Irises forum: poor form in standards becoming a trend?

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Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
DaisyDo
Aug 19, 2018 4:29 PM CST
A couple times in the past year in this forum a member other than myself remarked that he/ she could recognize plants as being from certain breeders by their form. So, I started paying more attention.

I like to see blossom standards bow out a bit and then bow in to touch, or nearly touch in the center. I think that's more graceful and balanced-looking. I am not a trained iris judge, but personally I subtract mental points from an iris when I see its standards go stiffly straight up, or flare out at the tips or in a "V" form.

So, lately, whenever I see a database picture of one of these blooms that has what I deem to be a fault in this form, I open it up to see the listed hybridizer. And interestingly, I have been finding that at least 80% of the time these flowers are by just one certain rather prolific hybridizer/nursery.

I know that form is changing through the years, and I celebrate most of the changes, such as wider, more flaring ( less droopy) falls, and more ruffles ( up to a point). But I am hoping that these stiffly upright, or flaring tops will not become a new trend. I think it's awkward looking. I'm suggesting that a certain hybridizer needs to maybe reassess form standards and perhaps breeding stock.

You do what I did, and I think you'll see it's mainly ( with a few excetions) just one hybridizer. Interesting! I won't give the name. If you're observant, you can figure it out for yourself as I did.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Aug 19, 2018 4:32 PM CST
If you're going to criticize form, how about giving us some visual examples of good versus bad (in all its variations) form.

For us newbies, of course! Whistling
A 'Premonition of Spring' - PCI time already?!
Name: Paula
CO (Zone 5b)
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Keysfins
Aug 19, 2018 5:14 PM CST
DaisyDo said:A couple times in the past year in this forum a member other than myself remarked that he/ she could recognize plants as being from certain breeders by their form. So, I started paying more attention.

I like to see blossom standards bow out a bit and then bow in to touch, or nearly touch in the center. I think that's more graceful and balanced-looking. I am not a trained iris judge, but personally I subtract mental points from an iris when I see its standards go stiffly straight up, or flare out at the tips or in a "V" form.

So, lately, whenever I see a database picture of one of these blooms that has what I deem to be a fault in this form, I open it up to see the listed hybridizer. And interestingly, I have been finding that at least 80% of the time these flowers are by just one certain rather prolific hybridizer/nursery.

I know that form is changing through the years, and I celebrate most of the changes, such as wider, more flaring ( less droopy) falls, and more ruffles ( up to a point). But I am hoping that these stiffly upright, or flaring tops will not become a new trend. I think it's awkward looking. I'm suggesting that a certain hybridizer needs to maybe reassess form standards and perhaps breeding stock.

You do what I did, and I think you'll see it's mainly ( with a few excetions) just one hybridizer. Interesting! I won't give the name. If you're observant, you can figure it out for yourself as I did.


From the perspective of a newbie (and everyone was new at some point!), I looked at the options I had to start my iris adventure with. There are colors I prefer, and colors I do not care for. Likewise, there are flower forms that I like, and others that I do not. I chose my list with those features in mind.

There were a few examples that made me say, "wow, now THAT is interesting! But it isn't to my liking". So I did not add those to my list, even though they caught my eye.

In many ways, this is similar to my experiences with orchids. I knew what I liked, what I did not, and learned from more experienced people what orchids would do well in my growing conditions. And dang if I didn't lose my very favorite "antelope" type orchid!

If hybridizers are selling their offerings and they are selling well, I guess someone must like what they are producing, and there is demand. But their creations won't necessarily find a home in my garden.

I enjoy seeing what plants people like, what they do not, and if tastes change over time. That goes for my orchids, perennials, tropicals, and now the irises I am starting on.

DaisyDo, can you share an example of some favorites of yours, and some.....not so favorites? You could help me learn more about flower form, since I am new at all this.

There seems to be something for everyone, and if it isn't being offered yet, chances are it will be! I think I saw a thread here about "least favorite iris in your Gardens", which was fun to go through. Smiling


Edited for fast-finger-typos!
[Last edited by Keysfins - Aug 19, 2018 5:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Aug 19, 2018 8:04 PM CST
For me, there is going to be color combos, or forms others liks that I won't and ones I like that they dont. I don't think i would go and say say that all colors coming out are bad and that is the trend. Just go with the ones you like and move on.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
DaisyDo
Aug 19, 2018 8:51 PM CST
Okay, examples of forms I like, in terms of bloom tops (standards):















Now here are ones in which I find the standards excessively stff, upright or flaring, which I consider awkward. And this is just my opinion for whtever it's worth.













I would welcome the input of some people who have been through the entire judging coursework, and preferably are currently judges. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I feel like I've lately been seeing a lot of stuff being released which really didn't merit release. Are we sacrificing form for new colors and more ruffles? If so, hopefully it's only temporary and attractive form can eventually be bred back into them.

Related to this, I was also somewhat disturbed to see two particular awards of merit on the new awards list:



and

Dewuc whatic (I'll let you look it up in the database), which has amazing color (if you like broken colors), but if you look at the database pictures it has extremely variable form. Both of them do. When you can't count on form to be consistent, is it award-worthy simply for the sake of color innovation?
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Aug 19, 2018 9:27 PM CST
I have to agree that I am not the biggest fan of the flaring/stiff tops/standards. All the pluses you showed me look fantastic, and just right to me, but the ones with stiff or flaring tops look awkward, or 'not right' to me. I do not know on whether or not I'd care if I saw them in person, but these pictures leave a little bit of a distaste to me. Sad

I am still very new to these forums and to a broader sense of irises - With some of my new breeds arrived and planted, perhaps I can see for myself when they (hopefully) bloom whether or not they are "acceptable" in this comparison or not. Either way, it is really hard for me to not like an iris, and chances are, even if I have a distaste towards the more "flared" types, I'll probably still like or love them. Sticking tongue out
One of our Bantam Rhode Island Reds stares intently at me. She is our little protector of our littles in the background!

Sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes you have to hold on tight to what you love. Hold onto your friends and family as you will never know the last time you will see them.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Aug 19, 2018 10:25 PM CST
Thank you, Daisy; that was helpful.

I suppose maybe this one would fall into your "poor form" bucket, but I somewhat like the upright but twisted standards:



I have to agree with you on that A.M. winner, though. Glare I think that's a case of "distinctive" uber alles, which is not necessarily something that I agree with.

(I'm of the opinion (this is wrt daylilies, but is applicable to irises too) that just because you (the hybridizer) can do something, doesn't mean that you (the hybridizer) should do something, and having actually done that something (whether by plan or by accident), that deed/plant shouldn't automatically be blessed with an award, just because it's unique.)
A 'Premonition of Spring' - PCI time already?!
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Aug 19, 2018 10:27 PM CST
I'm not sure if spreading/straight standards are "poor" form or just different Shrug! .

I generally prefer standards that curl in at the top. I just went through some of my photos and noticed that some of my irises have spreading standards and I have never noticed it before. For example: This is my photo of "Don't Stop Believing"

I was doing a happy dance when Don't Stop Believing first appeared in Australia. It was such an improvement on all of the other pinks I had seen. In this case the colour and pattern make up for any other qualities that don't meet my preferences.

Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Aug 19, 2018 10:43 PM CST
Glare
Totally_Amazing said:I'm not sure if spreading/straight standards are "poor" form or just different Shrug! .

I generally prefer standards that curl in at the top. I just went through some of my photos and noticed that some of my irises have spreading standards and I have never noticed it before. For example: This is my photo of "Don't Stop Believing"

I was doing a happy dance when Don't Stop Believing first appeared in Australia. It was such an improvement on all of the other pinks I had seen. In this case the colour and pattern make up for any other qualities that don't meet my preferences.


Oooooohhhhhh hello there, beautiful iris. That's gorgeous. What gets me a little bit curious about 'Don't Stop Believing' is.....it totally can't (and might not actually) be named after my favourite band's world recognized song. You all know it! Whistling If it is only a happy coincidence on the name, oh well, I will endeavour in getting irises that are similarly or exactly named after my favourite songs! Love this one here particularly. Awesome share, Robin!! nodding

Interesting note, and a side-related one, but Steve Perry released his first single in twenty years, and I am overjoyed he did. No Erasin' is the single's name. Hurray! Hurray!

Marilyn - For some reason, 'Lemon Lunar Lander' looks alright to me. It is stiff, and twisted, but it looks better and less flared to me. What do you think? Shrug!




One of our Bantam Rhode Island Reds stares intently at me. She is our little protector of our littles in the background!

Sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes you have to hold on tight to what you love. Hold onto your friends and family as you will never know the last time you will see them.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
DaisyDo
Aug 19, 2018 11:04 PM CST
Yes, as you might imagine from what I've written, I wouldn't be a fan of either Lemon Lunar Lander or Don't Stop Believing. In the case of the former, the twisted standards makes it look bottom-heavy. In the case of Don't Stop Believing the outward flare of the tips just seems awkward. It's a gut thing, and I can't totally explain it.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
DaisyDo
Aug 19, 2018 11:27 PM CST
And I never select irises for their names. That's simply not a consideration in deciding how my garden will look. Names may be fun, but they don't make a landscape look good.

I'll take a pretty, well-formed, vigorous NOID with clear colors, over an appealing name associated with less than agreeable form or muddy color, any day of the week. Names are merely marketing ploys, and I'm not buying a marketing ploy.

I guess I have an independant streak. Even as a teen I didn't follow all the fads, or the latest pop music. I like classical music, clothing styles that never go out of fashion, and a really good book rather than the latest trash on TV. Can you guess that we don't subscribe to cable TV? Hilarious!
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Aug 19, 2018 11:57 PM CST
That could be just me, maybe. Don't Stop Believing appeals to me because of the name coincidence, but also because of the really nice pinks, and those really pretty beards (blue violet?). I don't suppose I would actually order a name coincidence until I have verified (through y'all! Big Grin ) if it is worth grabbing or not.

With the case of 'Don't Stop Believing,' I'd get it for its colours, but also for a coincidental name. Do ya catch me, or am I sounding really odd? Rolling my eyes.

In a lot of ways, we're similar. I am not your typical millenial teen. I wear whatever style I can, what looks good on me, and nothing from the fads of 2017, 2016 or anything that was really popular. I practically despise most music nowandays and go for the classics. I am a really big fan of 70s~80s genre musics. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't clue into some fads Hilarious!

And no, you're not the only one who doesn't have cable TV. I rarely watch any TV show or movie even though we do have Netflix... I share a lot of sentiments with you, Daisy! That's pretty cool to me. Perhaps the biggest similarity is none other than irises! Hilarious! I tip my hat to you.
One of our Bantam Rhode Island Reds stares intently at me. She is our little protector of our littles in the background!

Sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes you have to hold on tight to what you love. Hold onto your friends and family as you will never know the last time you will see them.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Aug 20, 2018 12:24 AM CST
I happen to like some of the flatties.. I just culled one because it wouldn't stand up.. but this one has been lovely..


I prefer the closed standards, but sometimes a color pattern or combination will sway me. I think if you look at which Iris are winning shows and awards, you'd probably find more of the closed standards. So, at least among judges, there seems to be a preference to domed standards. Here are the top TB's this year, starting with 'Haunted Heart'..
Thumb of 2018-08-20/Henhouse/3b7272

Regarding photos differing in colors.. There are two things going on. The first is the photography. Different times of day, different cameras can produce a broad difference in colors. My iphone produces very different pictures than my camera, and not always accurate..

The second thing is that many iris change from day one to day 2 or 3... I call some of Burseen's "changlings" because the color is so different over the course of bloom..
Here are day 2 & 4 of 'Sights unlimited'. These were taken with my camera about the same time in the morning each day.
Thumb of 2018-08-20/Henhouse/b30897 Thumb of 2018-08-20/Henhouse/dcf85d




When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Aug 20, 2018 12:45 AM CST
DaisyDo said:And I never select irises for their names. That's simply not a consideration in deciding how my garden will look. Names may be fun, but they don't make a landscape look good.

I'll take a pretty, well-formed, vigorous NOID with clear colors, over an appealing name associated with less than agreeable form or muddy color, any day of the week. Names are merely marketing ploys, and I'm not buying a marketing ploy.


I both agree and disagree with this.

Many a plant has gotten an invitation to my garden because of the name, either for the name alone, or the name in combination with certain traits. Not all such plants stay - if the plant is really awful, then it goes, despite any name considerations or sentimental associations. (I had to punt a daylily which bore my mother's first name; the blooms were muddy and awful. Sad )

But if it's "good enough" (and some, for my taste, are quite good), then it stays, and I find a spot or a way to make it work. That's how I got irises 'Glacier Point', 'Total Recall' (a rebloomer), 'Lord Jeff', and 'Lovely Lois', for some that immediately come to mind. (Three A.M. winners, one H.M. winner in that lot.)

As for the NOIDs... well, it seems that I am keeping at least some of them, because they turned out to be acceptable plants (if not quite what I was expecting).

A 'Premonition of Spring' - PCI time already?!
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Aug 20, 2018 12:47 AM CST
Those are really gorgeous, Sherry! My favourite is no doubt 'Reckless Abandon.' Yellow standards over red falls for some reason always sway me. Perhaps it is my kryptonite iris colour? As in, "Oh, I have GOT to have that." Hilarious!

Your last two photos really show me a new dynamic I haven't really seen. All my noids in my garden every year have been very similar, with very little difference. My tan noids seem to be the most 'changing' iris, if I should even call it that because the differences are so little, and it could be of mere time differences that alter the look. Shrug!

Thumb of 2018-08-20/UndyingLight/9fe402 Thumb of 2018-08-20/UndyingLight/1765bb
Thumb of 2018-08-20/UndyingLight/63f4f6
Well, then again, now that I compare the photos selected, they hardly seem different to me at all. Hilarious!
If you looked at them in real life, it'd be easier to see the differences - most seem to have a beige/tan standard, with towards the middle, a transition to a shade of yellow. On some, though, if you look at the falls very closely, around the middle, it seems to turn into an almost lavender/salmon colour which is very faint. Puzzling! A fun little puzzle to try and piece together! Whistling



One of our Bantam Rhode Island Reds stares intently at me. She is our little protector of our littles in the background!

Sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes you have to hold on tight to what you love. Hold onto your friends and family as you will never know the last time you will see them.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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shizen
Aug 20, 2018 12:52 AM CST
i think daisydo, it all boils down to "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". what one person might find awkward or displeasing whether it be shape/form or color might be simply gorgeous to another......so?? :: Shrug!

i can only speak for me, and what i prefer in my garden, or which hybridizer/hybridizers please(s) me most. the hybridizer/hybridizers that i do not prefer, i look at the selections, but usually do not purchase.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
DaisyDo
Aug 20, 2018 1:28 AM CST
I have seen some cultivars in the database where every photograph looks like an entirely different cultivar. It can make it impossible to get a consensus as to what the dang thing really looks like! Hilarious!

But I have also noticed that certain peoples's cameras seem to rather consistently make iris foliage look more neon green- yellow, whereas certain other photographers' cameras rather consistently make the foliage bluer. And that, I have to surmise is a camera effect. Some cameras are just off a bit. And when I have a neon-green foliaged picture on the same cultivar page as one with blue green foliage, there can be quite a difference in the depicted bloom color as might be expected. I then find myself forced into taking a mental average of the two to try to get a sense of what the cultivar actually looks like.

Sharp dressed man is one that I think I'm going to have to get! I think it would be gorgeos between golden panther and solar fire. I want to make a small "hot" garden separate from my others.

The "flatties" are interesting. I suppose eventually we'll have some very different-looking breeds of iris, much like we have very different looking breeds of dogs. Just a matter of time and selective breeding. The flatties look like they could be hybrids between Japanese iris and German iris!

Monty, we do have our things in common. Glad you love iris, classical music and follow your own paths just as I do- you a millenial, and me an early baby boomer.

Just an aside here - I want to mention an iris that I believe may have deserved more attention than it has gotton: "Sweeter than Honey." Go look at the pictures of it in this article.
https://theamericanirissociety...
Now that's an example of beautiful form in an under-awarded iris. I think I am just going to have to get that one!
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
DaisyDo
Aug 20, 2018 2:54 AM CST
Yes, Marilyn, "distinctive uber alles" really describes those two. We agree.

We agree on something else too: we both love daylilies. I have Beautiful Edgings, Wild One, Indian Giver, Moonlit Masquerade, Heavenly Angel Ice, Red Volunteer, Strawberry Candy, Shores of Time, Primal Scream, and others whose names I can't recall. Problem is, the deer get two thirds of the blooms as well as a lot of the early foliage. That's why I am moving in the direction of more iris instead. Neither the deer nor groundhogs seem to like devouring iris. You know the varmint problem is bad when you have to select plants based on their toxicity. So I actually rejoiced the other day when some of my monkshood had been eaten. One less groundhog, maybe? We have families of groundhogs under every single toolshed in our suburban neighborhood of quarter acre plots. I used to think them cute, but they have overpopulated so they demolish nearly everything. They even munched some of the new growth out of my big clump of Absolute Treasure, but luckily stopped with that one and did not move on to the others. I'm hoping they won't develop a taste for iris, as they have for so many things that they are not supposed to like!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Aug 20, 2018 3:46 AM CST
At first I was not too fond of the what I call a Tulip topped irises, Where the tops of the standards flair outward on the top, but I'm beginning to like them more. As long as they are all evenly shaped, and hold up I'm OK with them. I don't like it when they flop around or are uneven. Flatties, not so much, but they do look a lot like the Japanese irises I guess. Shrug!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Aug 20, 2018 10:52 AM CST
Daisy, some folks enhance, or photoshop their pictures, which would account for the foliage being off. My iPhone makes everything bright and sparkly looking. I check it against my camera pictures, and the actual flower before I post. I've also noticed that my pictures lose something when being uploaded here. It looks like you've already noticed whose pictures look off... you've probably noticed who's look right too. Take that into account when determining how an Iris looks.. when in doubt, go to other sites and compare more pictures. After awhile, you can tell who's using a Canon or a Nike if you get really good at it. I'm not there yet Smiling
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.

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