Dutch iris requirements

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Wed, 10 Sep 2003 19:29:37 PDT
Diane Whitehead in British Columbia asked,
>Is there some reason the Dutch iris wouldn't persist?

Dutch irises are hybrids of various species from the Iberian Peninsula and 
North Africa. I have not found that they persist here in Oregon either. I 
can plant them in fall if the winter is a warm one, like last year, but 
they don't survive a cold winter. I believe they are often sold as 
spring-planted bulbs, too. This suggests that our Pacific Northwest winters 
are too cold for them.

However, as Diane notes, they are cheap, so I usually buy some and gamble 
on a warm winter, because they fill in nicely between the daffodils and tulips.

I have some of the wild species ancestral to the Dutch irises in my bulb 
frame, where they do well.

I don't know if Iris latifolia, the so-called English iris, which is really 
from Spain, is involved in the ancestry of Dutch irises. I find it a good 
perennial here, flowering in late June. There are several named clones 
available. The color range is limited to white through violet.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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