:Iris unguicularis

anthony goode tonyg@thealpinehouse.fsnet.co.uk
Sat, 28 Dec 2002 13:24:21 PST
"Tony Goode described Iris unguicularis and its ssp. cretica. I grow the North African one in two forms, 'Walter Butt' and a deep violet. Would like a good white one please?" 

In the UK I have seen a couple of white forms, purchasing one from
Avon Bulbs.  It did OK for a while planted against a sunny South wall
but has now dwindled away.  These iris are susceptible to virus and my
white form did seem to be rather prone to yellowing of the leaves,
perhaps it was weakened by virus.  Equally it may be that the few
white flowered clones in cultivation simply do not posess the robust
constitution of other clones.  I think it was Jack Elliott who
encouraged growers to raise fresh stock from seed to ensure good
healthy plants.  Coincidentally the best flowering clump in my garden
is the result of planting a potful of seedlings out against the same
wall as mentioned above.

"I've had ssp. cretica but was not impressed with its looks and it
died in a cold year."

I grow two clones of this ssp, they are quite different, both tend to
look a bit scruffy although this is improved by careful tidying of
dead foliage.  The flowers of both are very atractively marked.

All of these plants are suited to a warm position, much the best
displays in UK gardens are found in areas close to the coast where
hard frosts are less common.

All of Janes' comments about Iris lazice are borne out by my
experience of it in the UK.

Tony Goode.  Norwich UK Mintemp -8C (rarely!)

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