Re: CULT: HYB: last to bloom
The last bearded plant to produce open its first flower did so on Saturday.
It is the MTB 'Magyar Medley', a plant very similar to species I. variegata
and needing more iron supplement than any other Iris I grow. In my yard
these I. variegata derivatives tend to be short (this one is only 8 inches
tall), but in other climates I assume they are much taller.
Most of the Iris that still have a few stray flowers are similar MTB's, and
include 'Little Clown' (very long bloom season), 'Proven Stock', 'Pretty
Quirky', I. variegata "mangalae 4354", I variegata "Ebenthal", 'Astra
Lady', and 'Tom Tit' (which looks like a tiny dark pallida, but isn't).
There are a few other late TB odds and ends still looking a bit nice. Some
are nameless, but a few that have names attached include 'Grapette', 'Shah
Jehan', 'Susan Bliss (I. pallida)', 'Black Beard', 'Conjuration',
'Broadway Star', and 'Stepping Out' (which is usually much earlier). A
number of these are on the north side of the house, which adds a few days
to the Iris season every year. Roughly 100 cultivars are done now,
including all the modern ruffly pufflies, and the cut flower stalks fill a
50 gallon barrel, even with the severe damage to the first half of the
season caused by hail and then freeze.
Got lots of weird flowers this year, probably due to the freeze. I had
quite a number with four falls, but usually only two standards (one
apparently got mixed up). There were a fair number with two falls and two
standards, which looks really weird indeed. Hundreds were deformed blobs,
and/or were on deformed stalks, often opening down in the leaves. There
were some odd mutated colorings too. Several Batik flowers had huge white
areas on the falls, and a few had normal plicata falls (hope the pictures
come out). One stalk on 'Sambucina' (Dinar Mtns. clone) had falls that
were half normal striped, and half (divided right down the middle) white
with plicata type edging. I marked that stalk and hope its offsets do
interesting things in the future.
At the Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, all that is left are a couple clones
of I. variegata and 'Neglecta', and they'll be done tomorrow. They are in
the shade all morning so bloom late. And being in a cooler, moister, and
rich spot, these three are taller than they are at my house (by about
double) at about 14 to 24 inches.
The Spurias have been a few years settling in, but I'm getting some flowers
on those now. The wind eats them up as soon as they open, so I'm hoping
for a few calm days. Most of the bearded season was amazingly wind free
(at least for here) with only a few days with gusts over 40mph. So, I hope
I got lots of good pictures this year!
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