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Irises: Starting iris seeds

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bluegrassmom
Lewisburg, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 2, 2011
6:00 AM

Post #8603525

I have never harvested iris seeds before,so I need a lot of input about the process. How long do they need to stay on the plant? Also do they need to be refrigerated or can I plant them right into a pot?
These are bee pods on a couple of my favs and I would like to try iris from seeds.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Teresa

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IndaShade
Kylertown, PA
(Zone 5b)

June 2, 2011
9:00 AM

Post #8603837

Teresa,

I don't know how everyone else does it, but I plant all the seeds that I have from a particular cross in a five or six inch azalea pot in the fall and let them sit outside on my walkway so they can do the "freeze/thaw" thing all winter. The seeds won't germinate without it.

They will sprout in the Spring, and when the seedlings are a decent size, I move them into rows in my garden. But if it's a cross that I think has potential, I will often keep the pot with any ungerminated seeds for another year or two as they will continue to germinate.
dd95172
Gilbertsville, KY
(Zone 7a)

June 2, 2011
9:08 PM

Post #8605419

I have written an article on seed starting that appears in the current issue of Tall Talk Magazine--a publication of the Tall Bearded Iris Society. Web site is : http://www.tbisonline.com/
Dennis
bluegrassmom
Lewisburg, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2011
9:12 PM

Post #8611884

Thank you, Dennis
I will check it out.
liliesandme
Statesville, NC

June 7, 2011
5:07 AM

Post #8614826

Hey BlueGrass,

The seed pod needs to stay on the plant until the pod turns dry and starts to crack open on its own at the top or sides. You can help it the rest of the way and collect the seeds:) The seeds are pea-sized, and are a very dark brownish-black. Sometimes, however, you will go to help it along and collect the seeds, just to find that the seed pod is really a 'balloon' and doesn't have any seeds inside at all:(

IndaShade is right, leave them outside in a pot for the fall/winter. This will help it shed any chemical inhibitors that keep it from sprouting at the wrong time. I don't know if squirrels like to eat iris seeds (I would think not, since so many parts of the iris are poisonous, at least to us), but just in case they do, you may want to put your seed's home somewhere protected, or get some food that squirrels like, so they won't be tempted to eat the seeds. Hope this helps, and good luck!
redheadclan
Vail, AZ

June 7, 2011
12:14 PM

Post #8615743

I just heard a lecture by Barry Blyth. He cuts the stalk off at the base once it ha finished growing and then sticks al his seed stocks in the grown in one place so he can keep track of them all. By the way, he said he has ove 14,000 seedlings this year. Obviously, he knows what he's doing.
caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

June 12, 2011
4:34 AM

Post #8625166

I don't understand. He pokes the cut off bloom stem from the plant? After they have been pollinated, or after the pods have formed?
redheadclan
Vail, AZ

June 12, 2011
9:01 AM

Post #8625520

After the pods have finished maturing, before they dry out and split. That way he doesn't have to venture throughout his whole garden to check if they're ready.
caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

June 12, 2011
1:14 PM

Post #8625932

You could also just stick them in a can or something if you didn't have zillions of them, right? Of course they have labels on them.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 5, 2011
7:03 PM

Post #8674842

I soak the iris seeds in hand hot water over night. They will continue to soak for 3 weeks---changing the water daily---to remove the inhibiting factor that prevents seeds from sprouting. In nature, when exposed, winter weather would do likewise.

After 3 weeks, I sow 1/2" deep in container filled with potting soil and leave on the north side of my house. I cover to keep moist. They sprout in the spring when temperature reaches 55 and more degrees. As the seeds germinate, I pot them up in 6-packs to grow under light until end of May. From there, they go in my coldframe where they will stay until following season.

Iris seedlings in my coldframe August 2010. Three have since bloomed this year at 18 months of age..


This message was edited Jul 5, 2011 7:04 PM

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caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 5, 2011
10:29 PM

Post #8675213

Why to you have to soak them if they will be in the winter weather? Couldn't you just plant in pots sunk into the ground and left open?

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 6, 2011
7:56 AM

Post #8675803

I soak first because they are sown in containers that are closed so no rain reaches them. It is not enough to have them cold, there has to be moisture also. No rain can leech the inhibiting factor when there is a lid on the container. That is the reason why I soak the seeds and rinse for 3 weeks.

A member suggested putting the seeds in a nylon stocking and hang it in the toilet tanks where they would be rinsed each time you flush. I will try that this year.
IndaShade
Kylertown, PA
(Zone 5b)

July 6, 2011
8:04 AM

Post #8675820

Caitlin, that's what I do. I use old black nursery pots or azalea pots filled with potting soil. I just mix the seeds into the potting soil, water to start, and put them out on the walkway for the winter. They get all the rain and sometimes are covered with snow.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

July 6, 2011
8:07 AM

Post #8675827

blomma...great picture of your seedlings. Looks just like mine except yours are weed free. I need to get off the computer and get outside and weed them.

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caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 6, 2011
10:07 AM

Post #8676100

blomma, just out of curiosity, why do you close your containers? Of course, who am I to argue with success? I vaguely remember some of my seed sowing efforts in closed containers outdoors and how they turned into "stew". I need something that can hold its own until I remember to look at them!

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 6, 2011
10:43 AM

Post #8676192

Paul Thanks. In June, they are 18 months old, Three bloomed this summer. The others didn't so far.

caitlinsgarden I close the container so I don't have to worry about the soil drying out, preventing germination. I moisten the soil BEFORE I fill the container and sow the seeds. It remains moist (not wet) all winter without watering.

Below is the pod parent BUFFAWN (Andrew 1940) x bee pollinated. I think the pollen parent is GAY PARASOL since it was growing nearby and looks like it.

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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 6, 2011
10:50 AM

Post #8676202

Below is the photo of 2 seedlings from BUFFAWN. Interesting to see how different seedlings from the same pod are. They are still in my coldframe and willl be transplanted this month. Not very spectacular but will give them another year to bloom.

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Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

July 6, 2011
11:33 AM

Post #8676294

blomma...Fun to see your seedlings. My seedlings are just 6-7 months old. They germinated in the house in Jan and Feb 2011. Lined them out May 2011. I'm weeding today but just took a break for lunch so looked at the computer. I'll take a picture of the weeded bed.

Depsi

Depsi
Orofino, ID
(Zone 6a)

July 13, 2011
8:23 AM

Post #8689880

is the seed pod the football shaped thing I'm seeing on my iris? I've never seen one on the plants before...does this happen often? Thank you, Deb
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

July 13, 2011
9:27 AM

Post #8690035

Yes..

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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 13, 2011
3:56 PM

Post #8690662

It seems like the last 2 years bees have been busy pollinating irises. Prior to that, I never had any pods. It was the bee pollinated seed pods that got me started on hybridization. I figured if a bee can do it, I can do it LOL.

Now I have 81 pods that I have successfully crossed. All are from named parents.

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Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

July 13, 2011
4:18 PM

Post #8690697

blomma...wow...81 pods. Are you going to try to raise them all?

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

July 13, 2011
7:03 PM

Post #8690988

Lots of room? I made 8 crosses this yr. & 5 were successful. Keeping an eye on the pods. DH has harvested several pods of pumila seeds.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

July 13, 2011
7:06 PM

Post #8690995

I have 10 TB crosses this year which is fine. I did 40 last year and have limited room.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 13, 2011
10:15 PM

Post #8691262

Paul, no I don't have room for all. I will sow 2 from each pod, give some to my daughter. Save some for next year. Last year I sold my extra daylily and iris seeds in my Ebay store. Will do likewise this year. Last year I was the only seller with iris seeds. Will try LA again this year. Selling supports my plant addiction. I also have limited room.

Actually, I crossed 120 but not all tookl. Will do those next year. Now will do the daylilies as they begin to bloom. 'they just started. Ordered those small tubes from LA to store pollen in.

below is the 3rd seedling from Buffawn posted above.

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caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 14, 2011
4:24 AM

Post #8691403

I like the 3rd one best of all. If you faithfully deadhead blooms, you won't see bee pods. I have been letting the last blooms stay on the plant to collect a few bee pods.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

July 14, 2011
8:20 AM

Post #8691781

caitlin,
You can tell in a week's time if pods were produced or not. If you feel a lump below the dying flower, then, it is producing.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 5, 2011
11:55 PM

Post #8739666

And here are this season's iris pods. More in my front yard. A few were ready to be harvested.

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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 6, 2011
4:57 AM

Post #8739772

Looking good. I have slowly been harvesting pods, but then the plants which I cross bloom earlier than the tall bearded irises.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 6, 2011
7:59 PM

Post #8741037

Finally removed my 12 iris seedling that I had growing in my coldframe since May 2010. I figured out why only 3 bloomed. I think the others were too crowded in there. They had multiplied and certainly large enough to bloom. They will have plenty of room to bloom next season. I also have some extra room in the coldframe. Still have some plants in there including daylilies too young to bloom this year.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 6, 2011
8:16 PM

Post #8741065

Especially if they are tall bearded, they take a couple of yrs to bloom.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 6, 2011
9:20 PM

Post #8741127

Lucy...I am hoping to have my TB seedlings bloom in one year. I gave them an early start, planted in well prepared soil, and water every few days...we will see. These seedlings mid-July. I'll take a new picture tomorrow. Each time I water I can almost see them grow.

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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 6, 2011
10:18 PM

Post #8741183

Paul, good luck with that. Mine were 18 months before 3 out of 15 bloomed. I think those that sprouted were bee pollinated with Gay Parasol since the resemblence was there and they were growing a few feet away from the pod parent and bloomed at the same time.

Here is Gay Parasol. Compare to the blooms of the seedlings above. What do you think?

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Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 6, 2011
11:39 PM

Post #8741252

Gay Parasol is still very pretty. Dream Lover, Beaus Arts, and GP were some of my first iris in the70's.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 7, 2011
7:21 AM

Post #8741638

My iris seedlings Aug 8th ..I think they will bloom next spring. Seed planted indoors Jan 2011 so they are just over 7 months old.

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Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 7, 2011
7:22 AM

Post #8741642

Another view...

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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 7, 2011
1:07 PM

Post #8742307

That's a lot of work, Paul. good for you, but we feel inside planting etc. is just too much for us. I hope you see your flowers next spring.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 7, 2011
7:22 PM

Post #8743268

Paul, I hope they do, but I think you may have to wait longer for blooms. I noticed that seedlings need to produce side shoots before they are ready to bloom to carry on the specie. Without side shoots, that cultivar would die off since blooming stems die after blooming.

Below is one of my seedlings that bloomed. Photo taken Oct 2010. You can see the side shoot. It germinated in April 2010, in coldframe end of May 2010 and bloomed June 14 of this year. Two more bloomed. My other 12 didn't because they were too crowded. They had already produced offsets.

I have another set of seedlings that were planted out May 2011. They have not produced side shoots yet. Actually they sprouted in the fridge where I found them Oct 13, 2010. I had forgotten them. They are now in my coldframe to bloo, next summer---I hope.

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Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 8, 2011
10:52 AM

Post #8744412

My seedlings are growing and many have increase coming. We probably still have two or more months of good weather and I will continue to water for at least 6 weeks and then let them begin to go dormant and look forward to spring. Hope I have seedling pictures to post 2012.
idahosteve
Twin Falls, ID
(Zone 5b)

August 9, 2011
8:09 AM

Post #8746367

Hello Blomma,

I noticed in your pods photo that you cut the fans back on your plants. Is this a common practice and if so why? Steve

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 9, 2011
10:12 PM

Post #8747934

Hi Steve, it really isn't a common practice to do it that early. I do it so I can read more clearly the labels in the ground and see what I have in stock since I sell irises in my Ebay store. Irises tend to grow into each other and untrimmed it is hard to see the different cultivars. I have never had problems with them not blooming following season so doesn't seem to hurt them.
idahosteve
Twin Falls, ID
(Zone 5b)

August 10, 2011
5:21 PM

Post #8749414

That's good to know. It seems to be cooling off a bit here in Idaho and my pods aren't drying out as fast as I would like. What is the latest date that you've harvested your pods.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 10, 2011
6:00 PM

Post #8749478

I harvested 2 pods today. Mine don't turn brown, just creme, then begins to split and that is when I pick it.

It isn't a matter of drying out, it is a matter of seeds becoming mature within the pod before harvesting them. That has nothing to do with how hot or cold the weather is.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 10, 2011
6:12 PM

Post #8749493

Steve...I would think you could harvest seed pods late into the fall even after frost if the pod doesn't split and you loose the seed. Just get them before they split.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 10, 2011
10:28 PM

Post #8749795

Paul, you are correct. The only problem is that most likely, Aug is the time most if not all pods are ripe. I do my morning walk to check the pods. I have already lost some pods early in the season since I had surgery and was not here to catch them when ready. They can start splitting overnight.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 11, 2011
3:02 AM

Post #8749862

The 3" of rain has started to make pods soggy. I was able to rescue one of my crosses yesterday. The seeds were a good tan & didn't seem to be affected. Small green worm in one of those pods. It certainly not living to grow up. Had not managed to attack a seed.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 11, 2011
11:33 AM

Post #8750441

irisMa, I am very familiar with MA rains. I lived for 20 years in Gt. Barrington, MA and hated all the rain every time I planned a picnic or hung clothes out to dry.

So, sorry to hear about your pods getting soggy and glad you were able to rescue some.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 11, 2011
4:13 PM

Post #8750908

More coming on Sun. However I didn't like the drought last summer.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 21, 2011
9:54 PM

Post #8769928

irisMA wrote:More coming on Sun. However I didn't like the drought last summer.


More rain or more seeds?

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 22, 2011
7:32 AM

Post #8770538

Rain (arrived overnight). One more pod to collect & a couple to open. However all 'made' pods have been collected.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 22, 2011
9:50 AM

Post #8770870

Harvested first pods yesterday...Dark Drama X Cheap Frills and Louisa's Song X Dancing Star. More to come but far less than last year.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 22, 2011
1:05 PM

Post #8771253

I have 18 more pods out of 79 to collect. All are my crosses. I beat the bee so none are bee pollinated

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 22, 2011
1:21 PM

Post #8771282

Good for you, sorry bees.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 22, 2011
9:57 PM

Post #8772218

Paul2063 wrote:Harvested first pods yesterday...Dark Drama X Cheap Frills and Louisa's Song X Dancing Star. More to come but far less than last year.


Do you think they will all be matured enough before cold weather sets in since you only harvested your first yesterday. I have been harvesting them since early August. And this is WY.

Now waiting for all daylily pods to mature

Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 23, 2011
8:50 AM

Post #8772773

The pods are large and changing color. I think the seed are probably already mature but will harvest as the pods start to brown. We usually do not get bad weather before mid-October. Should be alright. Interesting that yours are ripening before mine as I would guess my bloom is a little earlier than yours. Years ago I gave some iris to a sister-in-law in Kemmerer,Wyo and they bloomed there several weeks later than mine.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 23, 2011
10:10 PM

Post #8774088

Paul,
Yes that is strange that mine have matured before yours. I only a few more to harvest. I wait until I see a split before I remove the pod.

This season was great for Irises. They did bloom a bit earlier and some I though I lost also bloomed. I think the reason is that last winter was really cold and we had more snow that usual.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 28, 2011
8:08 AM

Post #8780937

Harvested two more seed pods yesterday, Jerilee X Cheap Frills and Glamour Pants X Fashion Diva. The second pod had 60 seeds. It's fun to imagine what each might produce. It rained here during the night so I got up at first light and weeded my seedlings. They are looking great. I went to take a picture but my battery needed charging so I will take one tomorrow and post. Some are huge and have several increase. Hybridizing iris teaches patience as we wait for each developement. They will be a bright spot next spring.
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

August 29, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8783743

Aug 29...lots of increase

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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

August 30, 2011
1:14 AM

Post #8784391

All but 1 pod is harvested. I was gone for 4 days and was concerned about the pods opening and dropping the seeds while I was gone. So, my pods were wearing nylon socks. It worked. The pods were split by the time I came home on Monday and ready to be harvested.

Your seedlings are looking good. Bet they will bloom next season.

Below are my "socket" iris pod.

This message was edited Aug 30, 2011 1:16 AM

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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

September 25, 2011
7:31 PM

Post #8824027

I am getting ready to winter sow my iris seeds. They are soaking first for 3 weeks with a daily change of water. I have all the plastic shoe containers filled with moist sowing mix. I am going to sow only 8 seeds of each cultivar for lack of space. Will do those of the newest varieties. Will do the rest next year. I have daylilies to do also but those I do inside.

Below is my setup. I have done likewise for 2 years now and it works for me. I will sow seeds in 4 rows in each container, spacing 1" apart in the row. Each row with a different cultivar. The container will be closed to prevent dryness. The smaller containers are for varieties I don't have many seeds of, or other perennials. All will be in the large tub, covered to keep safe from animals. There are 8 plastic shoe boxes in the tub.

I will not have to worry about the soil drying out, or animals disturbing them. The tub is located on the north side of my house all winter. The seeds will begin to germinate during spring when temperature is between 50 to 70 degrees. I can rush sprouting by bringing the containers in and place under grow lights. My first year of sowing iris seeds, I got impatient and brought the seeds in during April. To my surprise, they began to sprout within a week.

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gussie34
Rohnert Park, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 8, 2011
9:02 PM

Post #8841445

Leave the pods on the stalk until they turn brown and start to split. You might want to put an old nylon stocking on the pod as insurance. When pod is fully dry, or seeds start popping out, pick the pod. Put seeds on paper towel for a few days. Toss the ones that look too small or pale.

Plant seeds in 4" pots, keep them damp but not soggy. I don't know your weather, so if you have snow/freezing temps, put them in a glass-covered wooden box-bed. If all goes well you should have seedlings come spring.

When seedlings are 4-5" high, transplant to larger pots or ground. A 6" pot is OK for about a year; larger is better. I grow some in 15" tubs, wide and deep, and change them every other year. If you have nurseries nearby that grow trees you might be able to buy used tubs for a lot less than retail tubs of the same size would cost.

Be sure to keep a record of your crosses and label the pots. For the bee pods describe them by their location in the garden.

I rather not say this, but you need to know some cultivars are genetically unable to breed with each other. If this is the case, the seeds won't germinate.

Good luck!











irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 9, 2011
8:39 AM

Post #8841934

For bee pods: note the pod parent--at least you know half the ancestry.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 20, 2011
11:26 PM

Post #8857775

I am done with iris seeds. Those 6 shoe boxed and smaller ones show in my photo above are all full of seeds. Figure 6 boxes, each containing 32 seeds with 4 different cultivars. That is a lot of seed and yet I didn't sow all the cultivars I collected. There is always next year. Can't do all for lack of space.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 21, 2011
6:13 AM

Post #8857971

I know, re space. I have cut back on crosses as a result. Not much progress made that way. However, it is still fun!
Paul2063
Pleasant Grove, UT

October 22, 2011
8:34 PM

Post #8859749

I've posted some pictures of my seedlings on this thread. They germinated in the house in a sunny window in January, were lined out into the garden in May, and here is one of them blooming just in Oct...just 10 months from seed to bloom. Here it is, nothing special but still fun to see in Oct.

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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 23, 2011
11:33 AM

Post #8860372

Nice, Paul. Of course it neeeds a spring study to see how it should be analized.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 1, 2012
10:33 PM

Post #9066272

Just dropped by and saw your blooming seedling---in 10 months!!!! Can't accomplish that in Wyoming. Oh, it is pretty. I love yellow.. I think the style is a reverse amoena. I shall have quite a few blooming this season.

I sowed out of my 79 crosses that developed into pods, I am up to my neck in sprouting seedlings. I sowed 8 seeds of each different cross and they are all sprouting. Below is a photo of the first box to sprout. The tallest seedlings are 2" tall. Many in the other boxes are breaking surface. All my seeds were sown Oct through Nov 2011 in plastic shoe boxes, then placed on the North side of my house in a large plastic container. With the unusual warm weather we have had, they started to sprout when temp reached 50 degrees. All are now uncovered and enjoying the morning sun. They will all go in a new coldframe due to their size.

Photo 1 shows how they were placed all winter.
Photo 2 shows the seedlings at 2" taken today
Photo 3 taken out of their confinement to enjoy morning sun until large enough for coldframe.

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Depsi

Depsi
Orofino, ID
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2012
4:23 PM

Post #9067357

wow, not sure of what you mean by "nothing special", Paul... it's beautiful!!!

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 17, 2012
1:58 PM

Post #9308162

Here are my 129 iris seedlings out of 182. Sowed fall of 2011, planted in garden nursery May 30, 2012. Photo taken September 2012.

A few more seedling bloomed, sowed 2009. The first one is a dwarf. The last 3 are all from the same pod.

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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 17, 2012
8:38 PM

Post #9308516

The yellow & white looks more 'modern' than the last 2. Sort of strange situation the way that genes are inherited.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 17, 2012
10:04 PM

Post #9308551

irisMa,
I agree. I found it hard to believe they came from the same pod BUFFAWN x GAY PARASOL. It is that, which makes it so facinating. The yellow and white both have really large blooms. I have, I think, 3 more fans from the same pod that should bloom next season. The fans have multiplied well, just didn't bloom along with the others.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 18, 2012
5:30 AM

Post #9308667

Isn't it fun to see what results.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 18, 2012
7:56 PM

Post #9309374

irisMa,
Oh boy, is it ever. Those buds are just teasers before they open. I expect to have many bloom next season, both irises and daylilies. Will only start 16 iris crosses this year for lack of room. Got to keep the suspense going LOL!

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 18, 2012
8:54 PM

Post #9309438

Like christmas in the spring.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 21, 2012
5:46 PM

Post #9311620

yep!

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 24, 2012
11:53 PM

Post #9314715

below are iris seeds that sprouted in the spring 2012. They were planted in the coldframe (new one) May 31, 2012. Photo taken September 2012

Daylilies were planted on the left of the iris seedlings.

This message was edited Oct 24, 2012 11:55 PM

Thumbnail by blomma
Click the image for an enlarged view.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 25, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9314907

great germination.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

February 26, 2013
11:45 PM

Post #9433213

How are everyone doing with sowing iris seeds this winter----irisMa, Paul?????

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

February 27, 2013
8:38 AM

Post #9433541

Our seed boxes were sown late in Oct. & are under the snow at this time.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

February 27, 2013
3:51 PM

Post #9433997

irisMA, that is where mine are also. Sown in November, now, on the north side of my house in boxes covered with snow. I didn't sow as many as I did last year due to space. I have daylilies sown and growing in the house and need room for them in my outdoor nursery also. Not to mention those planted last summer.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

February 27, 2013
8:18 PM

Post #9434174

We, (DH & I) do iris seeds only. I am not sure if he had any last fall. We have had 2 days of rain which the snow seems to capture & hold. Just as well as the ground must still be frozen. Snow has disappeared from part of a couple of beds.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

March 24, 2013
12:53 PM

Post #9460302

Just brought in 2 small containers of iris seeds that have been stratified outside all winter. They should begin to sprout within 2 weeks.

The crosses that I brought in are:

1] Isn't This Something x Nigerian Raspberry
2] Mister Flounce x Mesmerizer

You can tell I am in a hurry to see these sprout. Still have to wait 2 or more years for blooms.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

March 25, 2013
8:06 PM

Post #9462014

What is a Dutch Iris. I saw many in Walmart that are so pretty and colorful with interesting markings. Likewise Siberian iris. Are either hard to grow, requiring a lot of water?.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

March 26, 2013
5:50 AM

Post #9462242

Dutch iris are a bulbus iris. They are the ones you see in florist arrangements.

Siberian irises are rhizomes, but beardless like spurias. Siberians like an acid soil. They can take more moist spot but don't need any difference condidions than the beared, except for more acidity in the soil. I don't have any pictures but I would guess that a Goggle search would find them.

dutch irises being bulbus, are registered in the Netherlands.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 6, 2013
3:39 PM

Post #9473955

irisMa,
Thanks for the info. Guess they are not for Wyoming with clay and soil leaning towards alkaline.

My Iris seed crosses are now sprouting. I brought them all in from outside.

1] Ziggy x Batik
2] Drama Queen x Broad Shoulders
3] Season Ticket x Cat's Eye

Now for the long wait until they all bloom.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

gussie34
Rohnert Park, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 7, 2013
2:45 PM

Post #9474982

Hi,
When the top of the pod starts to crack open is when to pick it. Put it in an envelope for a few days to finish drying.
Then scatter the seeds on a paper towel for a few days. Store them in the coolest, dry area in your house in a container, but not in refrigerator.

In August plant them in 4 inch pots, and leave them in a shady spot outdoors, keep moist but not soggy. Let them winter over if you get frost but not freezing.

If you do get freezes, put the pots in Zip-Lok bags, into your refrigerator vegetable bin--but not in freezer.

After your last frost date, set them back out in the yard in a sunny spot, again keep moist but not soggy.

Don't fertilize pots, but enrich the soil that will be at the permanent place or in the tubs. Follow directions on the fert. label, or use 2 TBS well mixed before transplanting. Be sure to label the seed pots, and the transplant spots later. (Use waterproof labels--I learned the hard way!

When the first leaves are about 4" high, it's time to transplant them to their permanent spot, or to a large--12-15" tub. For the tubs, the plants will need transplanting every 2nd year. For the permanent spot, they will need thinning or transplanting every 3rd year. They won't bloom well if too crowded.

If necessary they can grow for one year in a 6" x 8" pot --or a 2 lb. coffee can--be sure to put drain holes in the can--I've used a hammer and screwdriver to do that--my own screwdriver, that is, not my husband's!
They probably will bloom, but might not.
Only 2 tsps fert. well-mixed before planting
in 6" pot or coffee can.

Again keep the transplants moist but never overwater; probably once a week would be enough depending on your bloom season weather. Water the ground, not the leaves, so they won't get leaf spot. Look online for pictures of leaf spot and how to treat them.

Some cultivars will rebloom; if budstalks show color, in the fall, before heavy frost they can be brought to vase to bloom in a sunny window.

Good luck!
Gussie34
gussie34
Rohnert Park, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 7, 2013
2:47 PM

Post #9474988

To Blue Grass Mom,

I just sent you a reply telling how to work with iris seeds. See the post below.

Gussie34
gussie34
Rohnert Park, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 7, 2013
3:02 PM

Post #9474998

Blue Grass Mom

I should have addressed to you. Follow the thread down to Gussie34, the 2nd one, it's quite a way down. I think it starts with

When the seed pod starts to crack at the tip
that's when to pick it...

Gussie34

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 16, 2013
6:53 PM

Post #9486591

The first of my iris seeds are sprouting, and into 6-packs. Seeds were outside all winter and sprouted within 2 weeks in the house. More are coming. Just not large enough in the seed flat.

Thumbnail by blomma
Click the image for an enlarged view.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

April 16, 2013
8:46 PM

Post #9486703

Good for them.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 17, 2013
9:49 AM

Post #9487268

Blomma, don't you get freezing weather in the winter? One of the posts said not to freeze the seeds.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 17, 2013
10:14 AM

Post #9487297

Oberon46 wrote:Blomma, don't you get freezing weather in the winter? One of the posts said not to freeze the seeds.


Yes I get freezing weather and without it iris seeds will not sprout. They need stratification for 12 weeks and that means moist cold with flunctuating temps. They begin to sprout when temps are 50 to 70 degrees. I bring mine in and the sprout within 2 weeeks in room temps. That post don't know what they are talking about. I have done it this way since 2010.

Adding that you can't put the seeds in the freezer, but freezing outdoors works since it flunctuate. See my posts above and all my seedlings.





This message was edited Apr 17, 2013 10:20 AM
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 17, 2013
10:45 AM

Post #9487320

Ah, I see the difference. I read about some seeds that need that fluctuation, unlike Poppies I guess. Although they lay on top of the ground and in spring the temps surely fluctuate, especially morning to evening. Thanks. I think I will give it a try this fall.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 17, 2013
2:46 PM

Post #9487620

To me, getting iris seeds to sprout is easy, Once sown, you can forget about them until spring if you do it my way. Now I have to figure out where to plant all my iris and daylily seedlings that I started this year. I didn't start as many as I did in previous years. Only crosses like those I posted above.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 17, 2013
4:26 PM

Post #9487772

Course, you are growing bearded iris right? That is sort of a lost cause up here. I keep trying though. I just checked out my "iris hill" as I call it. First dirt to come through the snow. I already see the tops of some BI from last year and they are already looking rotten. Will just leave them there and hope they can pull through.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 17, 2013
6:27 PM

Post #9487902

Oberon46,
Why a lost cause. You are in the right zone for them to survive. Actually warmer than mine. Yes, I grow only the bearded types.

Don't look at the tops, look at the rhizomes. Iris leaves don't look good after winter. It is the new leaves from the rhizomes that counts.

The following culture is for the Northern gardeners that I follow.

1] For best result plant new irises in July and August,
2] Never transplant or divide later than August. Their roots need time to become established before the growing season ends to prevent heaving of soil and breaking roots.
3] Iris will not tolerate constant moisture. Actually, after blooming they tend to go dormant and rest a bit so need very little moisture once established. It is better to under water than over water to prevent rot.
4] Well drained soil is a must. If soil is heavy (clay) amend the soil with coarse sand and humus.
5] Feed with low nitrogen (6-10-10) food when beginning to grow in the spring, then again a month after blooming.
6] Plant so the top of the rhizome is exposed and the roots are spread out facing downwards in the soil.
7]They need at least a 1/2 day of sun. But full sun produces more bloom.

It is recommended to give winter protection for newly planted irises of straw, leaves, or pine needles. Make sure they are removed as soon as new growth appear in early spring.

Strangely, I have found that not all varieties of irises are hardy in my zone 4. If after 2 tries and they don't survive, I won't buy that variety again.

My house is surrounded by irises on all sides.

Thumbnail by blomma
Click the image for an enlarged view.

crowrita1
Lyndon, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 18, 2013
6:24 AM

Post #9488317

Nice beds ! And I agree wit your culture tips, too...Arlyn
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2013
8:43 AM

Post #9488486

I envy your lovely iris beds. I tried a couple of years to cover the tubers. Once with leaves. When the snow melted it went to ice and I couldn't get them off the tubers. Lots of rot that year. I have them in a bed that comes out from the snow first of all my beds, full sun, on a little hill sort of mound under a chokecherry tree but the tree is trimmed up the trunk about 3 feet so no shade from that. I have lilies, tulips and lots of non bulb type perennials in this bed all doing well. Daylilies one step down. I will just keep them clear of debris and let them soak up the sun and see what happens. The ones in the front beds that I have to shovel to get clear of snow (next to driveway and walk) are huge plants and very healthy. I don't cover them at all. And we don't suffer heaving of plants hardly ever. I have peonies, daylilies, tulips, etc in both of these beds.

Thanks for the tips and reminders. I hope this year the ones out front, both TB and dwarf will bloom this year. Three bloomed year before last and were huge and beautiful (Las Vegas and some light whiteblue ones). No blooms although huge plants. This year I was going to stick with a 10-10-10 on all beds. They are so mixed with different flowers that it seems the safest mix.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

April 18, 2013
9:18 AM

Post #9488527

With snow, you don't need extra mulch.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2013
10:08 AM

Post #9488579

Yes, I stopped doing that a year or so ago. Maybe I finally have the formula correct. lol. Hope springs eternal..

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 18, 2013
3:02 PM

Post #9488827

In Wyoming, we are actually lucky to have snow. Never get snow to stay all winter like in MA. I don't cover any iris. They either survive or they don't. With high winds here, mulch wouldn't stay on anyway.

I like plant food that is low in nitrogen (1st number) so I don't just get all leaves and few flowers. The 2nd and 3rd numbers are the flower producing nutrients.

6-10-10, or 10-20-20, will feed any plant or shrub that flowers or set fruit or veggies. For evergreens you would want the nitrogen to be higher since those plants do not set flowers or fruit.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2013
4:07 PM

Post #9488911

Well, that's kind of what I thought. I think the nursery uses 10-10-10 just to get their seedlings started good. I will pick up a summer fertilizer, water soluable. I guess as long as the second two numbers are twice the first number more or less, it should work.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 18, 2013
9:05 PM

Post #9489195

Oberon46,
You can also use Walmart 6-10-10 granulates and rake it in. I also use Miracle-gro plant food since it contains all the nutrients needed by plants. Some others don't.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2013
7:42 AM

Post #9489496

Okay. And they should be relatively inexpensive compared with the stuff sold at our two nurseries. Obscenely expensive especially if they can wangle the word 'organic' in there anywhere.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 19, 2013
7:11 PM

Post #9490190

Mary,
I can't remember what Walmart charged for a box but know it was under $4.00 for granulated plant food. This year, I want to try MG in the container I bought last year. It is used with the hose. My daughter swears by it. Plant can absorb nutrients through their leaves.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2013
6:50 AM

Post #9490584

I also have one of those applicators. Also heard about the plants leaves. We shall see.
crowrita1
Lyndon, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 20, 2013
8:18 AM

Post #9490679

I've had good luck hitting them with MG, as a foliar spray, right after bloom is over. I read some where that if done then, it helps them recover from blooming stress, and handle the "dormant" period better. I don't know if that's really so, but it sure seems to help mine !...I think I read that in Rocky Top Iris catalog...but I have an old man's memory !!(not too good !!)...Arlyn

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

May 20, 2013
9:05 PM

Post #9527953

I got the biggest surprise today. When I dug up to ship some iris seedlings that I sold, I noticed a lump inside the main fan. This one is only 14 months old. Sowed November 2011, sprouted April 2012, and planted in my garden nursery May 31, 2012. The cross was TRIPLE WHAMMY x BATIK.

Checked all my other seedlings that I am keeping, and found quite a few that will bloom, including the same cross that I sold. Also WORLD PREMIER x CERF VOLANTE have buds, plus some others. All are 14 months old. I have never had them bloom at that young age. Usually 2 and 3 years old. The rest of my 2010 crosses will bloom this year also. Quite a few bloomed last year.

Will post photos when they are in bloom

Edited to add that the photo of the iris seedlings was taken September 2012

1] Triple Whammy x Batik
2] World Premier x Cerf Volante
3] irises all 14 months old,

This message was edited May 20, 2013 9:07 PM

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma      
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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

June 15, 2013
7:42 PM

Post #9560414

Update on my 14 month old iris seedlings.

I am going nuts taking photos and labeling the leaves with name codes. I made the mistake of planting the tiny babies too close---4" apart. Big mistake. All have produced side shoots and are blooming except a few.

I have started to label those that I want to keep, and cull the rest. I am interesting mainly in unusual colors or markings. Probably will keep 6 or 7 crosses to see what they will do next year. It is fascinating to say the least. That blooms on plants from seed produced in the same pod can be very different. Some are alike except for shade and markings.

Will not sow any this fall. Will skip a year for lack of space. I still have all those daylily seedlings also.

I am still editing the photos. Will upload some when they are edited. Meanwhile below is an overview of most of them.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma         
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crowrita1
Lyndon, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2013
8:00 PM

Post #9560436

Congrats are in order! Nice looking plants!..Arlyn

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

June 15, 2013
8:22 PM

Post #9560463

Some nice reds in the group. I also like the form of the whites in front. Any plant which does well in your climate merits attention.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 17, 2013
8:01 PM

Post #9688403

On my above post I lied and fooled myself. No way can I only keep 6 or 7 crosses. I sold quite a few on Ebay to gain room. I had buyers buying them so they can name them after a friend or relative.

Below are 5 I am keeping. They are in a seperate bed.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma
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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 17, 2013
8:05 PM

Post #9688407

Here are 5 more to keep. I have the parents to all of them. Note the horn on the 4th one.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma
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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 17, 2013
8:08 PM

Post #9688410

Five more

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma
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blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 17, 2013
8:15 PM

Post #9688416

My last 5 in my "SAVE" folder that I will keep. All bloomed at 14 month old. The only difference between where these and my daylilies grew (actually side by side) is that these 2 borders had plenty of rotten horse manure spaded in during the fall before planting in the following spring. I had irises bloom for the first time from 2010 and 2011 but were not given the horse manure.

Most of my daylilies also bloomed at 14 months. I give credit to the manure.

This message was edited Oct 17, 2013 8:21 PM

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma
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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 18, 2013
6:24 AM

Post #9688638

plants love the stuff. Enjoy the irises.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 18, 2013
5:43 PM

Post #9689095

irisMa,
Do you think that the horse manure was the reason the iris and daylilies bloomed at 14 months? It is the only thing I can think of that is different from the other borders.

I am not thinking so much of registering unless some are worth it. Time will tell. Mainly I want to use them as parents next year.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 19, 2013
9:06 AM

Post #9689503

Probably any good fertilizer addition to the bed would help, certainly aged manure is great. Keep good track of the seedling# for each parent as you give them when registering a plant, but have to work back to the name. My last registration of a BB was from 2 seedlings. the grandparents were name varieties so they had to appear also.
seedling # as parent, then those parents named.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 22, 2013
3:51 PM

Post #9692341

irisMA,
Thank you for answer. Most of the parents of the seedlings have at least one named parent. I have not tried to pollinate the seedlings this year since it was their maiden bloom. I have used some as pollen parent on named parents.

I use code numbers since the names are often too long for the labels. The code # corresponds to the name on a hard copy, and in my computer. Is this the way you id them?

Using the seedling with yellow standard and red/maroon falls that is on the 3rd message down for Ex. That one is Samurai Warrior x Darcy's Choice.

I used the pollen from that seedling on a named pod parent. Correct me if I write it wrong with the pollen parent.

Samurai Warrior x (Samurai Warrior x Darcy's Choice)

Below is the parents of that seedling. Samurai Warrior was the pod parent. I actually like the child berrer than the pollen parent--Darcy's Choice.

I have seen on LA sellers using the { } with ( ) and I am not sure what it means, or when it is suppose to be used.

Another dilemma. Since I sowed all the seeds from that cross, I had more than one seedling. Only 1 bloomed this year. So it was marked (99 x 154-1) The first 2 numbers stands for the pod and pollen. The #1 is that it was the first one to bloom from that cross. Next year as more blooms it will be followed with a 2, 3...and so on. The numbers also id's the photos.

Since I didn't expect any of these to bloom I was overwhelmed with no plan as to code them. I also had to take photos so I could sell to make room. The result is that some I have the photo but forgot to take photo also of the label. Others that bloomed I never got to take the photos of. In either case I couldn't sell them.

I have a folder on my computer for each year of seedling crosses. I will be better prepared next season. I also sowed and planted 30 seedling crosses this May. And, yes, they have their horse manure.

Thumbnail by blomma
Click the image for an enlarged view.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 25, 2013
6:25 AM

Post #9694464

I make up a # for the cross, then number the seedling. My seedlings crosses start with L to make them distinctive from those of DH which starts with a numeral. Then the year of cross, cross # & later seedling #. Everyone has their own system. So this years one success is L13-EB. The cross is E & B means border iris/ seedling # not there as yet--will come with planting in the ground. As I make the cross the # is written in my seedling book. If it doesn't take, that is indicated there as well. A lot of no takes this year. What ever numbering system works for you is best to do.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

October 29, 2013
8:50 PM

Post #9697942

irisMA,
Thank you for your answer

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

May 29, 2014
8:50 AM

Post #9852432

My first iris seedling bloom for this year. Many more to come. There are 3 other siblings all different that bloomed last year.

The cross is World Premier x Cerf Colante.

1] seedling
2] pod parent
3] pollen parent

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma      
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hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

June 13, 2014
1:50 PM

Post #9867186

Beautiful!!!!
crowrita1
Lyndon, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 13, 2014
3:00 PM

Post #9867248

Looks like you have got it down pat ! Very nice !...Arlyn

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