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Re: LA: SPEC: Popularizing non-TB iris

From: BigAlligator@aol.com

     Many of the reference books only discuss bearded Irises and sometimes 
Siberian, Dutch, and Japanese Irises.  Spurias, species, and Louisianas are 
often left out.  
     Iris setosa is the most northernly of the Iris species.  It is found as 
far north as Alaska, where I understand it is quite common.  The closely 
allied species, Iris tridentata, is found in some of the southeast US states, 
including parts of Florida.  Iris tridentata appears to be taking kindly to 
culture in sunken kiddie pools filled with sand and Canadian peat.  
    Also native to Florida are some of the Louisiana Iris species and Iris 
virginica.  The taxonomy of Florida Irises is confused at this time.  Several 
times I have tried to check out a fairly large stand of native Irises in 
bloom, only to find a quite large alligator basking there.  Needless to say, 
that changed my mind real fast...  
     With few exceptions, all of these Irises have to be grown in some sort 
of containers to help keep the root zone moist.  This is an area of low 
rolling hills which are subject to drought, especially in the fall and 
     Some of the smaller nurseries are now offering a few species and hybrid 
Louisianas.  Those outlets have not had trouble selling the plants, something 
that is a very good sign.

Mark A. Cook
Dunnellon, Florida.    

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