New member with question about variegated Iris cristata

Kelly Irvin
Mon, 09 Apr 2007 07:39:38 PDT
Hi, Karen, and welcome to the list. I thought I would just make a few 
comments as long as you understand I'm not all that knowledgeable in the 
area of mutation whether localized or on a cellular level. My purpose 
here would be more to relate to you an experience I had last season with 
one of my Hemerocallis clumps.

Last season, one of my daylily fans was pushing up variegated leaves, 
yellow and green. It was not a completely uniform variegation across the 
leaf, but it existed from tip to base and on more than one leaf. I 
decided to separate it from the clump and potted it. I included some 
slow release fertilizer and nurtured it through the season. Well, by the 
end of the season, the same fan was putting up new, totally green, 
totally normal, leaves.

I have drawn a conclusion, however incorrect it may be, that the 
variegation could have somehow been a reflection based on mechanical 
damage, nutritional issues, or, worse, virus.

I would guess, with Iris, you could easily isolate the clump that is 
producing the variegation. From that, you could gain a greater 
confidence in its stability, because it will be in a different location, 
maybe it will get fresh nutritional requirements, and most importantly, 
it will be easier for you to study the new growth from different growing 
points that originate from that same area of tissue.

Mr. Kelly M. Irvin
10850 Hodge Ln
Gravette, AR 72736
USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6a/b

Karen E Welty-wolf wrote:
> Hello, I'm new to posting here, although I've been reading the archives for
> reference off and on for a while. I live in Durham, zone 7a in the Piedmont
> area of North Carolina, where gardening involves lots of red clay. My
> gardening interests are pretty varied, but I've had some small successes
> with bulbs in the past year that have me wanting the learn more. Now I've
> got a question about Iris cristata that I'm hoping someone can help me
> with. The new growth on my I. cristata 'Alba' this year includes a small
> patch with variegated foliage. It looks somewhat similar to the variegation
> on Iris tectorum 'Variegata'. There are several new rhizomes that have the
> variegation, all tracing back to a single point on the main plant. What's
> the biology behind this, and is it likely to be a stable pattern? I've
> never heard of a variegated form of I. cristata although I've searched the
> internet and the archives here. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen
> something really cool develop in my own back yard, but my daughter is
> starting to wonder about my gardening methods.   Thanks, Karen W
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