Saturday, May 28, 2011

Iris Mania

A white Dutch Iris "unknown name".  This was originally from a big box store and has increased & been divided over many years.  The form is dainty and fragile looking but it's quite hardy.  It doesn't flop as easily as the large headed bearded iris.  The larger and heavier the flower, the more easily it flops when filled with rain or whipped in the wind.
 "Mme. Chereau" Germanica bearded iris.  This is a smaller iris in a huge clump simply covered in blooms.   Registered in 1844 by Lemon and bought from Select Seeds.  It's considered an "antique iris".   
Iridaceae "Red Zinger", registered in 1985 by P. Black.  This was from Schreiner's Iris Gardens.  It has received Honorable Mention in 1987 and Award of Merit in 1989.  It's a fragrant re-bloomer.  This has shorter stems and stays more flat.  It looks better where the sun can reflect the bronze highlights.

"Synergy" Germanica Iris was registered by Keppel in 2004.  This was purchased from Schreiners Iris Gardens.  Considered an intermediate bearded, it needs lots of water (unusual for iris) and has been located at the end of a drain down spout.  Tends to flop.  The coloring never fails to stop people in their tracks.

"Batik" Germanica was registered to Ensminger in 1986.  This is a huge flowered robust plant that doesn't increase in clump size rapidly.  It is fragrant and received Honorable Mention in 1988 and Award of Merit in 1992.  Withstands weather well and seldom flops. 

Germanica "Flavescens" has been around since 1813 and is considered an antique.  I found this beauty along a roadside and with permission dug a clump.  It has increased in size and been divided more times than I can count.  A smaller flower on tall stems.  It was registered by Eden Phillpott in 1906.  This is one you will see in old cemeteries and yards. 

"Jennifer Rebecca" Germanica was registered by Zurbrigg in 1985 and purchased from White Flower Farm.  It is a re-blooming (or remontant) tall bearded iris.  It received Honorable Mention in 1989.  It is sometimes light and other times a darker lavender. 
This Germanica Iris is an old bearded variety and I have no idea the name.  I was given this from a preacher in Galesburg in 1997.  This is one huge flower and is fragrant.  It has the true velvet fall.  As with all iris, this flower cuts well and if just open, it stays for several days.  Buds will open after being cut.  This one is perfect for photographing.  Really, you can almost see it stand a little taller as I walk by with my camera.
""Gracchus" Germanica was registered to Ware in 1884 and is an antique.  Purchased from Select Seeds, it's a smaller flower that tends to flop in wind and rain.  As you can see in the picture, it looks pretty with an undercover (which also helps hold it up).  Most of the old antique flowers are smaller, usually very hardy and increase clump size rapidly. 

Large yellow re-bloomer "unknown name" given to me by my daughter, Susan.  The flowers are huge, it blooms heavily and increases clump size.  It is fragrant.  It might be "Harvest of Memories" but not sure.  

"Wabash" Germanica was registered by M. Williamson in 1936 and is considered an antique.  It was purchased from Select Seeds and White Flower Farm.  Purchasing these two of the same kind was the reason I started cataloging my plants.  This will flop if in wind or hard rain but is well worth having.  Even though it's not a huge flower,it shows up anywhere it's situated and increases in clump size.

"Quaker Lady" is a Germanica Iris registered to Farr in 1909 and considered an antique.  This was from Select Seeds.  This has increased in clump size.  It's an unusual smaller flower because it is rather translucent and looks best standing against a dark background or alone.  It is sometimes light lavender (as shown here) and other times a smokey purple.  The silk surface is bronzed.

Germanica "Best Bet" was registered by Schreiner in 1988 and purchased from Hornbaker Gardens, Princeton IL.  It received Honorable mention in 1990 and Award of Merit in 1993.  Many of the newer varieties have sturdier stems which helps them resist flopping.

 Little "Pink Horizon" from the Garden Station in Monticello, Indiana.  This is best located at the front of a border where it will show.  The pale pink petals with orange ruff is unusual. 
"Stairway to Heaven" is a very tall large flowered Germanica in the Amoena style.  It is registered to Lauer in 1993.  It has received Honorable Mention in 1995, Dyke's Memorial Medal in 2000 and Award of Merit in 1997.   This is from White Flower Farm. 

Iris are a beautiful spring accent perennial.  They are not without their little particularities and you may loose a few now and again.  They seldom survive standing in wet soil or buried too deep.  Or sometimes they just disappear over winter.  I always say I'm never going to buy another (because I've lost several) and then in the spring I'm always glad to have so many beautiful examples. 

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