A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for by Kelly Norris

By Kelly Norris

The variety of bearded irises opponents that of the other perennial grown in temperate climates. For a few gardeners, they carry again hot stories of a grandparent's backyard; for others, they seem to be a state-of-the-art plant with a probably unending capability for generating new types and styles.

In this entire and definitive consultant, iris professional Kelly Norris presents an available but authoritative evaluation of those deservedly well known crops. Introductory chapters express the best way to develop effectively, tips on how to use them within the backyard, how you can select the easiest crops, and the way to "create" new irises. A advisor to Bearded Irises additionally offers photographs of the main remarkable crops in all of the six well-known different types, from the dainty miniature dwarf bearded irises to the stately tall bearded irises. A source part lists forte nurseries, agencies dedicated to bearded irises, and public gardens with awesome iris collections.

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Additional info for A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts

Sample text

For my part, I’ve spent years putting down white flowers of any sort — particularly white irises, after watching so many wither into mucus-like blobs of wet tissue after a rain storm. In all fairness that isn’t really the color’s fault; it’s more an issue of substance. ‘Pure Innocence’ (Sutton 2006) The first white bearded irises were diploids from Iris pallida and I. variegata, and lacked in the pretty department due to drabness or marked flowers. With the introduction of Sir Michael Foster’s tetraploid ‘Kashmir White’ in 1912, a door opened for clearer, prettier whites as well as better, cleaner blues.

Orange The citrusy range of tones we call orange makes my mouth water. Orange bearded irises sparkle and gleam on warm spring days, the perfect show for a mid-afternoon stroll through the garden with a mimosa. An orange bearded iris of some kind is an essential plant to grow. Two tall bearded oranges from Terry Aitken of Vancouver, Washington, should top any list of must-haves: both ‘Chariots of Fire’ (2000) and ‘Crackling Caldera’ (2003) roil in ruffles lacquered with fluorescent blends of peach, pink, and juicy citrus.

At the technical level, the difference is in the pigments — the band color is comprised of water-soluble anthocyanins (purple-based pigments) found in the vacuole, the storage container, of the plant cell. Biologists surmise that elaborate patterning in flowers like the iris probably results in response to pollinators. It’s hard to imagine what iris patterns look like to bees or other insects, but it may be telling that the plicata pattern is genetically recessive to self flowers. The next time you’re in the garden, just imagine what a bee thinks.

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