I find natural mutations to often be mind-boggling. Here is one that occurred for me.
A typical iris (anything from the Dutch iris, to Japanese iris, to Miniature Dwarf iris, to Siberian iris, to Louisiana iris (water iris), to Tall Bearded iris (and so forth) all have 3 standards, 3 falls, 3 beards, and 3 style arms, all are perfectly balanced.
I crossed the Tall Bearded iris cultivars PENCIL SKETCH (pod parent) x SAPPHIRE HILLS (pollen parent) and it resulted in several other different cultivars. Only one of which I kept for further breeding due to it's improved form, branching, substance, and vigor.
I never introduced it, but simply call it "My Shasta". See photo below.
There were many wonderful colors and combinations that came about, but...
the most spectacular of all was a mutation od sorts that occurred.
It only occurred /occurs on the terminal bud. I can't be sure if it's a recessive gene that managed to pair up with another recessive gene, or what. Take a look: (it's a perfectly balanced 4-4-4 iris flower)
This is usually referred to in the iris world as a "Novelty iris". It occurs on about 80% (sometimes up to 90%) of stalks blooming each year (year after year).
Another characteristic that is very unusual is that most (if not all) irises will gradually fade in color as the temperatures climb higher and higher. Not this one. As the temperatures climb, the color on the falls of the newly opened irises (of this variety) unfolded with deeper and richer colors. (the color in the standards remained the same). On older flowers that have been opened for a couple of days the colors they originally opened with did not fade either.
You can tell which irises opened as the temperature rose higher and higher with each day. The ones that opened as the tempts rose higher and higher into the 90's - are the ones that have the deepest color in the falls.
Thank you MM,
Seeds in irises do not breed true to parent. Instead - - iris cultivars have rhizomes, and as the new born seedling matures into a full grown iris plant it begins to increase by forming new (attached) rhizomes (or reproducing clones of itself)... Each new rhizome is a clone of that "Mother Rhizome". This particular iris plant (which is named, & registered) has anywhere from 4-8 increases (or new attached rhizomes) per year.
GRAND CANYON GOLD is the first Tall Bearded iris that has ever had the multiple (4-4-4 factor) perfectly balanced petals. Another multiple petaled Tall Bearded iris came about through hybridization back in 1976 which has a (5-5-5 factor) perfectly balanced petals named and registered as FULL HOUSE. There is also only one Intermediate Bearded iris with the 4-4-4 factor that came about in 1994 and that one is named SEASON TICKET, and several Dwarf Miniature iris with the 4-4-4 factor has shown up over the years, only those multiple petaled irises don't seem to occur year after year.
I hope to acquire the 5-5-5 "Novelty" iris FULL HOUSE and hybridize it with GCG to see what may occur. I have self-crossed GCG and out of 25 or so seedlings I did manage to get one more 4-4-4 Tall Bearded iris. Only this one has colors of pale lavender and blue. (I haven't a decent photo of it, but hope to get one this coming spring if it should bloom).
It has a been a real thrill to see this type of mutation or recessive genetic pair-up to occur. :-)
Getting Full House was floated as an idea because your plants will continue to produce the extra parts on only the terminal until you get a plant with which to cross which does it on all blossoms. Doing it on all flowers is the consistancy you should have. Margie knows this, I post it for those not as familiar with irises.
I agree...I'd love to get to the point where this 4-4-4 factor would happen on ALL the blooms which are on the stalk,...but this is sure a nice unexpected surprising start! One has to start somewhere when nature produces such a wonderful mutation. As of now, no consistency on Iris "Novelties" of this type exist, but God willing, I hope to do just that! :-) I have a feeling it may be more difficult than it sounds.
I think mutations would be more like sports of iris in which a naturally occuring increase changes from the mother plant and then continues to produce the same mutation once seperated from the parent. The most notable has been HONORABILE which produced JOSEPH'S COAT and KALEIDOSCOPE
Kaliedoscope is being used for broken color MTB once the mutation occurs than it can be followed up with MTBs like Cybernet but there is a lot of inbreeding which may cause difficulty on plants which produce broken color. They can be crossed to normal plicatas which gives a larger % of broken color.
Anita, I believe that mutations are anything that is produced which is not normal: whether it be (permanent) sports, (permanent) extra petals, or (dictionary meaning) "any relatively permanent change in hereditary material involving either a physical change in chromosome relations or a biochemical change in the structure that make up genes".
Lucy, that is interesting to hear people are using it to cross with in order to bring about broken colors. Once a seed pod is finally produced, then getting the seeds from that to germinate would really be another matter.
Anita, I think it would be so wonderful if you were able to break through those barriers. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. :-)
There are occasional bee pods on Keildoscope, but nothing on Joseph's coat Katkamier, which is assumed to be sterile. I. pumila seems not to work too well for us, put a cross on one flower with no results, then a couple flowers away from one used & know it all bees produce a pod.
I've crossed a diploid with a tetraploid 2 springs ago...resulting in 2 seed pods (one pod each from 2 different pollen parents. ) I was so excited and expecting great things, however to my dismay the seeds have never sprouted (as of yet). All of my other crosses sprouted but not those. I was hoping this year they would sprout, but nothing so far. I wouldn't mind if they were sterile, I just want to see the results.
Before I attempted the cross I was warned that seed pods from such a cross are harder to achieve, and warned too that 'harder yet' (a very slim chance) that those seeds would sprout. But I understand there have been some hybridizers that actually had seeds sprout from such a cross. And that some irises from such a cross do exist.
Those iris plants are referred to as triploids. They are very often sterile & the feww that I have heard about are seedlings, not on the market. Is there something you especially want that can be introduced from such a cross--extreme vigor can be one result, but it is difficult to carry on.
I'm back from lunch and thinking it over I realized I had given an incomplete answer. Re germination: some crosses just don't germinate. One plant from your cross would have given you 50% germination and that is pretty good if like our process we don't do the seeds wrapped in moss in the fridge bit. Another time there might be more seeds or the ones you have germinate. The dip X tet plant which I am most familiar with is a friends triploid gold colored Miniature tall bearded. It grows quite well and has 12 buds. It is the sterile plant & germinated from a single seed. It wouldn't grow for us, which probably means it didn't like our conditions. I think that the tet TBs have grown so far away from their origins it might be more difficult.
Was your cross just an experiment or did you have something in mind to try for. Many of the miniature dwarf irises (which I realize don't grow for you) have been I. pumila crossed onto Standard dwarf--very nice plants but have limited fertility. Since the tet Miniature talls were developed, Ben Hager suggested crossing pumila onto them which gives the 40c plants the same as the pumilas crossed with TBs. But the size is smaller which is apt to give MDBs. I can say that I find it more difficult to work than the regular pumila--TB crosses. It must be a case of picking the correct plants to use, or plain ineptness of the person working the cross. So don't let the lack of success stop trying the idea--if you can work it don't be surprised if the resulting triploids are tougher to work with--all attempts may be difficult, but interesting. L
Lucy, thank you so much for your in depth answer. I sure appreciate it. :)
When you wrote "...that the tet TBs have grown so far away from their origins it might be more difficult." that sounded the most logical to me. You see I crossed MINNESOTA MIXED UP KID ( http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/67279/ ) a historic DIP BB, with one of my TET TB spotted seedlings, and another with one of my TET TB plicata seedlings. My cross was both an experiment and an adventure. I was hoping it wouldn't be a total loss - for I really wanted to see the results.
I've tried in the past crossing it with a modern day iris but with no success (no pods); so you can imagine my excitement when that spring I ended up with 2 pods. Neither had that many seeds - - about 10 - 14 per pod (if I remember correctly). Last year I waited for germination to occur and none occurred. Now this year I was still hoping that maybe they just needed an extra year - but so far nothing.
I wonder if there is a "trick" to getting Triploid seeds to germinate??? I'd be interested in trying it if there was. :-)
The instinct to cross MN Mixed etc, with plicata is certainly the correct one, Stephanie Markham has plants crossed with dip MTB and obtained flowers with all sorts of lines & dots. Seed is viable for several yrs. so hang on to them while you are doing other things. If there is a trick to germinating triploid seeds it should be printed in caps somewhere, many people in many venues would love that information.
It helps to have as much knowlege as possible about the genetics of the type of plant a person wishes to work with. Since we bought this computer in Aug. I tried the site of "iris genetics". It gave information on the iris of the eye. But it did have the report on the luminata iris color which was put out by the Midian Iris society some yrs. ago. I then tried "luminata" which still has that report posted. I will try "iris plant genetics" and see if anything has been added there.
There doesn't seem to be that much on iris genetics out there which is 'cutting edge' information as of late. We have a handful or (maybe two) of iris hybridizers that have been hybridizing for close to and/or over 50 years, but none of their learned expertise seems to have been put in writing. Sadly, if they die so will all that information die with them. I'm wondering if it's because iris genetics has not been an 'exact science' as of late - - due to all the evolving and changing information within the chromosomes itself - especially with those recessive genes. Is it too hard to pinpoint
As you said in another thread, possibly the best way for us to get that information is through self-crossing. But, that takes time and energy. Being able to read it in a book or on a CD (even if it isn't quite accurate) would really help those of us who haven't been hybridizing for 50 years (give or take). Even 'googling' online doesn't bring up much, does it?
Some people are reluctant to write--Paul Cook wrote more in letters, which is one reason that I take the old Medianites out of the library during the winter & am able to pick up bits & pieces. Some ideas change because they didn't work such as the idea that the flamingo pinks could come from the orchid pinks. That was found not to be true. It does help to have upteen acres of land in which to line out seedlings--most of us little guys don't. It helps to be younger--I just turned 73 & know that i can't do everything I want to find out. I'm glad that the sections still have the paper robins. Because of the electonic world these die out out. I saw a posting where someone wanted to know about amoenas & people couldn't help him too much. Question? What would happen if he crossed a blue amoena with a yellow one--no idea, but I knew the yellow is dominent--couldn't says so as I am electronically chalanged to say the least. Your plicata work must be difficult as is there a rhyme or reason to the occurance of patterns? Keith Keppel has stated that much of the colloring is present in the hafts. Just little bits of information like that could be useful to a newer person who wonders why their hafts are dotted and other parts of the flower are not. For instance that information would be helpful to someone who wants clean hafts & make crosses accordenly & not cross two with haft markings when they want clean ones. I hope as electronics improve more information will be available. After all we just learned quite a bit about zinnias, something I had never thought about--just bought them.
And this is the best reason to get to these gardens and spend time with the hybridizers. Rick Tasco, Berry Blyth, Keeth Keppel, Don Spoon, Ginny Spoon, and so many others love to impart their knowledge. Every year I go to Don and Ginny's Winterberry Garden there are crosses made by visitors with Don's plants. Don collects seeds from irises and sends them to who ever did the hybridizing and they are off to the races. It is a great experience walking in a garden with hybridizers. Dr. Roy Epperson, though not a hybridizer knows so much about irises and also loves to share. If you can not get to their gardens, then being near them and asking questions at a convention garden is often as good.
This is a very interesting thread and I thought I would bump it up. This natural mutation is really beautiful, but I am curious about why it is only the terminal buds that are involved. What are terminal buds, for a start? What do the other blooms look like? And are you still growing this, Margie?
catlin Terminal buds are the buds at the top of the stalk (hence terminal). They are also most apt to be affected by weather damage as well. Very strange I found that historic standard dwarf iris 'Cotton Blossom' only had pollen in the terminal (top) bud.I have no idea how that happened. told the hybridizer & he had no idea why.