Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Iris Ensata In Abundance

Our first Japanese Iris has been with us four years.  Year one it established itself but did not flower.  Year two featured a single flower stalk. The color and veining on the flowers were breathtaking.  We were hooked.  We needed to have more Iris Ensata.  Year three we allowed some seed pods to mature.  Some of the collected seeds were placed in a pot in the garden where they spent the winter.  That pot is in the foreground of the photo with a marker stone.  Nature's way has produced sturdy young plants ready to be planted out.

Some of the collected seed was placed in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with a lightly moistened paper  towel.  We were advised to use a fungicide but chose to pass on keeping such a chemical with our food.  On New Year's Day I needed to plant something and selected the iris seeds.  The pot in the background contains the plants from the refrigerated seed.  These much larger plants should flower one year sooner than the plants that spent the winter outside.  The entire project was enjoyable and instructive but what are we going to do with all of these plants?  That question looms even larger with the news that the original plant needs to be divided this year.

Our original plant was purchased as a named variety, Freckled Geisha, but it is not that variety.  Since no flowers were produced until the second year we did not know of the problem within the seller's warranty period.  A different dealer supplied assorted plants but two of the three never found life.  A third dealer, McClure and Zimmerman, has named varieties and plants purchased there arrived intact and are growing.  Flowers will not appear until the second season but we find them worth the wait.

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