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Re: MTB: I. Pallida Variegata


This is a hold-over from July.  I was gone for most of a month, and am 
still catching up on posts.

It is interesting the differences in how these variegated Iris pallida do 
for different people in different areas.  Here in central NM, I have 
always had the white one - 'Argentea' grow much stronger, healthier, and 
flower better than the yellowish one - 'Variegata' (= 'Zebra' in many 
listings).   They both tend to burn a bit on pale areas of the leaf in 
summer heat, and sometimes loose their foliage all-together ('Variegata' 
is more likely to loose all its foliage).  They flower at the same height 
(between one and two feet) on any given year when growing side-by-side, 
and neither has ever been characteristic of what I would consider TB size. 
 I don't think I've ever lost one of the 'Argentea' plants, but the 
'Variegata' plants routinely languish and commonly die in summer.  Often 
they are exactly the same color in summer sun, but both look good, and 
quite distinct in spring and fall.  It is the summer heat that 'Variegata' 
can't take.  It seems to me that 'Variegata' requires a bit more water and 
more even watering, needs richer soil, and prefers to be cooler or a bit 
more shaded to do well (I grow them both in full sun in whatever the dirt 
happens to be already - usually mineral sand or clay).  Unlike many 
diploids, neither has proven to be rot prone, even with water in the fans 
during summer heat.

I have never pulled the flowers apart and compared detail by detail, but 
they are very nearly identical if not totally.  I've wondered if they are 
just different sports of the same original clone, but the stalks and 
spathes look too different for that.  I have noticed that 'Argentea' is 
more inclined to produce deformed flowers if under stress than is 
'Variegata'.


Dave

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