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HIST: SPEC: Iris Persica: Last Call

As some of you may recall, for a couple of years, I, with the help  of 
research buddies, my friend Greg McCullough, and Tony Hall at  Kew, have been 
investigating the horticultural history of Iris  persica Linnaeus in North America.
Iris persica, a small Juno which has the honor of being the  first plate in 
the Botanical Magazine, has been in  cultivation in Europe since at least 1629. 
It entered North  American gardens sometime before 1745.
Iris persica is documented to have bloomed on or around  February 16 in 
Tennessee, in North Carolina, and in the Portland OR area.  In cold years it 
bloomed as late as March. Further north it  tended to bloom the first of April. 
We have located several old gardens where Iris persica, known  as Fair Maids 
of February in the South, was known to have grown-- or  the places where lost 
gardens had been-- but we have not  found any surviving plants. 
I plan to finalize the first article on this subject within  the next ten 
days or so, and will  probably write  a second for SIGNA. This is my last call 
for information from  anyone who may have grown this Iris, especially as an 
heirloom, or  heard stories of someone who did. 
Thank you very much. 
Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA
"C'est une merveilleuse petite plante!" Louis Van Houtte, Ghent 

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