Iris unguicularis

Jane McGary
Mon, 12 Jan 2009 11:15:01 PST
As Rodger noted, Iris lazica is more cold-hardy than the related I. 
unguicularis, and also more tolerant of winter wet (it comes from the 
part of Turkey near the Black Sea coast, which Brian Mathew once 
observed has the climate most like that of the American Pacific 
Northwest). I obtained I. lazica many years ago from Avon Bulbs in 
England, and have distributed it particularly to nursery growers in 
this area, so it's getting around. I find that if planted in full sun 
it flowers heavily but the leaves tend to sunburn; in shade, it is a 
prettier foliage plant (it's evergreen) but flowers less. It is a 
great weed-suppressing cover plant and contrasts nicely with other 
foliage. The main problem is that slugs eat the flowers. It is very 
easy to propagate by division in early fall or probably any time of 
year. The flowers are not quite as fragrant as those of I. unguicularis.

I also grow I cretensis, or I. unguicularis ssp cretensis, in the 
garden, where it has survived temperatures in the mid-teens F but 
does not flower nearly as well as the plants I saw in the wild.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

At 09:46 PM 1/11/2009, you wrote:
>On 11 Jan 2009, at 19:49, Jim McKenney wrote:
> > ...Iris lazica, which enjoys a cushier life in the protected cold 
> frame, has
> > yet to bloom here (ever).
>Well, would *you* blooom if you were cooped up in a protected cold frame?
>[At this moment, I have a vision of Jim in a tutu performing "Dance of the
>Flowers". Look, mommy, at the funny man: he's blooming!]
>Plant it out.
>I've got a few clumps of I. lazica scattered around the place, and afaict
>they're bone hardy. They don't need the same sunny baking that I. 
>seems to prefer.

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