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Re: CULT: Foliage! (somewhat lengthy)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: CULT: Foliage! (somewhat lengthy)
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <cwalters@cache.net>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 21:02:31 -0700 (MST)

Hi Anner!
     You write (2 Apr 97):
> Thank you so much, Jeff, for kindly providing me with with this
> I've been putting off ordering the manual until the revisions are
> Are there any additional---or type-specific---guidelines for beardless
> cultivars? What about species, or do they fall in the cracks because of
> focus of the manual?

The foliage points for dwarf and median bearded iris mainly relate to the
effect of the foliage on the visiblity of the blooms. There is no point
scale for garden judging of aril and arilbred iris. Perhaps more
interesting is both the foliage of beardless iris and the comments on
judging the same.

Japanese (30 points out of 100 assigned to foliage)
     "Japanese foliage can be blue-green or yellowish green. It can be
upright or fountainlike, but each must be vigorous and in good proportion
to the stalks, disease resistant and attractive in all growing seasons. In
general, blue-green upright foliage will be the most trouble free."

Louisiana (10 points out of 100 assigned to foliage)
     "Any plant with a short bloom season needs foliage that lends itself
to enhancing the garden picture and does not detract from it. The foliage
of LA iris varies in height, thickness, width, color and growth habit due
to the diversity of different species. When evaluating the foliage, no
criticism should be made of variations, provided the foliage is
proportionate in size and quantity to the overall plant size and provided
the foliage is free from blemishes, insects and disease. Experience
suggests that those cultivars that have a bluish green foliage are much
freer of rust and leaf spot than those having yellow-green foliage.
Crinkling or pleating of the foliage, especially on the bloomstalks, is not
unusual and should not be faulted."  

Siberians (10 points out of 100 assigned to foliage)
     "Siberian foliage should maintain its qualities from early spring
until frost, and a cultivar showing any tendencies toward disease or untidy
habits during the summer should be seriously faulted. The foliage of a
particular cultivar should compliment the flower and not sprawl hapazardly.

      The foliage should stand upright, not spraying out, and should remain
erect or present a graceful fountain effect. It is especially important
that cultivars present a total clump effect rather than an outer circle of
growth with an empty central area. Siberian foliage covers a wide range in
form and position. Foliage width may vary from very narrow to quite broad.
      No matter how beautiful the flower is, plants with unhealthy foliage
should be seriously penalized."

Species (15 points out of 100 assigned to "good foliage")
     (Minimal comments overall compared to other classes, the only ones
pertinent to foliage being)  "Though few irises are evergreen, those that
present acceptable foliage year round are to be commended."

Spuria (15 points out of 100 assigned to stalk and foliage combined)
     "Foliage is a dominant feature in spurias. It should be upright or
arching and of good healthy color. It should not droop, nor appear messy or
untidy, and should show no evidence of disease."

I do not detect much emphasis on the esthetic qualities of foliage for its
own sake, except in the Siberian comments.

Jeff Walters in northern Utah (Zone 4)
"This is the Place" - sunny again, but quite cold and windy today


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