The Race for the Red Iris


Today’s New York Times tells us the exciting tale of plant geeks and the race for their chosen Holy Grail, a true red iris.  Stand back and watch from the sidelines coz it’s a tight race to the finish and the pollen is flying!

Now if you’re kinda French and nervous about genetic engineering, be warned.  And check out Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire, wherein he makes the case that gene-mixing is our best hope for significantly reducing the use of pesticides.  (Or for a great contact high, read the chapter on marijuana.)


  1. Personally, I hope the iris wins!

    (Is there really anybody out there who refuses to have iris in the garden “because it doesn’t come in red” — ?)

  2. Reminds of when people were trying to breed the first white marigold. I think Burpee had a contest and some little old lady won. They still call it a MariGOLD, even though it is white. Something not quite right about that!

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