Iris cristata and small woodland Iris

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

Mark,
Did you do anything to "save" the remaining Buko Form, or just let nature take its course?
And had you cleaned the seedlings too, and they still survived?  Maybe there just wasn't much old foliage for protection anyway.

Yes, I tried to save it, divided up the entire clump and replanted smaller pieces, but the growth points just sat there and most shriveled away.  I got only one remnant piece to survive.  The super hot & dry summer didn't help, even though I watered the divisions religiously.

The 2 & 3 year seedling plants had been "de-thatched" too, but were okay with the sudden deep freeze.  I think the mother plant's rhizomes had just become too large, dense, and weakened with age, and were in need of division years before.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

A few repeats, but they are all so comely this season that I snapped some photos.  Does anyone get Iris cristata seeding around much?  I rarely get seedlings, even with lots of seed-filled pods typically produced, but I hypothesize these largely get eaten, they seem a favorite of squirrels and chipmunks.  But a do have a few self-sown seedlings, here's one that is flowering for the first time, nothing special, just a nice light slate blue.

Two Iris cristata forms in opposing forms, both are the earliest cultivars to bloom.  The first set of photos is 'Sam's Mini', very low growing and neat, excellent low arching foliage, and highly floriferous.  A strong fast spreader too.  The second set of photos is 'Edgar Anderson', the relative GIANT form, also making fine foliage mats but much larger and taller, and floriferous with crystalline frilly-edged mid blue flowers.  Exploring cultivars such as these is a good reminder just how variable a plant species can be, and gardeners certainly do horticulture a service by recognizing these differences and embracing the more unique forms.  It is worth noting, all Iris cristata forms survived last year's record breaking drought without a scratch.

Iris cristata 'Sam's Mini'


Iris cristata 'Edgar Anderson'
: the 2 photos on the right in early morning sunlight, making the flowers appear more blue.

The flowering of Iris henryi (left) was somewhat ruined by extended periods of rain, and I missed much of the flowering while I was traveling, managed to get a snapshot one rain morning.  Same with yellow Iris minutoaurea (right).  This one is starting to flower less, I believe it needs to be divided and replanted to "refresh" the plants for better growth and flowering in  the future.  I. henryi is also earmarked for division.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Looking around the garden recently, I noticed how different some of the leaf forms of Iris cristata can be.  In the photo on the left is I. cristata 'Shenandoah Sky', with fairly broad leaves with gracefully arching tips.  In the photo on the right, you can see 'Shenandoah Sky' on the left side of the photo, and in the center foreground is I. cristata 'Mountain Girl', with bold narrow-leaved sharp fans of foliage; quite a different look about it.  On the upper right is I. cristata 'Alba' with the more typical arching leaves.

 

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

My original Iris odaesanensis has flowered poorly the last couple years, barely at all.  So I'm trying them in various spots in the garden to find a spot more to its liking.  In this view, is a seedling grown plant, which actually flowered this year (4 yrs from seed) with a couple white flowers.  I noticed that in late summer and fall, the rhizomes bulk up with lots of narrow blue-green fans and shoots... I think they take a while to become established.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I'm not sure how I missed this thread earlier, but your irises are just incredible, Mark!  :o :o

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

These Iris are such easy-doers here... pot up an Iris cristata form and try to sell it for 1$ or even just 50 cents at a New England NARGS meeting, and it's like trying to sell some weeds, no one wants them because they're so commonplace here.  I find them all totally delightful and satisfying regardless.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I potted up some Iris cristata in the spring a few years ago and forced them the following winter very successfully with just natural light.  They were blooming door prizes at an early March NARGS  Minnesota chapter banquet.  Bill Dougherty of Summer Chase Gardens spoke on iris.  He is very good.  Iris that I potted up in late summer/early fall did not survive.

So if you have an overabundance, you can play with them in the winter, too.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

WimB
WimB's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

McDonough wrote:

These Iris are such easy-doers here... pot up an Iris cristata form and try to sell it for 1$ or even just 50 cents at a New England NARGS meeting, and it's like trying to sell some weeds, no one wants them because they're so commonplace here.  I find them all totally delightful and satisfying regardless.

:o :o

Just come and sell them over here, Mark. You could ask 5 euro's for a pot of I. cristata and they'll sell very easily...

Wim Boens
Wingene Belgium zone 8a

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

WimB wrote:

Just come and sell them over here, Mark. You could ask 5 euro's for a pot of I. cristata and they'll sell very easily...

True enough, but it would probably cost 10 euros per pot to ship them ;)

Funny how in a global context, some plants receive little fanfare while elsewhere the same plants can be coveted.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

WimB
WimB's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Iris 'Eco Little Bluebird' is showing a flower now, a bit out of season  :rolleyes:

Wim Boens
Wingene Belgium zone 8a

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