« Without hybridisation no evolution »
As early as in the 19th Century, horticulturists and passionate amateurs have gone to lengths to crossbreed different iris species, whether it be in Europe, in the United States or as far as Australia. Travelling and exchanging ideas has contributed to the significant transformation of the iris family as a whole, in terms of dimension, shape, length of the flowering period, colours…. Everything has evolved.
Crossbreeding an iris could not be simpler: here is what you should do:
- First of all, remove the pollen-laden stamens off the plant you select to be male (the pollen is visible to the naked eye)
Remove the sepals from the plant you chose to act as female, in order to avoid pollination by insects (bumblebees).
Take the pollen found on the stamens an swipe these onto the stigmas (which should be firm) of the flower you chose to be the mother plant.
Label the pollinated flowers at their base in order to be able to record the origins of the cross into a notebook or on computer (thus ensuring you are not simply creating new breeds haphazardly)
A good dose of patience is imperative: the first flowers will not open for 2 to 4 years after you crossed them.