Iris unguicularis

Jane McGary
Tue, 28 Nov 2006 13:49:02 PST
John Lonsdale wrote,
>I have a couple of different plants raised from seed collected by JCA ex
>Crete (the more delicate form 'ssp. cretensis') that are flowering at the

This is a surprise to me, because I have plants from probably the same 
collection, and they don't flower until mid-spring here in Oregon -- the 
same time as they bloom in the wild. They do make a lot of leaf for the 
amount of flower produced.

I don't have I. unguicularis out in the open garden, but I have some in a 
planter box tucked under the edge of the deck that have done well over the 
years, though now too shaded to flower well. Better here is the closely 
related I. lazica, which has large, colorful flowers in late winter. I 
understand it's a plant of open woodland and it does look better with part 
share, but it flowers best in sun here. It is considered hardier than I. 

I. unguicularis surprised me when I planted it in my brother's garden in 
coastal central California. It rapidly formed massive clumps. It would be a 
good ground cover there -- it might even do battle with the ubiquitous 

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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