Blue Iris needs ID

Jane McGary
Thu, 08 Jun 2006 13:51:00 PDT
Steve wrote about Iris missouriensis:

Seed was usually plentiful, and we've collected it, and sent it to seed
>exchanges, several times, but were never able to germinate more than the odd
>one ourselves. Clearly we didn't provide the right conditions.

This species is notoriously difficult to germinate. I've tried several 
times without success. I even tried a technique recommended by Gwen 
Kelaidis: you put the seeds inside a bag made out of an old nylon stocking 
and hang it inside the toilet tank (not the bowl!) below the water line. 
The theory is that the constantly changing water will wash out the 
germination inhibitors. After 2 weeks you plant the seeds. And then, in my 
experience, they sit there stubbornly for 4 years until you throw them out.

However, the vast colonies of this iris growing in swales around the 
semi-arid West suggest that it does indeed seed readily in the wild.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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