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HIST: my kind of Iris (was TB: bloom report NM)

Hi Linda,

You asked "Do you know the names of
the ones that were blooming for such a long time?"

I think the strange on again off again weather this spring may have had
something to due with the stretched bloom period, but most Iris only
flowered for the usual few days or perhaps week.  Some really performed for
a long time though.

Regrettably, most are in the NOIDS category.  It is pretty safe to say that
most, if not all, are historics.  I will try to start posting photos soon,
and should have shots of all of these.

Early in the season 'Rare Edition' and 'Eleanor Roosevelt' made the top of
the list, and both produced lots of flowers for over 4 weeks.  'Eleanor
Roosevelt' is my best rebloomer too, and even tries to bloom in mid winter

'Sing Again' flowered for over 7 weeks!, but only with a few flowers at any
given time, except for a few days in the early season, when it was loaded.

'Indian Chief' was the hands down winner, easily surpassing 5 weeks of
flowering, with hundreds of flowers in a 7 by 3 foot patch.  A much larger
patch at the Botanic Garden only flowered for about one week, but put on a
good show.  Not the brightest, but not bad en-mass.

I think the best were some of the blues that I'm guessing are mostly 20 to
40 years old.  They are semi to quite ruffled, tall, fairly large in flower
size, and the flowers "look" blue, though some are really more purple or
lavender.  One produced flowers for over 5 weeks (probably will be over 6
weeks, with the last few stragglers), being my first TB to flower, and
could hold out to the last too, as it still has unopened buds.  It is a
medium nearly true blue, very slightly lighter around the beard, with the
beard pale blue, only very slightly ruffled.  It is tall and stood up to
the wind better than most.

One that I think is 'Babbling Brook', and is one that I've never purchased,
but that I've gotten as something else several times.  The flowers are what
I might call lavender-blue, and it fades sometimes to very pale by the
third day (if it lasts that long).  It is quite ruffled at the margins, has
the middle of the falls pale near white (esp. with age) and has a pale
bluish beard.  It produced flowers for well over 4 weeks, and had a
tremendous number of flowers crowded on each stalk.   Most recently I
received it as 'Dover Beach' from Walmart (and of course it's not).

Several other of this same basic type of blues produced well, but not like
these two.

Another blue, obviously older, has been in bloom for nearly 5 weeks now,
and is still going strong.  The most recent ROOTS had a photo that I think
is it.  This is 'Clair de Lune'.  I think this came from my Grandmother,
but I'm not certain.  Anyway, under artificial lighting, it is an exact
match to the photo in ROOTS, except the striping on the inside claws of
mine is broken into dashes and dots.  Outside in the sun, mine looks more
true blue than the photo.  It really shows up next to 'Ola Kala', which is
about the same size and shape.  'Ola Kala' only seems to flower for about a
week though.

'Accent' (I'm about 99% sure on the ID, with only a faint glimmer of doubt)
was in flower for over 3 weeks, with well over a hundred flowers open on
the best day, on a clump about 4.5 ft by 3 ft.

An old purple bitone (or perhaps it's a bicolor) has produced a steady
supply of flowers for over 4 weeks now, and is just about to wrap it up.  I
think it is 'Sir Michael', but I've only seen one photo of that one, and am
not completely certain that mine is the same yet.

I have an old deep dull lavender one that has no name, and that is a good
long bloomer.  Grows like crazy too.  However, I have no idea what it is,
and have not seen a named photo of anything that compares.

'Batik' has been a bit over 4 weeks now, but most of the flowers all opened
on two days at the beginning, the rest straggling one here and one there.

I have a white I. pallida (has slightly brownish spathes, so I suppose that
makes it "cengialtii").  It is rather smallish in flower size, has a bit of
basal olive-brownish haft and claw striping, but is otherwise pure white,
and it stands about 2 ft tall (for me).  I've not been able to identify it,
and have received it mostly as a "hand-me-down" from several sources.  I've
also gotten it with the name "I. albicans".  (It's the same one I was
mistakenly trying to rationalize into being I. albicans a while back.)
Whatever it is, it flowered like crazy this year, and exceeded four weeks.
Except in color, it is very like another darkish blue I. pallida that I
have, and I wonder if it's not a white sport of that one.  However, that
one has not flowered quite so long this year (it's in different locations
though).  Even if you don't like the small old fashioned flowers, these
pallidas are worth growing just for the scent!

Those are my winners in the endurance category.


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