Candy Lilies Iris x norrisii - 2

James Waddick
Sat, 19 Dec 2009 21:04:57 PST
Dear Friends,
	I am glad to see the comments my post generated.

	As I mentioned earlier I grew a bunch of these years ago, but 
not recently. I was looking at more web pix and see that the majority 
of these have the Belamcanda form. I distinctly recall that there 
were some really beautiful pastel Iris-form seedlings too. I don't 
know the history of Norris's original crosses, but I wonder if these 
were straight Belamcanda x Pardanthopsis or some back crosses to 
either parent were involved too. His seedlings showed a much bigger 
range of colors than you'd have any right to expect.

	Iris dichotoma is always purple
	Iris domestica is usually orange, but a yellow form ('Hello 
Yellow') is also common and I recently saw a beautiful bright pink 

	The old seedlings were all these colors, plus red, white, 
bicolors and in both forms.

	I should also mention that Darrell Probst of Garden Vision 
has hybridized these to produce a new range of hybrids with hundreds 
of flowers per stem.  You can see some of these at and you can read 
more in their catalog at

	Some comments: Iris dichotoma usually opens its flowers in 
mid to late afternoon ( Jim McK mentioned one common name of 'Vesper 
iris for this habit) . They last a few hours and then fade, but there 
are a large number of  flowers per plant (easily 75 to 100) so the 
stalk will show color for an extended bloom. New hybrids can have 5 
times as many flowers.  Iris domestica flowers stay open longer, but 
they too each last a day and are replaced by many others.

	Iris domestica (Belamcanda) has a wide distribution from 
India through China to Japan and beyond. It has naturalized in parts 
of Missouri and you can run across patches at old homesteads and in 
open woodlands. Plants seem long lived.

	Iris dichotoma has a much smaller natural range in NE China, 
to adjacent parts of Russia to N. Japan. It is a plant of open 
grasslands. I saw a vast expanse of this plant on a treeless plain of 
Inner Mongolia fully exposed to sun, snow and passing herds.

	It is very interesting to hear about the difficulties some 
people seem to have growing these species and hybrids or having long 
term success. Here both parents seem fairly easy and quick form seed.

	It is also disappointing to hear that 'muddy colors' seem to 
predominate in at least some sources today. I recall the bright jewel 
like tones of early seedlings.

	All just adding to the intrigue and the curiosity to grow 
more and know more.

			Thanks for all the input. 		Jim W.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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