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Re: SPEC: Questions

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>From: Glenn Simmons <glsimmon@swbell.net>

>The specie I bought are:
>    Gerald Darby\

'Gerald Darby' is a hybrid between I. virginica and I. versicolor
(technically I. Xrobusta).  It grows into quite a large plant even under
ordinary garden condtions, perhaps about twice the size of the usual TB.
The flowers stems just top the foliage and carry small, light blue-violet
blooms.  The stems and leaf bases are heavily stained purple; the stems are
almost black.  Grow this one under fairly moist conditons, or even at a
pond margin, where it is spectacular.

>    Phil Edinger

'Phil Edinger' is an offspring of 'Holden Clough" and as such is mostly I.
pseudacorus.  It needs moisture, but not as much as pseudacorus.  Grow it
in good organic soil.

>    Pink Virginica

I. virginica varieties do best by the waterside but can also adapt to moist
border conditions.  They can get very large (see above). Grow in a good
organic soil that stays moist.

>    Pseudocoyus (sp?)

I. pseudacorus is a true water iris that also can be grown in regular
garden beds.  When planted in shallow water it can become gigantic.
Heavily branched stems carry many bright yellow flowers in typical forms.

>    Tectorum

I. tectorum is a crested iris that grows to about 18" or so.  It
appreciates the same conditions as TBs, but can take more shade.  Nice at
woodland margins.  The flowers open rather flat and are typically
lavender-blue with darker markings.
>My questions on the above are: shade or no shade, how much moisture,
>soil conditions they prefer, fertilizers, color, bloom period and
>anything else you all can think of that I need to know.

All of them thrive best in full sun, but can deal with more shade than TBs.
Shade reduces the amount of bloom proportionally.  Except for tectorum, all
prefer much wetter conditions than TBs and are good choices for pond
margins and poorly drained areas.  A heavily organic soil is best, if so,
fertilizers are not needed.  The all bloom at some time during the TB
season.  All except 'Phil Edinger' are pictured in my book.

PS--please don't take offense and think me pedantic, but "species" is both
singular and plural, "specie" is not a word unless used to refer to payment
in gold or silver, an obscure usage.  AND my real pet peeve:  the word is
pronounced "spee-sees" not "spee-shees", despite the narrators of so many
nature films!

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

Best book title this week: TREADMILL TO OBLIVION, the autobiography of
radio comedian Fred Allen.

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