Irises forum: What izzit?

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South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Apr 25, 2016 6:33 PM CST
A great many years ago, our landscaper put in three clumps of this iris. The flowers are purple (more purple than the picture), about 1.5-2" in size, and grow on maybe 2.5-3' stems. The foliage is narrow and almost as tall.

Right now I would say that we are near the end of the bearded iris season, and this is the time of year when these irises normally bloom. However, over the years the bloom has dwindled more and more on the three clumps, to where I am getting almost none.

Last year, hypothesizing that maybe too much shade had grown around these plants, I tried digging and moving one clump, but it died. Crying

In order to know what to do about these plants, I need to have a clue as to what kind of iris the plant is. (Clearly it is not a bearded iris.)

Does anyone have any ideas? Bloom image below (remember, it is more purple).

Thumb of 2016-04-26/Polymerous/ee188c

Thanks for any help!
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Region: Oregon Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads
Hummingbirder Irises Organic Gardener
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HighdesertNiki
Apr 25, 2016 6:40 PM CST
That looks like a variety of Siberian Iris to me. I'll look more into it.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
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Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Apr 25, 2016 6:43 PM CST
Siberian tend to be shorter. Maybe a Japanese iris.
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Region: Oregon Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads
Hummingbirder Irises Organic Gardener
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HighdesertNiki
Apr 25, 2016 6:51 PM CST
This is too new, but Species X Who's on first looks like it and is about the right height.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Last edited by HighdesertNiki - Apr 25, 2016 6:52 PM (+)]
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South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Apr 25, 2016 6:52 PM CST
I'm really skeptical that it would be a Japanese iris. I don't think that they sell them in the nurseries hereabouts; this is CA after all, where it is more dry than not, and don't Japanese iris want a lot of water? Also, don't the Japanese irises have larger and more lush flowers? Confused

I thought maybe it was a Siberian iris.... but I thought those had larger flowers too, and what about the Spuria irises? How would you tell the difference between a Siberian iris and a Spuria iris? Confused

If it helps any, the foliage seems to die back and go dormant during the winter... or at least it has, ever since I started paying attention to it a few years ago.

This is all so confusing... Confused
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Apr 25, 2016 7:06 PM CST

Moderator

It's a Siberian Iris. The particular cultivar would be almost impossible to guess, there are probably hundreds that are about that color. Also, for what it's worth, many Siberian cultivars grow in the 2.5 to 3 foot range.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Apr 25, 2016 7:25 PM CST
I was going to rule out JI's because they never have that spot on the falls. Which left Sibs or Species. I agree with Kent though that it is most likely a sib.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Apr 25, 2016 8:15 PM CST
OK, Siberian iris then, thanks.

Now can someone please explain to me about Spuria irises, and why this isn't a Spuria iris? Confused
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
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Henhouse
May 3, 2016 1:06 AM CST
One of the wholesale growers in Hollister grows a Siberian called "Caesar's Brother. I remember that one from when I used to order from her when I was working in nurseries. There aren't a lot of wholesalers around here that grow Siberians, and CB is one that is supposed to do well here (or at least better than many of the others).
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
May 3, 2016 2:22 AM CST
Thanks, Sherry - I was wondering if my iris (presuming it was a Siberian) might be that cultivar. Certainly the retail nurseries around here don't seem to sell (m)any Siberians.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
May 3, 2016 7:15 AM CST
Siberian is what I thought immediately too. I have Sibs that range in height from 1' to 4'. Doesn't surprise me that CB performs well in dryer climates- its tough as nails!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
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irisarian
May 3, 2016 8:10 PM CST
CB is no longer really identifies. It could be a child of such, but is all mixed up now. but flower should be a Siberian to me. Google Spuria for description. It doesn't like water in the summer, so we don't grow them here.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
May 4, 2016 4:40 AM CST
Lucy, I've wondered about that- seems there are a lot of different plants being sold as CB. Kind of like the King Alfred daffodil, lots of yellow daffs sold as such, but KA isn't grown much in commerce any more and most sold are impostors.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
May 4, 2016 7:56 AM CST
In a thread....someplace, maybe on Cubits.....Polly explained the "Caesar's Brother" thing several years ago. Several being sold , or passed around, under that name, and apparently none of them the "real deal". It is an older form, (and probably "self seeded" ....that's how the "real deal" was lost), and quite hardy. Not a fancy flower, but, it makes a good "statement".
I don't have a picture....but, when it blooms, I'll post one.....but Polly sent me an iris that she said "wasn't CB, but, it's as close as you will ever come". I spent a while 'searching 'for that thread....and can't find it.
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
May 4, 2016 8:03 AM CST
I remember this conversation as well. I am sure it was indeed on Cubits, and I think it was early on in "Cubits" life as a website.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
May 4, 2016 8:46 AM CST
Greg, it's nice to have 'confirmation ! I've reached the age where, not only do I "not remember" ........but I'm not sure if I ever knew it in the first place Sticking tongue out ! Of all the things I've lost...I miss my mind, the most.......I think?!
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
May 4, 2016 10:44 AM CST
Thanks everyone for enlightening me. It seems that seedlings, misidentifies, and NOIDs abound...
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.

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