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Re: SPEC: summer blooming winter iris?


From: Kenneth Walker <kenww@pacbell.net>

James,

I. unguicularis is a beardless iris from the western mediteranean. It is adapted to hot
dry summers and cool wet winters. It has narrow leaves, usually a foot or two long
and can eventually form large dense clumps. The flowers are usually somewhat down
in the folliage, particularly in large clumps. They typically come in various shades of
lavender and purple with a yellow signal line on the falls, but there are reportedly white
forms. I don't think that there are any yellow forms. My own plant bloomed for the
first time last year. I didn't manage to get a very good picture of it, but what I managed
is on one of my web pages:

    http://home.pacbell.net/kenww/my_iris/other/other_iris.htm

I found a better picture on other sites:

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/E_Rowe/iris.htm
    http://www.egarden.com/picOday/1999/02/26.html

If you are familiar with the parts of an iris flower, I. unguicularis and its one or two
close relatives can be identified by looking at the style arms (the female reproductive
parts that are just above the lower part of the falls). On I. unguicularis the style arms
are fused at the base to form a distinctive tube.

Ken Walker

James Brooks wrote:

> Ken -
> Could you tell us a little more about the winter iris, I. unguicularis?
> A couple of years ago I was given some rhizomes of what was supposed to be a winter-blooming iris which bloomed the first time this year, a pretty pale-yellow thing, and then rebloomed in July.
> Could this be what I have?
>
> James Brooks
> Jonesborough, TN
> hirundo@tricon.net


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