Iris magnifica
Sun, 05 Apr 2009 13:16:13 PDT
A bit late in responding to this one due to flat out, metaphorically and in any other way in the nursery, 
I am getting too old for some of these antics.

We grow this Iris taxon here from wild collected seed and it is absolutely rock hardy as one might expect from where it originates in the Central Asian countries of the former USSR. Here I sow the seed of this and related, genetic or geographic taxa either as soon as it arrives by post or as soon as the pods are ripe. The seed is sown into 3 litre plastic pots using any old seed compost and course builder's sand 50:50. The contents are then covered with a fine course gravel and stood outside to meet the full effects of the winter where temps go down to - 20 C but more often between - 5 C to - 10 C for weeks and months, snow is pile on top of the post when available otherwise well watered in, nil shelter. These Iris require severe cold treatment to vernalise, otherwise it can be a LONG time before they germinate, assuming the birds and mice don't get there first. If members of PBS do not have such winter temps then stick the material, in polythene bags containing sand or course vermiculite, essential it is wetted but not dripping or running out of the pot / bag and freeze them down to at least - 5 C or whatever that is in old money F. Germination and the word "cress" should pretty well meet the needs of the gardener come spring. Should the seed still not be sown, its not too late but use the default system of the domestic freezer until the end of April at least, preferably May and then put them outside, however in some of your southern California sunshine this species may not be long lived however hardy it is, it is NOT a California type dry land Iris.

I hope the above is of help still.   Iain

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