Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming full circle: Iris orchoides blooms for the first time in my garden

Juno irises have enjoyed quite a vogue for some time in Britain: the Scottish and Alpine Garden Society journal's have scrumptious pictures of huge clumps in full bloom on show benches. You must go to considerable lengths to grow a juno iris in a pot. We have almost the same climate in Colorado that juno iris experience in Asia, so mine are just planted out in a dry garden. Fortunately, they seem to like it. I received this as a seedling several years ago from Beaver Creek greenhouses, and it has finally built up the stores to bloom.

I collected seed of several forms of this iris last autumn in Kazakhstan: It is an act of faith to grow these from seed, since they can take five or more years to bloom. It is worth the wait. I photographed this gem in several qualities of light: which one do you prefer?


  1. I prefer the dramatic sidelighting that burnishes the petals and makes the flower glow. (the composition is better too).
    Who was Juno? ;-)
    btw, I never knew there is such a diversity of Fritillaries. Everyone falls in love with F. meleagirs but can't grow it. Even F. pontica is short lived here but I don't know the reason.

  2. I guess I agree about the pic. Juno was Jupiter's wife, as you must be aware. And a botanist applied it to the section (they raise it to generic status in Russia): so Juno orchioides would be Rodionenko's preference. Frits are easy if you site them right: some like it dry, some wet. F. pontica likes it moist.

  3. Named originally by Leopold Trattinick- a very industrious botanist and artist- wrote and illustrated a monograph on Pelargoniums, named the genus Hosta, and said of Rafflesia, that the plant should be assigned to a special taxonomic category called vegetablische Verrucktheiten, or “vegetable craziness.”
    And who was Juno- just the wife of Jupiter,...
    (thanks for the advice on F. pontica- we planted it dry of course!)

  4. As Woody Allen might say "DJew Know?": the variety of these wonderful little iris with dahlia roots is such that people are always confused about them: "D'jyou know the name of that one?"...eventually the name stuck apparently...another fractured explanation from your somewhat nutty friend.

  5. Lame and Nutty! and we will come collect the Corydalis in late May. I can't believe you already have all those blooming trees- so far here it's only Siberian Elms.

  6. You oughta come before that! Next weekend is rock garden sale: can't you bring something to sell? Our gardens are exploding. You can crash at my place...


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