Several Irises to ID, heavy pictures

jeanneJanuary 1, 2009

I have several non-bearded Irises that I'd like to learn the species of. Most of these were grown from seeds and so I'm not interested in cultivar names.

These popped up after I dumped the pot the seeds were sown in. Bloomed last week of May, 30-36 inches, no fragrance.

These seedpods belong to the above flower. They flopped over very early on and spilled brown, cake shaped seeds directly on the ground.

These Iris came in trade labeled "Japanese Iris". Blooms first week of June, 20-24 inches.

Same Iris, side view.

This is a seedling labeled Siberian. Is that correct? Bloomed first of May, 15 inches.

This was a volunteer that came up in the middle of a path. Bloomed first of May, 15 inches.

This is another volunteer that came up in a shady spot, it's a much more diminutive plant than the others. Bloomed May 2, 12 inches.

This one came in a trade marked "Japanese Iris". I've had it for several years and it seems to be a very slow grower. Perhaps it needs more sun? Bloomed May 6, 12 inches.

Any suggestions or comments would be deeply appreciated.



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eroctuse2(z5 SE Michigan)

Hi Jeanne,

The first looks like an I. pseudacorus hybrid to me.

The second makes me think of I. sanguinea 'Kobana'.

The next two look like Siberians. The second to last has me thinking it's something else, but it's not coming to me right now.

The last I would guess I. virginica or I. versicolor. These species may never be properly identified. In my attempts to identify what I've been growing I even learned that I. versicolor is believed to be a hybrid of I. virginica and I. setosa. It's proving to be nearly impossible to find a definitive answer as to which is which. I. setosa has very small standards, so it's pretty easy to identify, but the other two are often interchanged. The near white style arms on yours remind me of , but the fall color seems more saturated on yours.

Of course I wouldn't recommend sharing any of them under any label (other than iris) until you're certain of their identities. I hope this helps.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Thank you so much! I'm not sure if I'll keep the I. psuedacorus, I've heard it can be weedy in wet areas and I live right along a creek so it might become a quick passalong for someone with more clay in their garden. This is the only one I can share at the moment, I've put a disclaimer on the ID on my trade page and hope that's good enough for the purists. :)

Could the second to last be I. prismatica? I recall sowing that one a few years ago and it says that is a very slender variety. I'll go through my old sowing lists and see if I can match it to something I've sown over the years.

Thanks again, Brock. Your help has been invaluable.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 5:50PM
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eroctuse2(z5 SE Michigan)

Hi Jeanne,

I'm sorry to say that I'm not familiar with I. prismatica. So, I couldn't say from personal experience, but (while it does match the height range) yours doesn't seem to match the images on the Species Iris Group of North America's page on I. prismatica. It also looks much more spindly than yours here.

If you get your list of possible species together, it could be helpful to go to SIGNA's species search page.

I hope that helps as well. It's really nice to be able to put this chaotic mind to good use. :) Now if I could just remember how your iris seems familiar...


    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 2:47PM
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garden_of_mu(Z7/8 PNW)

I. Pseudacorus are fine garden plants if you follow one simple rule - deadhead them so they do not go to seed. This is *very* important if you live near a waterway or wetlands, as they can become noxious weeds and choke out native vegetation.

None of the varieties you have pictured are 'Japanese' irises. Your siberian iris appears to be correct tho.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:12PM
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