Need lowdown on Iris hybridizing.

dahlia_guy(Zone 8 Oregon)May 29, 2004

I want to try to cross two plants this summer, both belonging to the family Iridaceae. One of the plants blooms about a month before the other so I will need to store some pollen. Questions:

1. How do I collect and store pollen from an Iris?

2. Will the outcome of the hybrid plant be effected by which plant I use for the pollen parent and which one I use for the pod parent? If so, what characteristics are passed on by which parent? (example: flower influence is passed from pollen parent and foliage influence is passed from pod parent)

3. How can I know if the cross will take. While both plants from the family Iridaceae they are not from the same genus.

4. What else do I need to know for my first attempt at crossing Iris relatives?

Thanks in advance!!!


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david_zlesak(z4 MN)

1. I assume Iris pollen should behave like lily and one can take some fresh anthers, air dry them (film canisters work well), seal it and freeze it. Let the canister warm before opening it to prevent condensation on the pollen.

2. Experience only tells.

3. Read up if others tried it, but probably you will find little in the literature. Try it.

4. When making very wide crosses repeated pollinations over days helps and making crosses using various cultivars / genotypes can increase finding a combo that is more compatible.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2004 at 11:58AM
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Walter_Pickett(5-6 KS)

Iris pollen can indeed be dried and frozen and remain viable for a couple of years. If not frozen, it is still good for a while. Iris breeders have successfully mailed pollen around and shared it. Works fine.
I expect this would also work for otehr plants in the family.

1 Like    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 8:47PM
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