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Re: SPECIES: CULT: trojana, cypriana, mesopotamica (was CULT: New Mexican iris...)

  • To: iris-talk@onelist.com
  • Subject: Re: SPECIES: CULT: trojana, cypriana, mesopotamica (was CULT: New Mexican iris...)
  • From: Mike Lowe <mlowe@worldiris.com>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 11:10:18 -0400
  • References: <923800128.32252@onelist.com>

From: Mike Lowe <mlowe@worldiris.com>

Linda Mann asks...

>Mike - do you remember if they succumbed over the winter from freeze
>damage or in the summer from heavy rain after drought or from "overhead
>watering" [=rain] in hot weather?  Or all of the above? Or something

They both succumbed from massive damage to foliage.

cypriana went in midwinter, the leaves froze, turned tan to white, very
much like an evergreen daylily that has frozen hard. The rhizomes were
mushy, and the mush seemed to result from freeze damage rather than any
sort of rot.

trojana made it through the winter but was devastated by March freeze/thaw
cycles. It too, had massive foliage damage, however the rhizomes seemed to
be intact but went due to 'soft rot.'

>Did you ever try to grow I. mesopotamica?

I have never (1 try) received a plant that I could believe was meso. The
iris that I received as mesopotamica turned out to be hardy as nails and a
dead ringer for the cultivar I grow as 'Amas.' I don't have a photo of
mesopotamica nor have I ever seen one. When I visit gardens that have
indicated that mesopotamica 'grows here' I have always been told "Well, we
just lost it." Dykes included plates of the hardier germanicas but did not
have a figure of mesopotamica. The only unifying characteristic of this
plant that seems to be noted by all authors is that it does not grow in
their garden but is magnificent 'some where else, usually far to the south.'

I don't understand how it can be listed as a parent as often and in as
widely separated (and places that have winters!) locations as is found in
the Check Lists. I can believe some other, slightly hardier, 48 chromosome
germanica type, but mesopotamica? I am coming around to the belief that we
are dealing with the iris equivalent of an 'Urban Myth.'


Mike,  mlowe@worldiris.com   --   http://www.worldiris.com
South Central Virginia, USA; USDA Zone 7A

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