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Black Iris

We have the great honor of guesting some of the newest seedlings and
introductions of many hybridizers from around the world.  Next year we are
hosting a joint regional trek and our garden is the master garden.  Many
incredible seedlings have bloomed in the guest beds this year and we have
been truly blessed to see some of the future intros of these hybridizers. 
Monday one of Keith Keppel's opened up, it's called Midnight Oil (Keppel
1998).  I like black iris but have been a little disappointed in the form
and bud count of many of them.  Black iris also open late in the season and
here they have trouble opening due to the May heat?.  Midnight Oil is well
branched has nice form,  is actually wide at the hafts and has good bud
count (8).  The most impressive thing is the color, completely black!  Both
standards and falls are black with a very, very, very dark purple beard.  I
know most of you are saying "Before The Storm is really black".  True but I
held a flower of BTS up next to Midnight Oil and Midnight Oil is much, much
darker!! IMO Midnight Oil is a huge advancement in truly black iris.  I
believe it is available from Keith this year, I know that we will
definitely add it to our collection!
Mike Sutton
43 degrees and raining, USDA Zone 8/9
Where the TB bloom is entering its 8th week and all the MTBs are starting
to bloom again.

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