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Re: OT-BIO: Robert SOS


Hello Robert, 
Tall Bearded iris grow on your island, you just have to figure out which ones can make it.  We have a few customers on your island who buy rebloomers from us.  One lives at about the same elevation as your client.  She has had mixed results but quite a few do survive and thrive.  If I can get in touch with her I will ask which ones do well and send you a list.  She says that she has continuous iris bloom all year. 
Mike Sutton
-----Original Message-----

 
Aloha from the big island of Hawaii,
Although I am new to this world of irises I find myself intrigued by it all.I am a gardener by trade but rarely have I run into an iris in these parts. ( plenty of daylilies though ) Of course what would you expect in the tropics. I find myself in a situation where a client of mine has his heart set on planting a small bed of irises around a magnolia tree. ( which is presently in bloom) The bed measures 60 feet around. Normally wer'e in zone 11 but this one is probably a zone 10 due to the 4000' elevation. I doubt that it ever goes below 45 degrees ( which is very cold  for us ) and  with a high in the 70's, who can say? This is a crazy kind of place. To make matters more interesting, it's in the vicinity of an active volcano, which adds vog to the formula.   (yes, I said vog, not fog. ) It burns the agapanthus occasionally but not too much else. My client wants, I hate to say it, but here goes, Iris Germanica. Now I know your'e all probably rolling around on the floor by now, but that's the one he chose. It doesn't matter to him that it's not of much interest to collectors of Irises. He wants this one because of the height and form of the foliage, and size and color of the flower. (designers can be like that.)
Upon my looking into it I was  told that Bearded irises do not grow here. However, doesn't really seem to be anyone around here who really knows about  irises. Oh, did I mention that we get about 360+ inches of rain each year. Actually, it would probably be less up there.( maybe 300" ) Now down at sea level where I live,( Hilo town ) they do grow something they are calling the african iris.(Who knows what it really is! ) It's really tuff when the local nurseries don't even know what they are selling. So, my SOS is that I need help finding out what will grow in this area. (4000') And what might I substitute for Germanica. Actually, at this point, any advice ( save, give up! ) would be much appreciated. As a point of interest I might add that at this same location I have 7 large daylily beds in bloom year round. Awesome to behold!
And Yes, there be dragons here!     Aloha




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