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Re: REB: cold climate rebloomers

Very useful information, Laurie. The same goes for the photos posted at Dave's Garden. -- Griff

----- Original Message ----- From: "Laurie Frazer" <lauriefr@localnet.com>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 11:33 AM
Subject: [iris] REB: cold climate rebloomers

For those of you hybridizing cold climate rebloomers:

Up here in northern MN, zone 3b, I've only had six irises rebloom in
the last 12 yrs.  Five of those have only rebloomed once, and two of
those died right after the one time they did rebloom.  Only one,
however, has rebloomed twice for me, in addition to surviving the three
most devastating winters I've seen here in the last 12 yrs (I lost 150+
iris cvs each year as a result of two of those winters and 200+ as a
result of the third).  The miraculous iris that has managed this feat
is one that I never see anyone mention among the lists of cold-climate
rebloomers.  It is the TB, LILTING.

LILTING is not only a very lovely flower to my eye, but it is an
exceptionally reliable spring bloomer (which most TBs are not in my
garden).  Unfortunately, it is an excruciatingly slow grower, never
seeming to grow clumps of more than a few rhizomes.  I've never done a
bud count on it, but I suspect it's average to below average in that
respect, as well.

Still, there is something about LILTING that loves cold weather enough
to reliably bloom and occasionally rebloom in zone 3b.  If I were
breeding for cold climate rebloomers, this iris would be at the top of
my potential parent list.  If someone would like to remind me in June,
I'll be happy to see if it has any pollen and try a few crosses both
ways with it just to see what happens.


USDA zone 3b, AHS zone 4 - northern Minnesota
normal annual precipitation 26-27"
slightly acid, potassium deficient, clay soil

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