Iris wattii Q & A

James Waddick
Sun, 09 Mar 2003 06:46:12 PST
Dear all;
	I have tried to comment on a variety of Qs in the past few 
days. Check out Irises by Brian Mathew (out of print) or Iris of 
China by Waddick and Zhao (Timber Press) for details.

>	They look rather bamboo like.
	Regards Alberto

	Iris watti is sometimes called the Bamboo Iris because of its 
large tall stems.
How hardy is Iris wattii? Jim Shields
	Frost free for good bloom, but might be real vigorous in 
slightly cooler climates.

I have a piece that was given to me by Les Hannibal. It grows a tuft
of leaves on top of thin, upright, "bamboo-like" stems. The flower
looks just like the image you posted.	Ken Kehl

	Might be Iris confusa
Iris japonica and I confusa share so many physical, genetic and 
biochemical traits that some scientists have suggested that they be 
renamed I japonica var japonica and I japonica var erecta.
Jerry Flinthoff;	Yes there are times when japonica can get a 
scraggly sort of stem and like all 3 of these the flowering stem 
emerges in fall/winter so frosts can readily do them in. I japonica 
can react to various extremes by growing very short and almost 
grasslike. Ihave seen pots of it labelled as Acorus because of this. 
In a very protected site here (Zone 5) it can survive for years, 
never bloom and look unlike its more normal self.

	Yes there are very few introductions of I wattii and the 
'Johnson Clone' is of a dubious nature.
	Iris japonica and I confusa rarely produce seed and mosat 
p[eople conclude they are sterile triploids. It is actually far more 
complex than that and each of these species exchange genetic 
materials from cedll to cell so that chromosome counts vary wildly. 
In Sichuan a couple researchers have founf a few fertile plants of 
both as well plants with n number from near haploid to near 
tetraploid with a variety of odd numbers all around an expected 
diploid number. Most are aneuploids (which are also sterile. Fertile 
clones are very rare. Apparently so are true triploids. Iris wattii 
is fertile and has been used to produce a variuety of delightful 
hybrids mostly in New Zealand.

And incidentally there is a wonderfully variegated form of I japonica 
'Aphrodite' that can grow like a weed, but rarely blooms except in 
the best situations. A choice ground cover for mild climates. 
Commonly seen in large greenhouses and conservatories.

	Best to all		Jim W.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

More information about the pbs mailing list