Re: Re: Cult: Variegated Foliage
Here in Central NM (USDA Zone 7/8) I have had pretty good luck with most
variegates. I find that in general they are a bit slower growing, smaller,
and less inclined to flower than their green close relatives, but not
The I. variegata cultivars do not have problems with winter here, it is the
sun in summer that damages them, especially the one with yellowish stripes.
Both of these have grape-scented blue (a bit purplish) flowers. If you
don't like the pallidas (I very much do), then the TB and BB cultivars
might appeal more. They are bigger all around, and they have somewhat
modern looking flowers.
I have found that of the variegates I grow, the tetraploid tall bearded
hybrids are the strongest growers, and flower as well as many of the
non-variegated cultivars. Zebra Gardens has several of these, and all of
theirs that I've tried are strong growers. A few of them rotted out the
first try in summer heat, but I don't blame that on variegation or the
cultivar, but rather on trying to plant out a fat green growing rhizome
during a hot NM summer. It happens a lot here with a variety of bearded
Iris when they are first planted, not just with variegates. Actually this
problem seems worst cultivars that have lots of I. variegata (name is due
to stripy flower, not variegated leaves) in their ancestry. This isn't so
much of a problem once the plants are established.
All the variegates I've tried seem to bloom fine here (one I haven't had
long enough to bloom yet), especially the TB cultivars.
Here is a list of what I grow, and a few comments with some of them. Most
have white or near white stripes on the leaves. The TB and BB cultivars
all look much alike when not in flower.
I. foetidissima 'Variegata' (I grow this is some afternoon shade)
I. laevigata 'Variegata'
I. pallida white stripes in leaves (sometimes sold as argentea,
albo-variegata, variegata, etc.). Flowers well for me.
I. pallida yellow stripes in leaves (also sold under various names, most
often "zebra" [technically I think thing this is incorrect]) This one is a
weak grower and sensitive to intense summer heat and sun here. Some shade
and good compost in the soil help, but then they don't flower well then.
In the sun they flower well. This is stated to be the better grower of the
two pallida cultivars in most regions.
I. pseodacoris 'Variegata' - stripes are yellowish
I. "ensata" 'Variegata' (is this species designation correct? - I haven't
seen the flower on this yet, vigorous grower)
'Canadian Streaker' - TB - flower light violet-blue; foliage with PBF
'Striped Britches' - BB - white self
'Striped Jade' - TB - nr. white in centers, pale yellow toward edges
'Zebra Blush' - TB - flower is variegata; standards light yellow; falls
light rose purple; with PBF
'Zebra Halo' - TB - nr. white in centers, pale yellow toward edges
'Zebra Milk' - TB - white self
'Zebra Night' - TB - deep violet purple self
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