A rescue

aseedisapromiseJuly 5, 2011

So this story really is about an iris, but I have to start it out with a story about a tree. About five years ago I had been noticing a weird grass about eight inches tall that was growing underneath an ash tree back by my garage. This ash tree is probably one that grew from a seed, died back once due to lack of water, or because it was mowed, and then grew out with several trunks in that unruly way that ash trees survive here in South Dakota. Anyway I figure this ash tree is at least forty years old. I have an historic photo of my garage without the tree, and no weird grass is in the photo that is from about forty years ago. This weird "grass" that I was noticing was really stiff, and I really didn't know what it was, but I figure it has been in that spot trying to survive for forty years under this tree that grew up around it and shaded it out. I decided that maybe it was some kind of iris, although I really didn't have any experience with anything but bearded iris. I dug it out and managed to find three pieces of root that seemed sort of like iris but different. But it was growing in a similar manner, so I put it out in a spot in my xeriscape garden where I had my bearded iris, and where I knew it would at least get some sun. They grew the next year and got very tall, about up to my chest, which was surprising, but there were no blooms for me to see what it was really. Well, the next year it had one bloomstalk! And it was an iris, a Siberian iris, white with yellow. Well, I read up on them and decided it would be happier in a spot that I was likely to water more, so I moved it to this bed that has a lot of things in it and really needs to get some work done on it, but has sun and I do water it as there are some roses there that I water, but I don't work on much else in it. Anyway, It grew tall again, and really didn't do much for a couple of years. It would get a bloomstalk, but I wasn't very impressed with my Siberian iris. Well, this year it got several bloomstalks at once, so I am a lot happier with it. I do have to admit that I Googled "white Siberian iris" to see if I could figure out the name of it, and there were lots of photos of much nicer, bloomier clumps than mine, but I've decided I won't toss it when I redo the bed after all. Actually, with two white roses, and a white iris, maybe it is the start of a white flower bed or something. Anyway, these iris must be really tough to survive all that time under that ash tree. Here is a photo of it today:

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

It's soooo pretty! I only have one siberian iris that I have managed to not kill. This one of yours is a real beauty.....:)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:02AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

It's gorgeous. Are you sure it is not a Spuria iris? It looks like my favorite spuria, White Heron. The leaves also look like Spuria leaves.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 1:14AM
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Here's a picture of Ila Crawford. Do you think this might be it?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:00AM
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aquawise(zone 4 Utah)

That is a Spuria Iris not a Siberian. I have a clump and I love them. They pout when moved but will recover fine.
There is a pic of mine in my Gallery.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gallery

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:03AM
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Gosh, I really don't know what I have! I guess you don't learn about things until you grow them, and then share them. That is why I like this forum. So my spurious Siberian is a spuria in fact! So how do you know the difference, other than having one yourself that you bought and it was already named? I mean, what are the characteristics of each kind that are different? Renee mentioned the leaves were like spuria ones, is that their straightness, or their height? These things are sometimes hard to explain, I know, if you are talking about shapes of plant parts. I never did find a Siberian iris that I thought looked like mine, so that should have been a clue, I guess. I'll have to look at more photos and see what I can figure out. It really does look most like the photo that aquawise has in his/her gallery. (I had to do some scrolling down, but it was a lovely trip!) I can add here that it must be a tough plant to survive all my moving it around then, too. And I'll probably have to dig it up yet again when I redo this bed, since it is getting taken over by the grass that has grown into it. Well. I will have to do more research here I guess. Thanks all!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:11AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Spurias are great garden flowers, and they can do with less water than other irises.
I cannot really identify different irises well because I only grow tall bearded irises and I have never even seen a Siberian iris in person. I love to look at the photos in grower catalogs, though, so the flower form and color range starts to sink into the memory banks. I started to describe each kind, but the paragraph was turning into a book!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 8:33PM
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Too bad I didn't just leave it out in the xeriscape bed, then. It would be even bigger by now and maybe even more blooms. Oh well, live and learn. I've done a little reading about these irises, and will do more as I get the time. Also, it is so much easier to just tell someone the differences than to type it all out, so I'll just have to tell my story to as many people as I think might know something that I run into, and hope they have something to share about the differences. Combine that with my own research, and I'll get some ideas. Really I don't have to have the answers to all the questions right now, I just have to know what the questions are somewhat, and the answers will show up as I go on living. Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 7:26AM
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Ohhhhhhh......beautiful! Would you be interested in sharing a small piece of her?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 9:18AM
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Or trading, rather? :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:38AM
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