Pacific Coast Iris - best time to transplant?

Jim McKenney
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 15:15:34 PST
David's question about an iris with orange seeds send me back to Dykes' The Genus Iris. 

Dykes did not mention any west coast species with orange seeds, but he does make some interesting comments about transplanting this group of irises.  "the paucity of their root fibres (sic - not my eyes this time!) makes transplantation somewhat uncertain   ...It should therefore only be attempted during the months from April till July, when growth is active and before the main root thongs have thrown out their lateral fibres. The nurseryman's habit of sending out all herbaceous plants in the autumn is fatal to these Californian Irises, and we can imagine that this is one reason why they are not more widely grown. " 

And then he adds this intriguing and potentially interesting note: "It should be noted, however, that the seeds do not germinate until March or April, in accordance with the almost invariable rule among Irises that the majority of the seeds germinate when the active growth from the rootstock begins."

Dykes' The Genus Iris was published in 1913 - we can celebrate the 100th anniversary this year. 

Jim McKenney

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