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TB: No. 1 favorite iris

  • Subject: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] TB: No. 1 favorite iris
  • From: "FRANCELLE EDWARDS" fjmjedwards@worldnet.att.net
  • Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 21:25:13 -0700
  • Importance: Normal

This is the iris that got me hooked on modern tall bearded irises.  I believe it was in 1987 that I first saw it in Shepard’s Iris Garden here in Phoenix and thought it was the most beautiful flower I had ever seen.  The bed was surrounded by art students who were trying to capture its effervescence on paper.  I ordered it at once and paid the highest price I had ever paid for any plant, $10.  


After all these years, it is still my number one favorite iris.  Oh how it multiplies!  I have given it away by the bushel.  When we have our club rhizome sales, I always have a whole box full there.  I just dug one two year clump today and got fourteen perfect rhizomes.  Its first bloom comes in March, so it is often the first iris of spring in my garden.  Then it repeats at the regular bloom time in April.  One year I planted a thirty foot row of Mountain Violets, spectacular!


It gave my husband and me a very memorable occasion in our lives.  In the early spring of 1999 we drove to Garland, Texas for our son’s wedding.  We arrived on a cold, blustery mid-afternoon of March 2, and there by his front door a stalk of Mountain Violet in full bloom was holding up in the wind.  Our son wasn’t home from work yet, but what a beautiful welcome that iris gave us.


It has only one fault, and that one makes me sad.  It seems to be completely sterile.  It never has pollen, and I have never seen a pod on it.  In the two years of the thirty foot row, even though I wasn’t hybridizing then, I noticed a lot of bee pods in my garden, but none on the Mountain Violets.  How I would love to get some of its qualities in a seedling, but descendants from it are not to be.  I just enjoy it as it is.


Francelle Edwards  Glendale, AZ  Zone 9


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