Irises forum: Let's talk turquy

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Name: Marvin Davis
southeast Indiana (Zone 6a)
Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Indiana Birds Daylilies
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diggit
Jan 9, 2014 5:07 PM CST
Well, turquoise that is. hehehehe
A few years ago I did a cross and once again put it on the back burner. But just for fun thought I would bring it up and see if anyone else has noticed this. I know there are two different types of flower people. Those that just want some color along the side walk and then those that see the blossom as a glittering jewel of nature to be inspected closely for every delicate nuance of detail it has to offer. Consider me in that latter bunch. One day I was looking closely at a very blue iris 'Touch of Sky' and noticed the aqua/turquoise markings on the styles. Wow, really neat. And then I thought I saw hints of aqua along the edge of the standards. Later I was closely scrutinizing the colors in the old plicata 'Daredevil' which would hardly grow for me but I loved the colors. Sure enough there was the aqua on the styles and a little in the stitching on the standards. So , on a whim I decided to make the cross and I took the pollen to 'Touch of Sky' and got a pod of maybe 10 or 12 seeds. Two years later I had a few blooms from some of the plants and sure enough one of them had turquoise markings. Now I have rarely selfed any iris in my work but I thought, why not. Two years later I get a couple of plants from THAT cross that actually were strong enough to send up a spindly stalk. And I was amazed how in just two generations I was able to pull the aqua into the veining around the edge of the standards as well as the falls, not to mention a substantial amount on the styles. There is even markings in the main center of the falls. I still have that plant sitting idle here and wondered if the iris specialists out there know of a particular cultivar to help me take the next step. I know this is quite a reach here and I didn't mean to write a book, but wouldn't it be worth it if somehow we could create a real turquoise?
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[Last edited by diggit - Jan 9, 2014 10:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
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Muddymitts
Jan 9, 2014 6:42 PM CST
Well -- wow. I can't help you a bit, Marvin -- but I can sit here in amazement and admire your flower. I'm not a hybridizer -- wouldn't know where to start -- but I'm another one that inspects every detail of a blossom and *wallows in wonderment* at the exquisite beauty in an Iris. It's a world in a world. People like you are the ones who create this beauty. I tip my hat to you.

I'm so glad you joined our group. nodding
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Brad
iowa (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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ARUBA1334
Jan 9, 2014 8:20 PM CST
Marvin I am impressed I don't think I have seen that color in anything yet other than the SDB TU TU Turquoise, you have another good project to work on. It really is amazing how far they have come with different colors and patterns that would be really neat if you can expand that color.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Jan 9, 2014 9:40 PM CST
ooooooh...wow...(awestruck indrawn breath, here) that is an incredibly lovely color
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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Jan 9, 2014 10:21 PM CST
I have just seen turquoise in the SDBs. You have a good color to pursue, but I have not seen it in TBs. Paul Black's plants are the first place where I would look. Failing that look in every blue TB which you can & it might be spotted.
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
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Patty
Jan 10, 2014 11:09 AM CST
Wow, very exciting! I don't know how helpful this would be, but on Facebook there is a group called Iris Hybridizers which basically anyone can join. There are some very knowledgable folks on there quite willing to give ideas / advise to questions like yours.
Patty 🌺
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
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Misawa77
Jan 14, 2014 8:09 AM CST
This is an interesting question. I must say that I have not looked that close to my pale/light blues. I find this quirk fascinating. I would love to see this color contrasting on a larger scale and more obvious to the casual observer.
Name: Marvin Davis
southeast Indiana (Zone 6a)
Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Indiana Birds Daylilies
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diggit
Jan 14, 2014 11:09 PM CST
Honestly, I feel like it's in there and I am surprised no one has gone after it before now.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Jan 15, 2014 3:51 PM CST
I saw a new SDB with Tu Tu turquoise as a grandparent. You may have to cross pale blues or whites to your plant & build on it. You know how to use a building block for traits with you experience.
Name: ben johnson
springfield, mo
flowerpimp
Jan 17, 2014 9:24 AM CST
I too have noticed the turquoise coloration in Daredevil. Both Daredevil and Touch of Sky ultimately stem from Babbling Brook, which is probably the source of the turquoise/aqua color. You might try crossing it with other irises from Babbling Brook, like Columbia Blue, Full Tide, Avalon Bay, or Firewater (in Daredevil) and Skyblaze (many of the same constituents as Daredevil).
[Last edited by flowerpimp - Jan 17, 2014 9:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Marvin Davis
southeast Indiana (Zone 6a)
Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Indiana Birds Daylilies
Hostas Hummingbirder Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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diggit
Jan 18, 2014 10:20 PM CST
thanks Ben for the added info there. I was shown a picture of a seedling that was a cross of Shoop's Last Laugh X Prince George. It had some vivid aqua veins in the lower falls. Alas, the seedling is no longer. But it does let us know that other lineage also will produce the turquoise color. I wonder that this hasn't been followed up on or at least little mention of it by those in the trade. The good thing is we know it's not isolated to one cultivar and should be an avenue for an ambitious and 'young' hybridizer to pursue. I can just picture a blocky, well built white ground plicata with turquoise stitching and veining.
[Last edited by diggit - Jan 18, 2014 11:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Marvin Davis
southeast Indiana (Zone 6a)
Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Indiana Birds Daylilies
Hostas Hummingbirder Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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diggit
Jan 19, 2014 1:57 AM CST
I know there are some who adhere to the notion of working only with vigorous, well branched plants. I must admit that I have also on occasion been known to preach that sermon. I'll admit that I expected runty plants when I selfed the seedling with the extra turquoise. So I was not surprised to see spindly stalks and runty plants. Like I said it was on a 'whim'.
However, I do see some educational value here for not only myself, but others who someday may take up the cause and they will be armed with the knowledge that such a color is possible and maybe with better observation and selection and lots of patience we will be rewarded some day with a beautiful white ground plicata with bold turquoise veins and stitches shining in the dawns early light. Wow, I was almost getting poetic there.
[Last edited by diggit - Jan 19, 2014 6:23 AM (+)]
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Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
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grannysgarden
Jan 19, 2014 6:24 AM CST
I WANT ONE!!!!
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Name: ben johnson
springfield, mo
flowerpimp
Jan 19, 2014 7:12 AM CST
Hi, Marvin. I did a quick search on Prince George and Last Laugh. Both stem from Parisian Flight, with very complicated lines and more than a few unknown or doubtful elements. However Condottiere figures highly in the parentage. I tried following that turquoise path through Daredevil, crossing it first with Navajo Jewel and then using the best seedling from that cross with Busy Being Blue and Pacific Destiny. All produced blue selfs--with no turquoise to be seen. Crossing those two: ((Busy Being Blue x (Navajo Jewel x Daredevil)) X ((Navajo Jewel x Daredevil) x Pacific Destiny)) failed to produce any turquoise either, but the result was a very nice reverse blue amoena with mid blue standards and white falls.
There was a German introduction several years back called Wondervu which was supposed to have turquoise elements, but I could never find any as it grew in my garden, nor in any of its offspring. So the search goes on....
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Jan 19, 2014 7:31 AM CST
Poetic is right, Marvin -- I can just SEE that turquoise Iris!!! Lovey dubby
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: ben johnson
springfield, mo
flowerpimp
Jan 19, 2014 8:26 AM CST
I had forgotten about this one. Last year I ordered Stan Coates by Leslie Painter. I have not seen it bloom yet, but others may have. It is described as a white with turquoise blue edges on standards and falls. So your dream plicata may already exist.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Jan 19, 2014 8:44 AM CST
Well -- the description calls the color turquoise-blue -- but it just looks blue to me! Think there's lots of room for developing a true turquoise. Could this Iris be used in trying to get there?
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Marvin Davis
southeast Indiana (Zone 6a)
Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Indiana Birds Daylilies
Hostas Hummingbirder Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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diggit
Jan 19, 2014 9:02 AM CST
On my color meter in my head, turquoise is on the left side of blue and violet is on the right side. If you go far enough left you find green. If you go far enough right you find red I suppose. I read a description once that said 'turquoise blue violet' and I thought , "gosh I'd like to see that color". I guess that's why they have color charts. But when I think of turquoise or aqua I am definitely thinking on the green side of blue. I will go find a pic of 'Stan Coates' and see if I want to grow it. Keep talking.
[Last edited by diggit - Jan 20, 2014 10:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jan 19, 2014 9:49 AM CST
I've had Stan Coats for 3 years now, and it has yet to bloom. Growing lots of rhizomes but no bloom!
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Name: ben johnson
springfield, mo
flowerpimp
Jan 20, 2014 8:03 AM CST
I agree with Marvin. Turquoise is on the green side of blue--aqua even more so. If your mixing paint pigments you simply add a little green to blue to get turquoise or aqua. Iris pigments are a different story. What works on a palette doesn't usually hold true for an iris.
For one thing the pigments are layered, so what lies in one layer affects how the eye sees the total color, sort of like colored filters on a lens. I think there is probably some yellow pigmentation underlying blue pigments in irises which present a turquoise coloration. If you examine the parentages of Daredevil and Condottiere, pink plays a part in both. Pink is a carotenoid pigment in irises, as is yellow, while blue is an anthocyanin. The turquoise effect may be due to an interplay between the two in different layers of the petals.

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