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Re: TB: Extravagant

> From: Colleen Modra <irises@senet.com.au>
> Re Extravagant
> I've been sort of growing this for about 6 years and still have only
about 3
> small pieces. It's flowers are certainly extravagant in colour, but
> everthing else about it I find to be miserable. I've grown it in alkaline
> clay and slightly acid loam. How does it do for the rest of you

> > Extravagant (M.Hamblen, R. 1982) TB, 36", E-L.  S. red purple; F
> > lighter, lightening toward center and darkening toward edge, laced and
> > ruffled: cerise beard.  Mission Bell Gardens 1983

This cultivar was hybridized about 50 miles from here. Melba Hamblen's
garden was located in a Zone 6 climate near the Great Salt Lake. The
natural pH of her soil was probably close to neutral (7.0), as are most
cultivated soils in this region. However, as she grew irises on the same
plot of ground for over 40 years, her soil was heavily amended (she had a
large quantity of sewage sludge incorporated in her beds every time they
were replanted). I have grown EXTRAVAGANT for about ten years. It is a good
performer for me once it becomes established, but does not produce much
bloom the first year after being divided and replanted. It is a more
vigorous plant for me than are many of Melba's other introductions I have
grown. As with other hybridizers who have worked at breeding irises for
many years, some of her breeding lines became highly inbred and tended to
lose vigor. EXTRAVAGANT, however, was an outcross (only one of its
grandparents was bred by Melba Hamblen), and does not seem to suffer from
this problem in my experience.
It is a lovely flower; I am sorry that you have not had a chance to view it
with up to 7 or 8 stalks in bloom on a single clump, as I have on occasion.

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2, AHS Zone 7)


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