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[iris] CULT: HYB: observation

When this group first started in 1996, some of you may remember that I was searching for cultivars that go dormant during really dry weather. By dormant, I mean they lose all their green leaves and wait out the summer, don't start growing again until cool fall weather & (hopefully) rain.

These were the cultivars that were the most reliable bloomers here. In general, cultivars that tried to support green leaves during the summer mostly just died eventually.

Now, with half? of the rows of iris taken up by seedlings, the contrast between seedlings and those old reliable cultivars is striking - lots of green foliage on seedlings, growing all summer in spite of drought (but with heavy chip mulch), interspersed with what looks like empty space where the summer dormant cultivars are just starting to send up new foliage.

Some of you have said that the same irises that go dormant in summer here stayed green all summer for you - I assume that's just because drought stress is worse in my gravel soil.

No big revelation - huge root systems on seedlings from stuff like IMMORTALITY et al X summer green cultivars (growing here in watered, protected pots to get pollen) make it possible for these summer green children to get enough moisture to keep growing.

I wasn't thinking about this result, just hoping for eventual early fall rebloom, but in retrospect, it isn't surprising. Will try to get a photo that shows the contrast.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.DiscoverET.org/etis>
Region 7, Kentucky-Tennessee <http://www.aisregion7.org>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
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