Bloom Season 2013

Iris bloom started three weeks later than in 2012, with Iris danfordiae not opening until February 17. It was followed by purple reticulatas, and then by many blooms of 'Cantab' (which I had planted last fall and forgot about!). The bearded irises started with an Iris pumila seedling from George Hildebrandt (SIGNA seed 04A004), which opened on March 22, followed by a deep violet pumila from
Wild Ginger Farm, Iris pumila aequiloba, and the miniature arilbred dwarf 'Tiny Pirate' which I got from Superstition Iris Gardens, all blooming the first week of April. The second week of April brought stormy weather, with high winds, a little rain and snow, and freezing nights. The pumilas continued unabated, with the three from the previous week being joined by I. pumila taurica, I. pumila "clausii", and 'Wild Whispers'. The first hybrid MDBs bloomed this week as well: 'Trimmed Velvet', 'Rosa Brooks', and 'Storm Compass'. The following week gave bloom on an unusual form of I. suaveolens collected by Jim Archibald.

Iris danfordiae
reticulata iris

reticulata iris 'Cantab'

Iris pumila 04A004
Iris pumila
'Tiny Pirate' (Rich 1990)
Iris pumila 'Wild Whispers'
(Coleman, 2012)
Iris pumila taurica
I. pumila 'Steppe'
(J. Burton, 2010)
'Trimmed Velvet'
(D. Spoon, 2006)
'Rosa Brooks'
(J. Burton, 2010)
I. suaveolens Archibald 590.950
The first arilbred median, 'Enigmatic Elf' opened on April 14. SDB season began three days later, with 'Urban Myth' coming into bloom, joined by 'Pussycat Pink' the following week. A hard frost then came along and wiped out everything that was open. Things started to bounce back the last few days of April, with MDB 'Dollop of Cream' managing to bloom on a single remaining undamaged stalk, while arilbred medians 'Vera-Marina', 'Zwanenburg', and 'Anacrusis' came through nearly unscathed, actually putting on an impressive show. Iris aphylla and arilbred median 'Concerto Grosso' rounded out the end-of-April display. The first IB, tetraploid 'Saucy', opened May 2.

'Enigmatic Elf'
(Jensen, 2007)
'Urban Myth'
(Chapman, 2010)

'Pussycat Pink'
(Black, 2006)

'Dollop of Cream'
(Black, 2006)
(Ransom, 1998)
(Denis, 1912)
'Tadzhiki Bandit'
(Ransom, 1997)
'Tadzhiki Bandit'
(Ransom, 1997)
'Concerto Grosso'
(Mathes, 1998)
(Mathes, 1992)
Iris aphylla
(Craig, 1998)
On May 3, freezing temperatures again threatened. Although it probably hovered around the freezing point for a shortime, there was little immediate damage to the irises. The highlight of this year's bloom season, Iris iberica elegantissima, opened May 4, as did MTB 'Say Red'. A lovely selection of Iris stolonifera, 'Chocolate' opened on May 6. By May 12, 'Oyez' was in bloom, along with IB 'Nickel', several MTBs, and Lynn Markham's aphylla-bred SPEC-X 'Night Mood'. The second oncocyclus of the year, Iris barnumae urmiensis, bloomed on May 15. On the 17th the historic TB 'Wabash' and modern BB 'Crow's Feet' opened.

'Enigmatic Elf'
(Jensen, 2007)
'Urban Myth'
(Chapman, 2010)

'Pussycat Pink'
(Black, 2006)

Iris iberica elegantissima
'Irisdescent Orange'
(Mathes, 2001)
Iris stolonifera 'Chocolate'
(White, 1938)
(Craig, 2003)
'Say Red'
(Craig, 2008)

(Craig, 2008)
'Dividing Line'
(Bunnell, 2005)

'Redrock Princess'
(Witt, 2006)

Sultry Dreams
(Craig, 2008)
Iris barnumae urmiensis
Night Mood
(L. Markham, 2003)
(Black, 2006)
(Williamson, 1936)
'Crow's Feet'
(Black, 2006)
September brought a pleasant surprise: my first seedlings to bloom! These are Iris pumila, originally from Sevan Lake, Armenia. I obtained the seeds three years ago from
Josef Jurášek of the Czech Republic.

Armenian Iris pumila seedling
Armenian Iris pumila seedling

 Tom Waters

March 2013

Updated February 2014


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Unless otherwise noted, all text and illustrations copyright Tom Waters and all photographs copyright Tom or Karen Waters. Please do not reproduce without permission.