LIVE LONG AND PROSPER (Kanarowski 2024), TB, E-M, 38”


LIVE LONG AND PROSPER (Kanarowski 2024), TB, E-M, 38”

 

A PROBLEM …. and a solution

As a seasoned and responsible hybridizer, with self-imposed high standards to meet, I knew that someday I would be confronted with a special iris problem.  You have bred to one of your own introductions and the seedling you got was quite similar but apparently better than the parent.  What should you do?  Because I had considered and even predicted this dilemma would one day take place, when that fateful moment finally did arrive in 2017, I had a two-step game plan already in place.

I realized that my question would most accurately be solved by science and not by emotion. …. and also with the passage of time.   If the seedling was thought to be better, exactly how was it better?  If one flower was taller, what were the actual numbers? Which of the two plants consistently displayed the best ‘clump effect’?  If the two flowers bloomed at different times, which was which?  So, I didn’t dilly-dally around with feelings, I set out to measure my various observations with a tape measure and actual field observations.

And as you may have noticed, because the seedling first appeared in 2017, the other important part of my plan was to consider the merits of the anticipated flower as observed over a considerable period of time. Over the years, I’ve learned that this type of evaluation shouldn’t be rushed.  The passage of time will reveal hidden attributes and also un-noticed problems that might be otherwise un-accounted for.  So, I watched and studied LIVE LONG AND PROSPER for 7 years before making my final decision to introduce it or not.  The end result was a pleasant surprise.  The more I watched, the more that it revealed about itself.  And the longer I watched, the more I liked what I saw. Happily, there weren’t any negatives to discover, only new positives.    


MOVING FORWARD BY …. taking a step back

The new seedling, LIVE LONG AND PROSPER was the happy result of a cross from my PHASERSON STUN (Kanarowski 2015) and seedling #0365. PHASERS had been sent to the 2023 Dallas National Convention.  When the final votes were counted, the flower that won the Franklin Cook Cup for best out-of-region bearded iris was a lovely Arilbred, ‘Lucky Dragon’, by Rick Tasco, collecting 22 votes.  And the first Runner-up to it was my ‘PHASERSON STUN’ with 20 votes.  So, with an Arilbred iris taking first, Phasers was actually the best Tall Bearded iris in Dallas.  For the Top 15 Favorite Irises, ‘PHASERS ON STUN’ was the top vote getter with 60 votes.  ‘Lucky Dragon’ was second with 54 votes.   Furthermore, as icing on the cake, PHASERSON STUN received the Award Of Merit in 2023.

The whole point of the above is that PHASERS ON STUN has already established itself as a solid and popular iris.  Could seedling #0637 be the better flower?  And if it was, shouldn’t that contribute to making the decision to introduce it or not?


CUTTING TO THE CHASE …. the actual findings

After a long and careful evaluation process, here are the seven areas where, I concluded, LIVE LONG AND PROSPER topped its parent.

ü  Deeper, richer, more heavily saturated colors throughout

ü  Better, bolder and more contrasting orange beard color

ü  Buds displayed higher, taller and more perfectly

ü  Improved, almost perfect branching

ü  Mid versus Early bloom season

ü  Large flowers, 4”H x 6”W

ü  Upgraded clump effect

So in the end, it was the accumulation of scientific positives AND the length of that list that soundly convinced me to introduce LIVE LONG AND PROSPER.  This great flower is comfortably 20% better than its well-recognized parent.


BASIC FLOWER DESCRIPTION …. the nitty gritty

TB, 38”,Mid-late

STANDARDS:  brilliant gold, rimmed light brown eyelash marks

STYLE ARMS:  moderately darker than standards with more brown

FALLS:  deep gold with one-inch rich, blackish-red band

BEARD:  brilliant clear orange


EXTRA  DETAILS …. not mentioned elsewhere

Deceptively simple and yet elegant  Curb Appeal strong  Colors attention getting, bold and hot

Fading or Aging Issues vibrant colors little changed with age  Stem Strength and Proportions good

Bud Count 7 to 8 buds w/ occasional triple socketed terminal  Fragrance some sweet fragrance

Ruffles moderate  Plant Vigor very good  Heat Tolerant yes  Substance satisfactory  Very easy breeder

Breeding from good parents  Distinctive in a high demand color class


“FROM MY HER HYBRIDIZING NOTES” …

My granddaughter, Ellie, stayed with us during her senior year of high school.  That year she took a keen interest in three things:  soccer, boys and iris.  So when I had her interest in the iris patch, I told her that she should always make a couple of notes on the flowers that interested her the most.  So here is what she wrote that year about seedling #0637.

“Enjoyable (stalk and bud count).  Heat tolerant.  Strong performer.”   As it turned out, Ellie liked that flashy seedling so much that she even made a couple of crosses to it.


FLOWER …. power

Most would agree that the color gold is the single most eye-catching and boldest color in the iris field.  And in the case of this flower, LIVE LONG AND PROSPER appears to have richer, more heavily saturated and bolder colors than its nearest competitors. So if you liked PHASERS ON STUN, you should like the updated version even better.  An Iris From The Future.

PICTURE CRITIQUE or PICTURE ANALYSIS

All of the pictures that I have used appear to be quite accurate.  No better or worse than actually observed in the field during multiple blooming seasons.

PARENTAGE ….

Seedling  #0637: Phasers On Stun X #0365: #0157  ((Gypsy Woman x Conjuration) X Starring)

Two rhizomes:  $70