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Re: SPEC: Iris longipetala

From: celia storey <storey@aristotle.net>

>Now, I'm not trying to cause any trouble here...I just want to know some
>basics about how to grow this plant.  Anyone out there have a clue what the
>deal is?  My humble guess is that Rodney's page lumps I. longipetala under
>I. missouriensis?  Maybe?  I dunno.
Dennis, as I understand it, longipetala and missouriensis are now
considered to be the same critter, although there is significant variation
in size from location to location. Also called the pothole iris, the Rocky
Mountain Iris and the Western blue iris, they spring up in places that are
wet in the winter and spring but dry out come summer. They grow across the
western states, and are certainly adapted to freezing temps.

I went on a mini-pilgrimage to find missouriensis last spring during a trip
to San Diego County, CA. No, there is no missouriensis along the coastal
portions of that Mediterranean-like area, but as one travels west,
elevation rises from sea level to 3000 feet or more, temps fall, rainfall
increases, and that is where one can find the southern U.S. extent of I.

I saw three good size stands of the plants near Julian, CA., and was
assured they had been there since time immemorial. The area was about 3000
feet above sea level, an open field rimming a small lake. It was quite
boggy in spring, receiving 40 inches of rain or so a year and significant
snowfall; but the ranger said it dries out completely for summer, when
local temps can soar to 110 degrees F.

Soil there was decomposed granite and heavy clay, rather alkaline.

Hope this helps.

Little Rock, Arkansas, USDA Zone 7b
257 feet above sea level, Little Rock soils are often acid, sandy loam, rocky
average rainfall about 49 inches (more than 60" in '97, but less than 42"
in '98)
High humidity, moderate winters, hot summers; but conditions seesaw
Extreme recorded temps: HI 110 F, LO -13 F

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