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SPEC: I. cristata

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: SPEC: I. cristata
  • From: storey@aristotle.net (J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey)
  • Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 19:06:01 -0600 (MDT)

I can now confirm the plant I thought I spotted in March while hiking
through poisoned timberland on the Ouachita Trail in central Arkansas was
indeed the native I. cristata. I had never seen the little fellow in person
before, so I wasn't convinced I was even looking at iris foliage. (It was
also raining and my companion wanted me to hurry along.)
The plants seemed to be flourishing, whatever they were, among dozens of
deceased ferns of a type I had seen healthy and happy in the public-managed
part of the trail. Given the location, an easement across private timber
company land that looked to have been clear-cut the summer before, I
guessed the poison used to kill the hardwoods before the land was cleared
had washed down to the ferns and killed them. But it obviously hadn't
killed these little irises.

Anyone want to hazard a guess what poison I. cristata survived? The timber
companies used to apply dioxins out there; I don't believe that's still the

Many thanks to Beth Matney for bringing along a pot of her cristata when
she and her wonderful husband, Bob, took me see the two clumps of I. verna
thriving on their 66-acre homestead in rural Saline County. Beth has
mentioned these to you in an earlier posting. I wish everyone could have
seen the variety of native plants volunteering on the land. One discovery
after another.

Little Rock, Arkansas ... where we dodged the deep freeze by a few degrees
and today has been chilly but fine. Woods are speckled with pink woodland
phlox and birds-foot violet.

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