The Saga of 'Ally Oops' (Spec-X)
By Dana Borglum


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Borglum's Iris Gardens is a pretty busy place during bloom season. We usually host approximately one-thousand flower lovers and customers during that period of time of five to six weeks. We use two-way radios to keep in contact with each other, there being four to five workers dealing with folks on a busy day.

There came a day in the 1999 season where I was working with some customers and my daughter Kris called me on my radio saying that a customer wished to purchase the Siberian iris in one of the display beds which had blue standards with yellow falls and blue veining.  My mind raced to recognize the description, but decided I knew of no such bloom. I radioed back that it couldn't be, please tell me more.

I finished with my customers and soon was racing to that part of the garden to see for myself what possible bloom she could be talking about. There it was, as she said, a small seedling growing where a seed pod had dumped a load of seeds and it was blooming. Doesn't say much for my keeping the beds clean, but I'm glad I was delinquent that time. 

I hastily removed the seedling and planted it in a safe place, along with the other seedlings around it, in case any of them also was ‘different’. The other seedlings later proved not to be ‘different’.

This special young seedling grew rapidly and multiplied. In 2002 it was introduced as ‘Ally Oops’, named after my youngest granddaughter Ally who is Kris’ daughter and was in a clumsy stage of her life.  In 2010 'Ally Oops' received the American Iris Society's Randolpf-Perry Award for best species cross.

As to it’s origin, the only parentage I can conceive of is the Siberian which dumped it there x ?.  It has Pseudacorus leaves and growth habits with Siberian type buds.

The first two (2) years it produced Siberian type stalks with only 2 buds, no branching. The third year the flower was larger, opened yellow and then faded to near white, still having the blue standards and blue veining. This year, 2003, it was more yellow again (?) and has two way branching with up to four buds. No telling what 2004 will bring.  It seems to change some every year as if it doesn’t really know what it’s supposed to be.

Hopefully, the answer will be apparent this year when it will be chromosome counted. The little surprises in nature are so much fun. We have a seedling from ‘Roy Davidson’ that is quite unusual and now some twenty seedlings from that to bloom in 2004, if we’re lucky. So, the fun never ceases and, if God lets us, we’ll go on doing it for many more years.

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