Saturday, June 23, 2012

Japanese Iris

Several winters ago, I spent many hours looking at Van Bourgondien's catalog.  Images of a Freckled Geisha iris captivated me.  One was ordered but it was two or three years before it flowered.  Six white falls edged with red-violet and richly flecked with the same red-violet are characteristics of a Freckled Geisha.  My plant has only three solid purple falls.

The iris was vigorous and it had to be divided last fall.  A five foot pry bar was needed to lever the monster out of the ground.  The two spade trick made one plant five.  One piece was returned to the original spot and the other plants were taken to the back where they were planted near our pond.  Soil near the pond is rich and wild plants grow fiercely there.  The iris had no trouble claiming their place.  They should thrive in the abundant moisture near the pond.  We plan to place one plant in the water to see if it will grow immersed.

I prefer the more natural flower with only three falls.  White veins across a royal purple petal create a beautiful flower.  The splash of yellow completes the picture.  This plant is a treasure but we wonder if it is a named variety.

A new source of Japanese iris was found.  Descriptions of named varieties were featured in this catalog.  Picotee Wonder was our first selection.  White falls edged with purple were promised.  In its third year here, flower buds were finally seen.  The tightly twisted cone shows far to much blue for a white flower.  Still the process followed to unfurl a flower is amazing.  It opens rather quickly but as I stand and watch nothing seems to happen.

Cobalt blue flowers with a yellow throat are characteristics of another catalog variety called Temple Bells.  Our three year wait yielded no Picotee Wonder.  Once again the flower we have is beautiful but it is not what we ordered.

Over the years five different Japanese iris have been ordered.  Only two have flowered but a newer plant is showing pink buds.  Whatever the outcome with plant number three, I think that there will be no more of these plants purchased here.  We cannot find a spot for all of the plants that will spring from the five already purchased.  Still, we wonder with excitement what the pink buds will unfurl.

1 comment:

Lyn said...

How frustrating! It seems to be common with certain kinds of plants that you often don't get what you've ordered. Bare-rooted roses can give you a surprise when they flower too. Luckily your irises are beautiful, but when you spend time choosing a variety, it's nice to get it.