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SPEC: autumn die back

From: "Ian E. & Shirley Efford" <avocet.intl@sympatico.ca>

Following on Christy's comments about leaf structure, I have found this
long autumn has given me time to see the changes that occur as irises
die back.  Each species reacts quite differently to the drop in
temperature.  I have crested irises in a row:- 
lacustris - still has browning leaves and one bud, which will not open
cristata - died back early, no signs of leaves now
tectorum - still has leaves, although browning
milesii - die back early

Do these differences reflect the different native habitats of the
species.  If so, it would suggest lacustris is adapted to cold climates,
which it is, as is tectorum.  How cold tectorum gets in winter is
unclear but northern Japan can be as cold as parts of British Columbia.

One other example relates to Christy's comments.  I.Foetidissima remains
dark green, leaves quite upright, and no sign of browning or frost
damage at all.  This is completely different from all the other species
in the garden and can be seem from 25ft away as a distinct species.  As
it is not from a particularly cold climate, it raises the question how
closely is it related to the other irises.

Ian, in Ottawa

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