Monday, April 09, 2007

Annie's Blue Iris

It just so happens that I was called to a house today where I had planted a bed of the Deep Navy Blue Iris around a water feature. There were a few early blooms in this healthy patch.

I am fairly certain this is Iris hexagona. It could possibly be a hybrid, Iris hexagona x fulva.

Marie C. Neal's book In Gardens of Hawaii says that C.M. Cooke Jr. introduced both Iris hexagona and Iris fulva into Hawaii in 1937. He grew them as species and hybridized them.

My original Blue Iris plant came as a weed in a plant that I bought at the Flea Market from a little old lady shortly after I arrived here 20 years ago. I have long since forgotten what plant my Iris came with. I saw this tiny sprout and thought hmmm what is that?

I saved it and grew it out to find out what it was. I and many of my clients have been amply rewarded ever since. This Iris was not and still isn't seen much in nurseries here. It blooms primarily in late spring, usually in May for about three weeks. Happy patches can put on a major knock your socks off spring show. It will also bloom sporadically at other times of the year.

Iris hexagona and Iris fulva are both native to the SE mainland and my Deep Navy Blue Iris has proven to be quite happy and prolific here in the tropics.


Cheryl said...

I'm jealous. I've bought plants labeled Louisiana Iris, only to find out that they were really a non-blooming iris. OK, if you looked deep into the mass of green on the right day, you could find a tiny yellow flower or two, but definately not what it claimed to be.

Cheryl said...

Will you be able to bring any plants with you to NC?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I'm not planning to bring any plants with me. I suppose I could smuggle/ship a fat rhizome to Alabama.

Annie in Austin said...

Ooh, la, la .... what a beauty! There are some Louisiana iris at Zilker Park, and Plant Delights has pages of hybrids including the hexagona. We still have a lot of grass that could be flower beds, so there would be room for one of the Louisiana type here.

I love your story of finding a tiny plant, discovering its possibilities and then turning it into a special passalong for your island. Thank you!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

That's cool you can grow Louisianas in Hawaii. They grow great for me in Ohio too, and I'm a bazillion degrees colder than you. LOL. Mine also bloom in May. Who'd've thunk it! I fulva is my favorite species.
jag at badbear dot com

Patrick O'Connor said...

I think your blue iris may be the Louisiana cultivar 'Clyde Redmond'. I could send a picture, if you like, or you could Google "Clyde Redmond iris." Many of the pictures on Google look too purple, and it is hard to get the blue color right in pictures.


Christopher C. NC said...

Hi Patrick, how interesting to find your comment identifying my blue Louisiana Iris this morning.

You might like the post I did on my new blog, An Iris Named Clyde