Iris danfordiae seed

Jim McKenney
Mon, 01 Mar 2004 06:11:03 PST
Diane, I really enjoyed both of those sites! And thanks, Diane and Jane for
giving some sources: it might be fun to repeat this cross in the future. 

The Iris danfordiae I had back then was nothing special: it probably came
from a local garden center. I doubt that the mass distribution commercial
stocks were wild collected. At the time, I was under the impression that
Iris danfordiae was represented in cultivation by only two or three clones
(this was perhaps thirty years ago). Whatever it was that I had, it was
typically prolific of bulblets.

I was not aware at that time that the common commercial Iris danfordiae was

Nor would I rule out the possibility that the Iris danfordiae I used then
was triploid. Although "sterile triploid" has become a cliche, in fact many
simple triploids will set abundant seed when pollinated by tetraploids.
Furthermore, another list member has pointed out to me that in
Hemerocallis, triploid pollen  is sometimes viable; for me it had been
axiomatic that triploid pollen was useless. 

So that raises the possibility that the Iris histrioides I had was
tetraploid. Of course, it also raises this question: what pollinated the
Iris histrioides, was it pollen of the probably triploid Iris danfordiae?
Or did the presence of triploid pollen trigger the development of
parthenocarpic (i.e. viable seed all of whose genetic content comes only
from the female parent) seed in Iris histrioides? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, zone 7, where fat little commercial Iris
danfordiae is just showing color.

At 08:10 PM 2/29/2004 -0800, you wrote:
>Maybe wild collected Iris danfordiae were sold many years ago, before 
>they found the large-flowered triploid that multiplies so fast by 
>bulbils - a nurseryman's dream.
>There is a picture of a diploid one here:
>…   They say 
>it is difficult to grow.
>I bought a diploid danfordiae from Alan McMurtrie of Ontario, Canada. 
>This article describes his search for it in Turkey. 
>		Diane Whitehead
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