Bloom Season 2016

This year, I'm changing the format of the bloom report. I'll be reporting only on irises pertinent to my breeding program, and including photos only if the plant is new to bloom here or if the photo is superior to photos from previous years.

Bearded Species

The first Iris pumila to bloom this year was the Armenian seedling P002-05, with a single smallish bloom, on March 16. This was followed on March 21 by the I. pumila from Wild Ginger farms, with multiple blooms that all seemed a little small and cold damaged. The weather turned nasty the next day, temperatures in the 20s or even lower, and high winds. I. pumila 'Keystone Oracle' opened on March 30. With nighttime temperatures again dipping well below freezing, I began to wonder if that was all there'd be of pumila season this year. On April 6, two pumilas from Carol Coleman popped into bloom: 'Wild Whispers' and 'Royal Wonder'. Two I. taurica seedlings (raised from seed obtained from Vojtech Holubec) opened on April 8, followed by 'Little Drummer Boy' on April 10. The Vardar Gorge plant opened on April 12, about a week earlier than last year, the first non-pumila bearded iris this year. Rain and cold slowed things down a bit, but I. pumila taurica and I. reichenbachii opened on April 15. More pumila seedlings bloomed the following week. P011-01 ("clausii" x I. pumila aequiloba) bloomed without the orange cast it had last year, along with a somewhat more refined sibling. The unusual grayish Armenian pumila P002-13 bloomed every bit as nice as in 2015. The first I. aphylla opened on April 24. The last week of April saw some second-year seedlings bloom: I. subbiflora, I. taochia (questionable), and S006-01, a cross of I. aphylla X I. pumila. The end of April and the beginning of May was cold and rainy, but more I. reichenbachii bloomed, along with a striking I. junonia from seeds from an Archibald collection. I. aphylla 'Ahlburg' was very showy in a huge clump this year. 'Slick' opened May 3. A couple attractive I. aphylla seedlings from the MIS seed exchange bloomed the first week in May. I. croatica from the BIS seed exchanged bloomed May 14, impressive but a bit suspect on account of the yellow beards. Likewise, a seedling purporting to be I. cypriana seems doubtful.

'Keystone Oracle'
(Jesberger, 2011)

'Wild Whispers'
(Coleman, 2012)

'Royal Wonder'
(Coleman, 2013)

I. pumila taurica ex Caucasus
I. pumila taurica ex Caucasus
'Little Drummer Boy'
(Willott, 1997)
Iris sp. aff. reichenbachii ex Vardar Gorge, Macedonia
I. pumila taurica
I. reichenbachii
I. pumila "clausii" X I. pumila aequiloba
I. pumila "clausii" X I. pumila aequiloba
I. pumila ex Sevan Lake, Armenia
I. pumila ex Sevan Lake, Armenia
I. pumila ex Sevan Lake, Armenia
I. aphylla AA
I. subbiflora ex Spain
I. taochia (questionable) ex Turkey
I. aphylla AA X I. pumila "clausii"
I. taochia (questionable) ex Turkey
I. reichenbachii
I. reichenbachii
I. junonia
I. aphylla 'Ahlburg'
(Chancellor/Rust, R. 2013)
I. aphylla Witt V-4
I. aphylla 'Slick'
(Lynn Markham, 2003)
'Slick' X I. aphylla Witt V-4
'Slick' X I. aphylla bohemica

I. croatica
'Slick' X I. aphylla Witt V-4
I. cypriana (questionable)

 Dwarf and Median Cultivars

MDB 'Dollop of Cream' bloomed on April 12. Almost two weeks later, MDB 'Icon' and SDB 'Abuzz With Charm' came into bloom. 'Kaching' opened on April 26. The first of the tetraploid medians, 'Saucy', opened May 1 in cold rainy weather. SDB 'Eye of the Tiger' and IB 'Rimaround' followed on May 3. A rather pleasing SDB-like seedling from 'Points West' X I. pumila bloomed on May 5. SPEC-X 'Night Mood' followed on the 7th. IB 'Starfield' opened on the 10th. The following weekend brought out IB 'Dazzling', SPEC-X 'Date With Destiny', and MTBs 'Hot News' and 'Tic Tac Toe'. 'Bundle of Love' opened on Monday the 16th, followed by 'Sultry Dreams' the following day. Two elegant medians opened on May 23, MTB 'Silver Ice' and BB 'Sprint'. MTB 'Rayos Adentro' rounded out the season the last week of May.

MDB 'Dollop of Cream'
(Black, 2006)
MDB 'Icon'
(Keppel, 2008)

SDB 'Abuzz With Charm'
(Coleman, 2013)

SDB 'Kaching'
(Black, 2009)
IB 'Saucy'
(Craig, 1998)
SDB 'Eye of the Tiger'
(Black, 2008)
IB 'Rimaround'
(Aitken, 2007)
'Points West' X I. pumila "clausii"
SPEC-X 'Night Mood'
(L. Markham, 2003)
IB 'Starfield'
(Tasco, 2012)
SPEC-X 'Date With Destiny'
(Black, 2009)
IB 'Dazzling'
(Black, 2008)
MTB 'Tic Tac Toe'
(Johnson, 2010)
MTB 'Hot News'
(S. Markham, 2009)
BB 'Bundle of Love'
(Black, 2007)
IB 'Sultry Dreams'
(Craig, 2008)
MTB 'Silver Ice'
(Black, 2014)
BB 'Sprint'
(Aitken, 2008)

MTB 'Rayos Adentro'
(Morgan, 2007)


 'Loudmouth' opened in mid-April, starting off the arilbred season. On May 4, I had maiden bloom on an arilbred dwarf seedling from my cross of 'Aztec Prince' X I. pumila "clausii". A keeper! 'Desert Snow' opened on May 5, followed quickly by 'Peresh' and my two other 'Aztec Prince' X I. pumila seedlings that had had their maiden bloom in 2015. Deliciously veined 'Jonnye's Magic' opened May 11, followed by 'Eye To Eye'. The weekend brought on the two stunners 'Shaman's Magic' and 'Silent Sentry', as well as a pleasing arilbred median seedling from 'Bluebeard's Ghost' X 'Noble Warrior'. 'Iridescent Orange' and 'Bhutan' both opened on May 21.

ABD 'Loudmouth'
(Rich, 1970)
'Aztec Prince' X I. pumila "clausii"

AB 'Desert Snow'
(Black, 2013)

ABM 'Peresh'
(Whitely, 2002)
'Aztec Prince' X I. pumila "clausii"
'Aztec Prince' X I. pumila "clausii"
AB 'Jonnye's Magic'
(Rich by Whitely, 1992)
ABD 'Eye To Eye'
(Keppel, 2009)
AB 'Shaman's Magic'
(Tasco, 2014)
AB 'Silent Sentry'
(Tasco, 2008)
AB 'Iridescent Orange'
(Mathes, 2001)
'Bluebeard's Ghost' X 'Noble Warrior'

AB 'Bhutan'
(Tasco, 2010)


I. paradoxa atrata ushered in aril season, with a rather bedraggled bloom opening on April 15. 'Merlin's Magic' came along next, opening on April 20. 'Orion' and 'Tadzhiki Bandit' opened on the 23rd, followed by 'Werckmeister's Beauty' on the 25th. 'Dunshanbe' opened May 2 after a cold rainy weekend. I. stolonifera 'Network' opened May 5, followed the next day by another form of I. paradoxa and tetraploid aril 'Ballaika Music', which had not bloomed here before. Two other forms of I. stolonifera also bloomed: 'Chocolate', and an unusual one from Paul Christian Rare Plants with a flower resembling a garden bearded iris. 'Vera' was the last to bloom, as she was last year, opening on May 16.


I. paradoxa atrata
I. stolonifera 'Merlin's Magic'
(Jensen, 1986)

(Van Tubergen, NR)

'Tadzhiki Bandit'
(Ransom, 1997)
'Werckmeister's Beauty'
(Werckmeister by McAllister, 1992)
(Wilkes, 1977)
I. stolonifera 'Network'
'Ballalaika Music'
(Mathes, 1992)
I. paradoxa
I. stolonifera 'Chocolate'
I. stolonifera
(Van Tubergen)

Tall Bearded

 Two irises I introduced for Gus Seligmann in 1983. 'Catchy Name' and 'Satan's Mistress' ushered in TB season on May 11, followed by historic 'Swerti', arousing controvery because the first bloom didn't show the twisted form characteristic of this cultivar. The historic rebloomer 'Summer Whitewings' opened May 14. Small-flowered TB 'Are You Crazy' opened May 21. 'Montmartre' opened on May 29, and 'Brazilian Art' finished out the bearded iris season the first week of June.

'Catchy Name'
(Seligmann, 1983)
'Satan's Mistress'
(Seligmann, 1983)


'Summer Whitewings'
(Brown, 1961)
'Are You Crazy'
(Black, 2012)
(Keppel, 2008)

'Brazilian Art'
(Keppel, 2009)

 Tom Waters

March 2016

updated August 2016



Return to Telperion Oasis

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