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Mar 12, 2019 11:02 PM CST
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
A question has been looming in my mind, so I figured I would start a thread asking a few questions: What are some irises you have or even want that you think are underrated or overrated?

There's not a guideline with this question, but I'm going to give my reasons for what I picked and why.

Underrated:
I don't have one yet in my garden that is named and has bloomed. Shrug!

Overrated:
Edith Wolford -

At least for me, Edith Wolford bloomed once (from Lowe's) and has not since. It has been more than five years since it last bloomed. Perhaps it were the rhizomes shipped to Lowe's, or the less-than ideal placement, but it grew increases that were small and never got much bigger. Then, after a transplant, both rhizomes and its increases rotted nearly to gonnerhood. I'm giving Edith Wolford another try (there is a tiny snippet left of it) and I am hoping she rebounds, because when she did bloom, EW was fantastic.

What are your picks for overrated/underrated irises?
AB Iris 'Saracen Cinnamon' faithfully blooming early. (May 2022)
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Mar 12, 2019 11:41 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
Monty ~ Edith Wolford did not bloom for me the first year, but many do not bloom the first year. I think that she shrunk as well. I hope that she grows this year. Maybe she will bloom next year.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Mar 13, 2019 1:09 AM CST
Sweden
Forum moderator Garden Photography Irises Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover
Hellebores Deer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
My own experience with 'Edith Wolford' was from before I started buying irises directly from the growers.
I got it mail order, dry and bagged in late spring... or actually it was soft and had started to rot in the bag, so my experience with 'Edith Wolford' was very short indeed - she never really started to grow. Can't say that was a fair trial, though!
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Mar 13, 2019 6:00 AM CST
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Vegetable Grower Keeper of Poultry Irises Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Wisconsin Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I think Soul Mate is very under rated. It did get an honorable mention, but I think it's deserving of more. It is a prolific grower and blooms with "to die for" show stems and beautiful blooms. It's one of my favorites.
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
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Mar 13, 2019 11:36 AM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
Over-rated: Dusky Challenger. According to the AIS Symposium survey, this is the most popular iris in the country, but it won't perform for me. I've planted it twice in my two best beds and have gotten very poor growth and bloom.

Under-rated: Here is an iris that gets very little attention and yet is beautiful, increases well, blooms profusely and has substance that holds up very well in the 90 degree heat we frequently get in May. It won an HM in 2015. It is one of my favorites.

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Mar 13, 2019 11:48 AM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Edith grew slowly and bloomed occasionally for me. I gave it all away.

I don't know that I have many I would call overrated. Some perform horribly for me, but are growing and blooming like crazy for others on this site. I think an overrated iris to me would be one that blooms and the colors are not what you expected, and instead of being vibrant they are sort of meh.
Darcy's Choice was one of those for me. It had rot after I first got it, so I cleaned it up and nursed it back to health. I got it growing, then after waiting all that time to see a bloom? What a let down.
I was looking forward to this: but mine was so faded and blah in comparison. Darn.

Underrated? A whole bunch of yellow and white iris. Guess they don't garner the oohs and ahhs as much. One that grows well and gives you lots of blooms deserves some love. Joviality is one such:
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Mar 13, 2019 12:35 PM CST
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Dog Lover Region: California Organic Gardener Daylilies Irises Hummingbirder
Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
That sure is a nice pic of Joviality, Les.
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Mar 13, 2019 12:42 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
janwax said:That sure is a nice pic of Joviality, Les.


I agree Lovey dubby
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Mar 13, 2019 5:20 PM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Thanks, I got Joviality from a generous NGA member. It has really performed AND survived the rot that took out most of it's garden. Nothing but praise for this one.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Mar 13, 2019 8:36 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
IB Carriwitched a plicata which never gets much notice will take over the garden if you let it.
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Mar 13, 2019 9:54 PM CST
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
There are a lot of pretty ones here that y'all think are underrated. Jovality has been on my wish list for awhile, and if it can survive in Leslie's rain drowned gardens, it is a welcome sight here.

Shame Darcy's Choice was not what you were looking for, Leslie. In pictures, it sure is stunning.


Andrea - Advanced Degree is lovely! I am super glad it does well in your garden, it seems. Would you be willing to trade, perhaps?

Tom - I looove Soul Mate. It is a great looking iris. It will go on my wish list.... Lovey dubby

I'm going to start a middle of the ground list as well - irises that you think are perfectly rated. Not underrated or overrated. What do ypu think?

Some of these I don't have, but my first pick for perfectly rated is Montmartre.

I cannot describe the true beauty of this iris. It is so pretty, and I don't even have it.

Thornbird - Perfectly rated. I have it, but it has not bloomed yet for me. And, even though it has not increased yet, I expect big things from this brown iris. Colourwise, it is fantastic for a brown! Lovey dubby
AB Iris 'Saracen Cinnamon' faithfully blooming early. (May 2022)
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Mar 13, 2019 10:00 PM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
Monty, I'd be happy to send you a piece of Advanced Degree. Just remind me this July when I start digging up my iris. It is in a bed that I am going to redo this summer.
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Mar 13, 2019 10:40 PM CST
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
Hooray, thank you! Hurray! Thank You! I'll remind you then.
AB Iris 'Saracen Cinnamon' faithfully blooming early. (May 2022)
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Mar 13, 2019 10:42 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
Oh goodie - can I beg a piece? Whistling Hilarious!
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Mar 13, 2019 11:05 PM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
I'd be happy to share with you, Marilyn. Get back to me this summer. Smiling
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Mar 14, 2019 12:32 PM CST
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Birds Region: Kentucky Clematis Daylilies Irises Region: United States of America
I have loved Dusky Challenger in my garden and in others. It grows so well for me and the rhizomes are so plump. It just stands out.
I, too, was gifted Joviality from a sweet NGA member and it is growing really well after a not so stellar beginning here. It looks like a tough plant and is growing well. Can't wait for it to bloom.
I totally agree about Edith Wolford being finicky. I am having a second try from our club sale but am not seeing much growth.
Two that would take over my garden are Glowing Smile and Eagle Control (SA) as well as Royal Birth which is a beautiful white hybridized by Ernie Royal which has tough substance and tall strong stems. It would cover half of my garden if I let it.
Thumb of 2019-03-14/janielouy/8968e9
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Mar 14, 2019 12:44 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
On my list! THANK YOU! Thank You!
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Mar 14, 2019 1:14 PM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Monty - I would have to agree that both Montmartre and Thornbird are perfectly rated for our area. Some of my best growers.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Mar 15, 2019 6:53 AM CST
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
I agree on Thornbird being a great grower! I keep forgetting to order Montmartre, but fortunately it is not hard to find even here.


Thornbird:
Thumb of 2019-03-15/IrisLilli/9bba14

An iris I also love and find to be very underrated (maybe because of the colours? Shrug! ) is TB Guatemala, which is a great grower and bloomer here:
Thumb of 2019-03-15/IrisLilli/75f541

Man's Best Friend is also vigorous and blooms generously:
Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice!
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Mar 15, 2019 11:23 AM CST
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
I still really want Man's Best Friend. Altogether, I want to expand my collection of littles. I have three SDBs and I will change that. IBs will make for a great "buffer" between when my daffodils bloom, and my noid TBs start showing up.
AB Iris 'Saracen Cinnamon' faithfully blooming early. (May 2022)

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