Sleepy Time, I think
Last spring I purchased and planted three semi-dwarf bearded iris cultivars: Circus Clown, Bantam Prince, and Sleepy Time. I was somewhat amazed at the end of summer when all three plants carried large, ripe seedpods. Very rarely do the standard Bearded Iris I grow, and there are many, ever set seed. I propagate hundreds of different plants each year but have only grown bearded iris from seed once before, and that was an overwhelming success, although all of the resulting progeny produced nondescript pale violet blossoms. In December I planted the seeds collected from the three SDB Iris after the following treatment;
Circus Clown: 30 seeds divided into two groups. Group A soaked in water overnight and Group B in GA-3 at 1,000ppm.
Bantam Prince: 16 seeds divided into two groups. Group A soaked in water overnight and Group B in GA-3 at 1,000ppm.
Sleepy Time: 12 seeds divided into two groups. Group A soaked in water overnight and Group B in GA-3 at 1,000ppm.
All were planted in the same soil mix and placed on a heated germination pad under fluorescent lights.
As of today many have germinated and been ‘potted up’; most display vigorous growth.
Germination percentages thus far:
CC A = 54%
CC B = 87%
BP A = 50%
BP B = 25%
ST A = 67%
ST B = 50%
Such a small test group proves or disproves nothing, but it is curious that the GA-3 treatment of the Circus Clown seeds seemed to enhance germination while it was detrimental to Bantam Prince and Sleepy Time. If I get seeds again this year I will repeat the experiment, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.
It even looks as if a few of the new seedlings may flower this year!