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Re: Unknown early bloomer


This is one for the iris detectives among us.   I'd like an ID, so I'll try to
tell you the relevant information.  Yesterday a friend gave me a couple pots
of an unknown iris that he'd dug out of his garden, an iris he got by digging
rhizomes from an old cemetery a few years ago.  In the cemetery the iris kept
getting mowed down during the growing season, but survived and bloomed each
year.  The foliage in my friend Evan's yard-and thus in these pots
now--doesn't get this treatment, and gets 6-8" tall.  The unusual thing is
that it is now blooming, which no iris I've ever heard of does in northwest
Iowa this early in April.  The blooms, which have no discernable fragrance,
are down in the foliage an inch or two.  They are about 1 1/2" across and
tall, standards a light to medium violet; falls deep violet and quite velvety
with a lighter edge and lighter markings across the hafts and they are
recurved; beard is white and thin; light violet style arms very noticeable and
the ones I see so far seem to be split at the end into 2 pointed ends rather
than rounded.     The rhiizomes grow in a thick clump.  This is not
atroviolacea, which I have in my garden and whose growth habits are not the
same.  Besides, it's a couple weeks away from bloom, at least.  That's about
all the useful details I have noticed   I hope some of you will have some
ideas.  I've never seen any iris bloom this early in any garden up here, and
I'm really intrigued, would like to know what I have.   Thanks for any
suggestions.

Arnold (in NW Iowa, where we had 8+ inches of heavy., wet snow on Sunday
night/Monday morning, and it has all melted under sun, temps of upper
60s-lower 80s and southerly winds.   Much above normal temps, but right now we
love it, and I can already be out there cleaning up iris beds this soon after
the snow!)

Arnold & Carol Koekkoek
38 7th Street, NE
Sioux Center, IA 51250
e-mail  koekkoek@mtcnet.net

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