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Re: HYB: variegata and west coast USA


Linda Mann wrote:
> 
> I keep reading, perhaps over and over again in The World of Iris (TWOI),
> that I. variegata doesn't perform well on the west coast of the USA
> (Oregon, California).
> 
> What does that mean?  Any of you west coasters ever actually try to grow
> any I. variegata clones or any oldies that were pure variegata like ?
> HONORABILE?

> Does it rot? Fail to grow?  Have the 'molliegrubs'? Fail to bloom?  Have
> flowers that look pathetic next to others?

Unlike some folks, I know that Colorado is NOT part of the west coast --
it is definitely 'way west of the Mississipi so maybe that counts.
Anyway, when I moved onto this hill 17 years ago there were huge clumps
of overcrowded iris & once these were divided & started flowering again
it proved to be a yellow-&-rust-brown variegata. For quite a while I
thot it was the species but from photos & descriptions I'm now (pretty)
certain it's HONORABILE (MTB, 1840.) A few rz. die off every
winter/spring of non-specific rot but increase is so rampant this is not
a great problem & clumps fill in quickly.

One thing about whatever this variegata is, the year following division
it blooms little or not at all, tho it comes back strong the next year.
This may not be specific to the plant so much as a reaction to my very
short growing season -- I don't yet have a lot of named iris & very few
recent intros so it's difficult to make comparisons re this tendency to
"rest" a year but I have found that the earlier following bloom that I
can move & replant any rz. here the faster the plants recover & are more
likely to flower the following year.

Marte in the mtns	Zone 4/Sunset 1  Colorado -- where the snow melted
enough that I cleaned out the last of the iris beds Saturday. I tried to
dig & move an over-eager batch of creeping sedum & hit what I thot was a
board or something but it proved to be a chunk of ice approx. 18" X 5" X
1/2". What we have here is Rocky Mtn Springtime folks, not really warm
yet.





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