11 May 2013

Iris Has Been Around The Block

This bearded iris (Iris germanica) gets around. Not like it's been sleeping with another, but it has had lots of offspring. It was a quick pickup up a few years ago at our neighborhood bar, or maybe it was a spring plant swap. Someone from the adjacent neighborhood brought it and has not attended since. Planted in the spring, it did bloom the following year.

I occasionally drive through that neighborhood and see two houses where this iris is flourishing in the front yard. I would guess one of those owners gave another some divisions in the past.

Being it is a very good hardy grower, I divided this one twice since, and gave away a few pieces to friends that live in that adjacent neighborhood - at another plant swap - so now it's found in three yards there. Last fall after my last division, I gave some to a neighbor on my street and see it blooming there now. Last week on my way to work, I spotted the same iris growing on another street in my neighborhood, along with some yellow iris. This is becoming an invasion.

Last spring, all bearded iris in the yard bloomed sparingly, and by end of spring, were beginning to die out. Iris borers were the culprits - larvae of an egg-laying moth - that tunneled through the root system, leaving them susceptible to rot. A few doses of nasties this spring at the right time kept them safe. One, my favorite, Clarence [2011.05.06], is going to bloom again, but the plants are small and hope is that they will grow back strong for next year.

I have come to love the color combination on this, even though I don't normally care for severely two tone bearded iris. The deep royal purple and light lavender top give me an urge to reach for a grape Nehi every time it blooms. Not knowing its name, it's the Grape Nehi iris to me. Apparently, there IS a Grape Iris out there, but not as grapey as this one.

I will be ready to give some more away next fall. Grape Nehis all around.

5 comments:

Northern Shade said...
Your iris has a beautiful combination of colours. The ones that have 2 tones of purple or blue are my favourites. If I lived just a neighbourhood or two away, I'd swap you for it.
Les said...
I've got one like that too. I admired it in a friend's garden and he gave me some. It was one of the few plants that moved with us to the new house. I have mailed it to friends across the country, put in the display garden at a former workplace, given it freely to family, and finally returned some to the friend who gave it to me in the first place for his new house - 20 years later.
Swimray said...
Les,
Maybe a candidate for the new state flower???

Northern,
Are you sure one of your neighbors does not have one? -- maybe from a friend or a previous home in Virginia?
Janet QueenofSeaford said...
Shared plants are always the best. Love the two toned iris.
Kimberly Lomont said...
Hi There Friend!
I have so many Iris in my yard. Looks like I'll be giving away many also. I enjoyed your post about them.
Kimberly
Garden of Secrets