I planted this year's seeds on November 11. In the end, it was a disappointing year for most crosses, although I ended up with a plethora of Iris pumila and Iris attica seeds, most of which went to the SIGNA seed exchange (see here for a list of my donations with photos of the parent plants). Weather is to blame. Pumila season in April was great, but May was a roller coaster with a devastating hard freeze around midmonth.
Q015 04A004 X Werckmeister's Beauty 12 pollinations 0 pods P019 I. pumila WG X 04A004 30 pollinations 1 pod 44 seeds Q016 I. pumila taurica WA X Tadzhiki Bandit 28 pollinations 0 pods P030 I. pumila y/br X Royal Wonder 2 pollinations 0 pods P031 Royal Wonder X I. pumila y/br 4 pollinations 0 pods P023 I. pumila taurica WA X I. pumila WG 22 pollinations 8 pods 392 seeds Q017 Wild Whispers X I. stolonifera 'Chocolate' 9 pollinations 0 pods P032 I. pumila "clausii" X I. pumila taurica WA 4 pollinations 0 pods P033 P00206 X 04A004 12 pollinations 5 pods 239 seeds P034 Steppe X I. pumila "clausii" 12 pollinations 1 pod 19 seeds p007 p00102 X p00103 6 pollinations 0 pods P035 P00203 X P00206 4 pollinations 0 pods P036 P00205 X P00203 10 pollinations 7 pods 421 seeds P037 P00204 X P00206 3 pollinations 0 pods P038 P00201 X P00204 15 pollinations 7 pods 312 seeds p008 p00101 X p00102 9 pollinations 9 pods 237 seeds P039 P00202 X P00206 6 pollinations 3 pods 157 seeds P040 P00301 X P00205 10 pollinations 3 pods 172 seeds S012 Dollop of Cream X Iris sp. aff. reichenbachii ex
Vardar Gorge 13 pollinations 2 pods 14 seeds S013 Iris sp. aff. reichenbachii ex Vardar
Gorge X Dollop of Cream 6 pollinations 1 pod 26 seeds Q001 Turkish Topaz X I. pumila WG 10 pollinations 0 pods Q018 Turkish Topaz X I. pumila taurica WA 2 pollinations 0 pods Q019 Tadzhiki Eclipse X P00205 1 pollination 0 pods S014 Urban Myth X Zwanenburg 5 pollinations 1 pod 0 seeds T034 I. reichenbachii OB X I. aphylla fieberi 2 pollinations 0 pods Q020 Dunshanbe X Steppe 8 pollinations 1 pod 0 seeds Q021 Tadzhiki Bandit X P00301 24 pollinations 1 pod 1 seed A014 I. iberica elegantissima X Tadzhiki Eclipse 2 pollinations 2 pods 0 seeds Q014 I. stolonifera 'Chocolate' X Wild Whispers 8 pollinations 2 pods 0 seeds Ba003 Concerto Grosso X I. iberica elegantissima 18 pollinations 0 pods Sa001 Bluebeard's Ghost X I. iberica elegantissima 6 pollinations 1 pod 0 seeds Q022 Werckmeister's Beauty X P00202 9 pollinations 2 pods 0 seeds S015 Slick X Royal Wonder 5 pollinations 0 pods B016 Ahlburg X Tadzhiki Bandit 2 pollinations 0 pods Q023 I. stolonifera 'Network' X I. pumila taurica WA 1 pollination 0 pods A015 Dardanus X Tadzhiki Bandit 6 pollinations 0 pods B017 Say Red X I. stolonifera 'Chocolate' 24 pollinations 0 pods B018 Maidenhood X Dunshanbe 2 pollinations 0 pods B019 Oops X Dunshanbe 8 pollinations 0 pods A016 I. paradoxa atrata X Tadzhiki Bandit 1 pollination 0 pods B020 Night Mood X Tadzhiki Eclipse 2 pollinations 1 pod 0 seeds a036 I. barnumae urmiensis JL X I. barnumae urmiensis ASI 9 pollinations 0 pods a037 I. barnumae urmiensis ASI X I. barnumae urmiensis JL 4 pollinations 0 pods B021 Sultry Dreams X Tadzhiki Bandit 5 pollinations 4 pods 12 seeds t021 Redrock Princess X I. suaveolens JR or ? 3 pollinations 5 pods 143 seeds S016 Icon X ? 1 pod 14 seeds
As of today (April 22), pumila season is winding down and the arils and arilbreds are just coming into bloom. I've made almost 200 pollinations so far, almost all intercrossing different pumila forms. If there is a lot of extra seed, I will donate some to SIGNA. It's been a very gratifying spring so far, as the seedlings grown from the first seeds I obtained in 2010 are coming into bloom: seven different I. pumila and three I. attica. It's also been a good year for the other pumilas growing in the garden. At least as far as this species is concerned, I feel finally "underway" with ample breeding material in hand. I also see lots of buds coming on many of the tetraploid arils, a most welcome development! Some seedlings are germinating now, more than last year at this time, although it still seems spotty and those I planted last autumn have not sprouted (yet).
The first pumila opened March 18, and I pollinated it with frozen pollen from last year's 'Werckmeister's Beauty'. I got an apparent take with frozen pollen last year, but only when the seedlings bloom will it be clear whether the cross was true or not.
January 2014
Here are the crosses I made in 2013. The seeds were planted November 8.
Q008 04A004 X Dunshanbe 7 pollinations 0 pods Q009 I. pumila aequiloba X I. stolonifera PC 5 pollinations 1 pod 27 seeds P019 I. pumila WG X 04A004 10 pollinations 3 pods 45 seeds Q010 Tiny Pirate X Aladdin's Gem 1 pollination 0 pods Q011 I. pumila WG X Dunshanbe 4 pollinations 0 pods P020 I. pumila y/br X I. pumila WG 3 pollinations 0 pods P012 I. pumila WG X I. pumila aequiloba 14 pollinations 1 pod 13 seeds P021 I. pumila "clausii" X I. pumila WG 13 pollinations 0 pods P022 Wild Whispers X I. pumila WG 2 pollinations 1 pod 51 seeds P023 I. pumila taurica WA X I. pumila WG 5 pollinations 0 pods P024 Steppe X I. pumila y/br 3 pollinations 0 pods P025 I. pumila taurica WA X 04A004 2 pollinations 0 pods P026 I. pumila taurica WA X I. pumila "clausii" 3 pollinations 0 pods Q012 Tadzhiki Bandit X I. pumila taurica WA 5 pollinations 0 pods SB002 Dollop of Cream X Anacrusis 1 pollination 0 pods Q013 Werckmeister's Beauty X I. pumila WG 2 pollinations 0 pods B011 Saucy X Tadzhiki Bandit 4 pollinations 1 pod 0 seeds B012 Say Red X Tadzhiki Bandit 16 pollinations 0 pods A012 I. iberica elegantissima X Tadzhiki Bandit 2 pollinations 1 pod 4 seeds Ba001 Anacrusis X I. iberica elegantissima 1 pollination 0 pods Q014 I. stolonifera 'Chocolate' X Wild Whispers 2 pollinations 0 pods B013 Maidenhood X I. stolonifera 'Chocolate' 4 pollinations 0 pods t007 Dividing Line X Buddha Song 10 pollinations 0 pods S010 Rust sdlg: (Stellar Lights x I. aphylla polonica) X I. pumila WG 2 pollinations 1 pod 8 seeds S011 Oops X I. pumila aequiloba 10 pollinations 0 pods B014 Night Mood X Werckmeister's Beauty 5 pollinations 2 pods 22 seeds B015 Sultry Dreams X Werckmeister's Beauty 12 pollinations 5 pods 82 seeds Ba002 Iridescent Orange X I. iberica elegantissima 2 pollinations 0 pods A013 I. barnumae urmiensis X Tadzhiki Bandit 2 pollinations 0 pods B008 Crow's Feet X Werckmeister's Beauty 11 pollinations 0 pods at001 Peebee and Jay X I. barnumae urmiensis 1 pollination 0 pods t016 I. pallida variegata X ? 1 pod 2 seeds
July 2012
Final report on this year's crosses. Harvested the final pod on July 23.
P010 I. pumila aequiloba X I. pumila "clausii" 2 pollinations 2 pods 2 seeds P011 I. pumila "clausii" X I. pumila aequiloba 25 pollinations 3 pods 10 seeds P012 I. pumila WG X I. pumila aequiloba 1 pollination 0 pods P013 I. pumila yellow/brown X I. pumila aequiloba 6 pollinations 1 pod 2 seeds P014 I. pumila "clausii" X self 4 pollinations 2 pods 36 seeds Q002 I. stolonifera PC X I. pumila WG 2 pollinations 1 pod 14 seeds S004 Rain Dance X Hildebrant 05B11 2 pollinations 0 pods B001 I. aphylla AA X I. stolonifera PC 2 pollinations 0 pods TS002 I. aphylla AA X Hildebrant 05B11 2 pollinations 0 pods S005 Sea Monster X Zwanenburg 6 pollinations 0 pods S006 I. aphylla AA X I. pumila "clausii" 3 pollinations 3 pods 43 seeds T019 I. schachtii X I. aphylla AA 1 pollination 0 pods Q003 Werckmeister's Beauty X I. pumila taurica WA 2 pollinations 0 pods Q004 Zwanenburg X Aladdin's Gem 2 pollinations 0 pods T020 I. aphylla small form X I. aphylla 9 pollinations 0 pods BS001 Honey Not Tonight X Sea Monster 9 pollinations 0 pods BS002 Loud and Rowdy X Rain Dance 5 pollinations 0 pods BQ001 Noble Warrior X Aladdin's Gem 7 pollinations 1 pod 22 seeds Q005 Dunshanbe X I. pumila aequiloba 2 pollinations 1 pod 0 seeds SB001 Bluebeard's Ghost X Noble Warrior 2 pollinations 2 pods 17 seeds Q006 Bronze Beauty Van Tubergen X I. pumila "clausii" 4 pollinations 3 pods 34 seeds B002 Saucy X Werckmeister's Beauty 8 pollinations 3 pods 25 seeds B003 Say Red X Dunshanbe 1 pollination 0 pods Q007 VeraMarina X Aladdin's Gem 2 pollinations 0 pods B004 Butterscotch Blush X Bronze Beauty Van Tubergen 9 pollinations 0 pods B005 Maidenhood X I. stolonifera PC 5 pollinations 0 pods BP001 Rare Breed X I. pumila aequiloba 4 pollinations 0 pods BP002 Aztec Prince X I. pumila "clausii" 8 pollinations 6 pods 116 seeds t007 Dividing Line X Buddha Song 5 pollinations 0 pods B006 Raiding Fort Knox X Noble Warrior 2 pollinations 1 pod 8 seeds T021 Butterscotch Blush X I. schachtii 4 pollinations 0 pods B007 Sultry Dreams X Dunshanbe 4 pollinations 3 pods 35 seeds B008 Crow's Feet X Werckmeister's Beauty 3 pollinations 0 pods S007 Points West X I. pumila "clausii" 4 pollinations 1 pod 4 seeds t008 Redrock Princess X I. suaveolens rubromarginata 2 pollinations 0 pods B009 Gypsy Lord X I. stolonifera PC 2 pollinations 0 pods B010 Lady of the Night X Dunshanbe 4 pollinations 0 pods
September 2011
Now that most of this year's acquisitions have arrived and are safely planted in the garden, I've been thinking about possible crosses next year and how to prioritize them. Of course, last year's plans were derailed by the arils and I. aphylla not blooming, and I know next year will also have its own unexpected complications and obstacles. Still, here is what I'm thinking of doing.
Iris pumila will likely bloom first, and I have a range of different ones to work with now. First priority would be to pollinate them with tetraploid aril pollen, should any of the pumilas bloom late enough (or any of the arils early enough), to make this possible. Otherwise, the pumilas will be intercrossed, with excess seed going to seed exchanges.
The first priority with the oncocyclus species is to cross clones of the same species, if I should have more than one bloom. The goal is to perpetuate the species in my garden, and perhaps also have some excess seed for the seed exchanges. For oncocyclus that I have only one clone of bloom, and for diploid RCs, I hope to pollinate them with tetraploid arils or with I. pumila, in about equal numbers if possible. 'Aladdin's Gem' (for AAP triploids) is also a possibility here.
I have acquired many clones of Iris stolonifera and Iris hoogiana. I would like to cross different clones of the same species to perpetuate them. On an equal priority with this are tetraploid aril x tetraploid aril and tetraploid aril x pumila crosses. If I'm unsuccessful in diploid aril x tetraploid aril crosses, I will also want to try the reverse cross at least a few times.
I hope to have Iris schachtii and several clones of Iris aphylla bloom. I will cross the aphylla clones as a first priority, try schachtii x aphylla, and use the pollen from both species on BBs and other tetraploid medians. I also want to try aphylla x tetraploid aril and schachtii x tetraploid aril (and perhaps the reverse crosses, if timing and quantity of aril bloom permits).
I have Iris reichenbachii from several sources, and will intercross them and try them on tetraploid medians to test for tetraploidy. (I suspect they are all diploid.)
I'd like to try any surplus pumila pollen on smaller tetraploid medians, to see if I can get diminutive plants of the PPTT type, fertile with SDBs.
I also want to try pollinating the tetraploid medians with pollen from tetraploid arils, particularly Regelias.
I have some smaller AATT arilbreds ('Anacrusis', 'Wadi Safra Moonlight'), which I may cross with each other or taller ABs for arilbred medians in the AATT family.
That's the basic part of the plan, contributing directly to my work with the tetraploid fertile families.
There are also some crosses I would like to try in order to learn something, or for fun. These are a lower priority.
TT diploids: I seem to have ended up with a large number of different I. suaveolens plants. I will intercross them, and use their pollen on other diploids (MTBs, 'Mme. Chereau' and 'Swerti', 'Buddha Song' and I. pallida variegata). I also have I. timofejewii, which will be used similarly if it blooms. I'm picturing miniature little irises with variegated foliage...
If Iris attica blooms (I hope to have two different clones), I will intercross them and also pollinate some with I. pumila.
I want to try 'Zwanenburg' pollen on SDBs, to test if it is really APTT rather than AAPT as is usually supposed.
Finally, I want to try some crosses not expected to produce fertile offspring, just for the experience of doing them. These will include using 'Aladdin's Gem' on SDBs and ABs, SDB x AB crosses, and TB x AB crosses. I may also put diploid aril pollen on my diploid dwarf species for diploid arilbred dwarfs.
That sounds like a lot, but I know it is better to have too many things in mind than too few, the way plans tend to go awry. Making this table was an excellent exercise in sorting out all the many ideas in my head and pulling them into something resembling a plan. Here's a summary, grouped by pod parent, as this is a scarcer resource than pollen. Organized this way, when something blooms in the garden, I can immediately see what my options are and make the highest priority cross I'm able to.
pod pollen priority goal I.
pumila tetraploid aril high arilpums I. pumila mid species perpetuation, seed
exchange oncocyclus
other clones of same
species high species perpetuation, seed
exchange oncocyclus and
diploid RCs tetraploid arils mid triploids to work into tetraploid
lines, or a chance tetraploid I. pumila mid triploid arilpums to work into
amphidiploid lines, or a chance amphidiploid Aladdin's Gem low triploid arilpums to work into
amphidiploid lines I. stolonifera
and I. hoogiana other clones of same
species high species perpetuation, seed
exchange tetraploid
regelias and RCs I. pumila high arilpums tetraploid regelias and
RCs high tetraploid arils oncocyclus and diploid
RCs mid triploid arils to work into
tetraploid lines, or a chance tetraploid I.
aphylla other clones of same
species high species perpetuation, seed
exchange tetraploid arils mid arilbred medians I.
schachtii tetraploid medians mid tetraploid medians I. aphylla mid tetraploid medians tetraploid arils mid arilbred medians I.
reichenbachii other clones of same
species high species perpetuation, seed exchange,
test ploidy tetraploid
medians I. reichenbachii high test ploidy, tetraploid
medians I. aphylla, I.
schachtii mid tetraploid medians I. pumila mid amphidiploid dwarfs tetraploid arils mid arilbred medians I.
attica other clones of same
species mid species perpetuation, seed
exchange I. pumila low PPP triploids to work into
pumila lines, or a chance tetraploid diploid arils low diploid arilbred dwarfs I.
suaveolens other clones of same
species mid species perpetuation, seed
exchange diploid arils low diploid arilbred dwarfs diploid
medians I.
suaveolens low diploid medians SDBs Zwanenburg low test chromosome configuration of
'Zwanenburg' Aladdin's Gem low arilbred dwarfs ABs low arilbred medians ABs ABs (small) mid amphidiploid arilbred
medians Aladdin's Gem low arilbred medians SDBs low arilbred medians TBs ABs low quarterbreds SDBs low IBs tetraploid arils low amphidiploid ABs I. pumila low PPTT medians
May 29, 2011
The hybridizing season came to a close yesterday when I pollinated the final bloom of 'Enchanted Mesa'.
May 17, 2011
Wrapping up the season with a few crosses not in my original plan: Iris reichenbachii pollen on 'Enchanted Mesa' to test whether this clone may be tetraploid, 'Baby Blessed' on 'Catchy Name' just because both are rebloomers, and a different Iris pumila clone on the second stalk of 'Azure Whir'. I'm not optimistic about any of these, as the TBs are severely frost damaged and the flowers are all malformed.
May 10, 2011
The first TB opened today, 'Azure Whir'. The bloom showed some damage from the frost at the beginning of May, but I pollinated it with Iris pumila. Since the arils are not blooming this year, I thought using the pumila pollen on TBs might be interesting, so that I could learn about this classic cross for SDBs firsthand.
May 5, 2011
Iris reichenbachii bloomed today. I do not know if this particular plant is diploid or tetraploid, and no other TTTT type has bloomed yet. I polinated it with I. pumila pollen, since it looks like my tetraploid arils will not bloom this year, and so there is now no special need to conserve pumila pollen. If the I. reichenbachii is indeed tetraploid, the cross should produce amphidiploid dwarfs compatible with the SDBs. The cross was difficult to make, the bloom being so small.
April 11, 2011
Instead of intercrossing my Iris pumila plants, I have decided to hold their pollen for use on the tetraploid arils. It looks like there may not be a lot of bloom on the pumilas, and I already have many pumila seeds planted and plants on order, so I no longer see a great need to produce more pumila seedlings.
I also plan to make some crosses outside my main breeding program for learning and for donating to seed exchanges.
September 2010
This coming spring, I expect bloom of several different clones of I. pumila, the two regelia species and two tetraploid aril hybrids, and perhaps I. aphylla and I. reichenbachii. The pumilas will likely bloom first, so they will be intercrossed. I. pumila pollen will be used on the tetraploid arils in hopes of starting a line of arilpums. If I run out of I. pumila pollen before running out of aril blooms, I will likely intercross the arils or perhaps pollinate them with aphylla pollen. If aphylla and reichenbachii bloom, they will be crossed to test whether the reichenbachii plant is a tetraploid. I may also try some aphylla x pumila crosses if there is more aphylla available than reichenbachii.
Summary:
cross type goal I. pumila x I.
pumila expand range of I. pumila
clones available for breeding tetraploid aril x I.
pumila fertile arilpums
(AAPP) I. aphylla x I.
reichenbachii test I. reichenbachii clone
for tetraploidy, possibly produce tetraploid dwarf hybrids
(TTTT) (aril x aril) expand range of tetraploid arils
available for breeding (aril x I.
aphylla) fertile arilbred medians
(AATT) (I. aphylla x I.
pumila) fertile miniature dwarfs
(PPTT)
September 2010
Updated November 2014

Unless otherwise noted, all text and illustrations copyright Tom Waters and all photographs copyright Tom or Karen Waters. Please do not reproduce without permission.