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Re: CULT:Late bloomers

The 'Honorabile' and it's sports group are always late bloomers for me in 
central NM, but have never been the last bearded to bloom (till this 
year).  I would never call them "early" in any sense of the word.  In 
general, anything with lots of I. variegata in it's bloodlines is going to 
be late-blooming here. This very last to bloom was perhaps exceptional, as 
it was in a pot in the shade.  I hadn't even noticed it had a stalk.  It 
is 'Brown's Mutant', and it has the last flower open today (a good week or 
more after the other "last" bearded Iris).  The other exception this year 
was a 'Loreley' sitting in a pot next to it, also not noticed, which was 
only two days earlier to finish

This year 'Wabash', 'Bright Hour', 'Evolution', 'Berkeley Gold' (the real 
one), and Shah Jehan were among the last to flower as well.  I thought my 
I. foetidissima was done a couple of days ago, but it had more buds hiding 
in there, and there were a few more flowers this morning. 

There is one old TB that is consistently among the last bearded Iris to 
start and to finish here, but I've blanked on the name, and will need to 
look it up.  It is an old variegata with a moderately large rounded flower 
(for an oldie); no ruffling; basically no substance; decent color but not 
outstanding; flowers like crazy. 

So, for truly last of all Iris, it is a running battle between some of the 
Spurias, I. foetidissima, and some of the darker purple and magenta 
Louisiana cultivars (would have to look up cultivar names on all of these, 
as I've never memorized any of them except the species).  Interestingly I. 
fulva (I only have average one) is one of the first to bloom, and it is a 
Louisiana too.

None of my more modern TB's come in last - ever, but then I don't grow 
quite as many either.  There was a very late TB in a pot here the Bot. 
Garden, and I need to check the name.  It was way later than any of the 
others, but still finished several days ago.

I expect the regional climate, as well as seasonal variation has a huge 
affect on what is blooming when and in relation to what else.  My bearded 
Iris always follow roughly the same sequence every year, but things do get 
switched around a tiny bid from year to year.  Some years (like this year) 
the season progresses in rapid succession and is quick (started late this 
year though), and other years it is more spread out.  Expanding beyond 
Iris to other things as examples.  I sometimes have Crocus, Daffodils, 
Tulips, Hyacinths, etc. all flowering together at the same time in March 
or April.  Other years I have Daffodils before Crocus in January (not 
often), or may not see a Tulip until late April long after all the others 
are finished and dried up.  One year I actually had some Daffodils 
blooming in late May with the last of the TB Iris.  It really varies a lot 
from year to year, and I'm sure that regional climatic variations and even 
soil differences and exposure can make a huge difference in what flowers 
when.  Different ancestries may mean that different cultivars respond 
differently to the same varying seasonal triggers, and things can seem a 
little mixed up at times.


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