Since about 30 years we spend essential fractions of our free time for breeding irises and daylilies.
In case of the irises we were first fascinated by Tall Bearded irises. In this field we have registered some nice varieties (e.g. BERLIN SNOW, URSULA VAHL, CHRISTINE BOEHM, BERLIN GLOW), which even won some minor trophies in Florence, Wisley and Frankfurt. After a few years it became apparent, however, that the acid soil in our garden was not very much in favour of this type of iris. Also, we ran into space problems, because the Tall Bearded irises need frequent replanting to new soil. Therefore, we slowly directed our interest to the beardless iris groups which were better suited to our type of soil. Furthermore, in this field the breeding process had not yet reached the extremely high level of flower quality as in the Tall Bearded irises.
To give a somewhat innovative touch to our efforts, we immediately started experiments with the intention of chromosome set doubling by use of colchicine (induced by Currier McEwen, USA). These efforts to produce tetraploids from diploids were first successful in the field of pure Sibirica hybrids. Later on we found it highly interesting to induce conversions on hybrids which are sterile at the diploid level, hoping that they could become fertil. Indeed we managed to obtain fertile tetraploids in four of such hybrid groups. In this way we could open four possible new directions in iris hybridization. - Our attempts to enlarge the spectrum of hybrids being available for such experiments resulted in some totally new hybrid groups, such as Chrysata-, Chrytosa-, Chrythenica and Sevigata hybrids. In case of the three last mentioned groups we have not yet managed a conversion to the tetraploid state, but we are still working on it. Some more detailed information about the hybrid groups can be found under the relevant links.
In case of the daylilies we have concentrated on tetraploid varieties from the very beginning. We have also converted some diploid seedlings and cultivars to the tetraploid level. Among them was a hybrid from the cross Hemerocallis altissima x CARTWHEELS which, as a tetraploid, added the genes of the 180 cm tall species to the tetraploid gene pool. In addition to this contribution to tall and well branched daylilies we also try to develop modern, large flowered varieties which, under our climatic conditions, open their flowers and express their colours properly (Berlin has the same latitude as Saskatoon in Canada). This objective is increasingly important, since many of the new American dayliliy varieties are selected in the tropical parts of the U.S and in Germany often do not even approximately show the beauty of their catalogue pictures.
As a result of the German re-unification a second garden, somewhat outside Berlin, became available for us, so that the total area we can now work on is about 3000 sqm. We try to apply a crop rotation scheme involving irises and daylilies in order to prevent soil fatigue.
All our iris seeds are germinated by help of the seed cutting method which
allows the production of seedlings at any time of the year under fully controlled
conditions as it is necessary for the application of the colchicine treatment
Daylily seeds are harvested without drying, stored in the fridge just above freezing temperature for two months and then sown out in pots in a warm environment.
The pictures in this homepage are shown to document the development of our breeding results. Only in a few cases they show varieties which are available from us. Some of them do not even exist any more. Especially varieties shown as seedlings, under seedling numbers or with names in quotation marks are not available, since they have to be tested, propagated and registered before they can be offered.
The list of plants being available from us changes parts of its content from year to year, because we are unable to keep all varieties permanently in stock, as a big commercial nursery can do it.
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