pollen on all three stigmas
Lips. Usually I do this first thing in the AM with no mist or rain, and no humidity. Now I know many people who must do this in the evening because of their (paying) jobs.

At this point I remove all the standards and falls so that there is not a landing strip for the bees

Well you have done the cross, now what?
LABEL the cross directly below the flower.
POD parent is always listed first and then the POLLEN parent.

What can you use as a label, you can buy
the hanging paper ones, make your own
by cutting up yogurt, cottage cheese,
cool whip etc and punch a hole in the end
and put a string on it, or like me, you can
buy what is called a rose label, it snaps on.
You can use almost anything as long as
it holds writing and stays put. I label with
paint pens.

Thumbnail by irisloverdee

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:09 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Here is bunch of seed pods approximately
12 to 16 days old, remove the Spaths
(papery tan around the ovary) this is done
to keep water from accumulating and
causing rot.

Thumbnail by irisloverdee

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:10 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Here is a sample of the pod a little past prime
to harvest

Thumbnail by irisloverdee

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:35 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
After harvesting the pod, MAKE sure you keep the label with the pod. I store my pods until the finish opening in wide mouthed yogurt cups but anything
you want as long as they are separate.
Now here is a sampling of dried seeds ready
to store until planting time. I plant in October
but you can wait until January

Thumbnail by irisloverdee

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 3:38 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
I hope this helps to SEE what we do. Now
many questions will be asked about which
ones you keep. That is a completely
different story in deed.

If you are looking for an outstanding iris
you want the proper branching for the
class, proper bud count, is the foliage
upright, does the flower stand above
the foliage, and is the flower in proportion
to the foliage and stalk. This is just a
few questions on the plant then you
want something different other than
for example such as a white, what is
different? Oh maybe a black beard,
that is differently different.

Now if I have just opened a can of worms,
email me with questions as this is not
what I normally do, I am the one in the
field doing the too many crosses, hoping
and praying at least 50% will set pod,
then hoping the seeds will develop, and
then once planted, they germinate well.

I like to count my seeds to see the rate of germinations after planting.

These photos are a member of Dave
Gardens with permission. So please
thank Dan Holt aka zacattack.

Here is the entire pictorial page that Dan
Holt did.

http://leticia.smugmug.com/gallery/1222403_uHtX8#57316497_jM...

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisarian
Feb 11, 2010 6:41 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
Knowing the physical part is one thing. always set goals: one goal to see what happens. I would find figuring out TB iris a head ache. One see what will happen, I have a lovely TB 'My Stitches' (Innerest.)

I want an interesting plicata IB--what plicata SDB to use. 'Chubby Cheeks' is out, as I suspect I will get a plant & flower with good form, but looking like many other plic IBs. So should I try with a luminata SDB parent? That might be good as many lumi TB which could be used as a parent do not grow well here. There are a couple red on yellow SDB plics which might do. Or there is something like '
Greased Lightening which is a strange plic color, sort of a lumi type with a yellow border. J. thinks it ugly. I will have to walk around the garden, collect pollen & think. then hope that 'My Stitches' blooms this yr. I always collect more pollen than I use. Better than the other way around.
Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 6:52 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Always fun and taxing all at once irisarian

I try to start all my crosses with the hybridizers
I admire the most and have gotten awards.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageirisarian
Feb 11, 2010 6:53 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
The Innerest TBs all seem to do well here, but as you know pay more attention to medians.
Imageirisloverdee
Feb 11, 2010 8:06 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
I have about equal in TB and medians.
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

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