I.variegata and virginica varieties
Since the beginning of April, irises have been flowering each week as the
spring and summer have given us almost perfect weather here in Ottawa. At
the moment, the last of our TB are flowering (Bubbling Over is still going
strong and Aphrodisiac just finished), Sibirians are still in flower, my
last spuria (I. orientalis) ended last week, and the blue colour is just
showing on the first Japanese. The only disappointment has been that I.
bucharica did not flower and looks sick, to say the least.
I have three I.variagata plants. One flowered last year and immediately
became my favourite because of the spectacular yellow and red-brown colours.
It then proceeded to die a slow, lingering, and unexplained death. I had it
in an ideal spot and can only assume that it was taken by consumption. This
year, the second plant again failed to bloom but it is getting bigger and
The surprise came with the third plant. It turned out to be a papery white
with violet dots on the lower standards and violet lines on the falls.
Mathews records a form which is "whitish ground colour to the falls and
standards which are both violet-veined". My standards are dotted not
veined. He claims that this form is still in cultivation in the UK, having
originated in Jugoslavia. Tamberg, at the MASS meeting, told me that a
similar form is often shown in Germany.
I would be interested to hear from anyone growing I. variagata and whether
they have a violet (double recessive??) form.
I am also interested in learning whether anyone has a vary pale cream form
of I. virginica, which I received as Gerald Darby. It certainly does not
match the bluish-purple flowers described in Phillips and Rix Vol. I.
Ian E. Efford