Irises forum: Overrated/Underrated Irises

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Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Mar 12, 2019 11:02 PM CST
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?
What a beautiful sunset!
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Mar 12, 2019 11:41 PM CST
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.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
Sweden
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William
Mar 13, 2019 1:09 AM CST
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!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Mar 13, 2019 6:00 AM CST
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.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Mar 13, 2019 11:36 AM CST
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.

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
Mar 13, 2019 11:48 AM CST
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:
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
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janwax
Mar 13, 2019 12:35 PM CST
That sure is a nice pic of Joviality, Les.
let the mystery be
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Mar 13, 2019 12:42 PM CST
janwax said:That sure is a nice pic of Joviality, Les.


I agree Lovey dubby
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens
(This seems to apply to May as well!)
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
Mar 13, 2019 5:20 PM CST
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.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Mar 13, 2019 8:36 PM CST
IB Carriwitched a plicata which never gets much notice will take over the garden if you let it.
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Mar 13, 2019 9:54 PM CST
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
What a beautiful sunset!
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Mar 13, 2019 10:00 PM CST
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.
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Mar 13, 2019 10:40 PM CST
Hooray, thank you! Hurray! Thank You! I'll remind you then.
What a beautiful sunset!
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Mar 13, 2019 10:42 PM CST
Oh goodie - can I beg a piece? Whistling Hilarious!
A 'Premonition of Spring' - PCI time already?!
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Mar 13, 2019 11:05 PM CST
I'd be happy to share with you, Marilyn. Get back to me this summer. Smiling
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Irises Birds Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Clematis
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janielouy
Mar 14, 2019 12:32 PM CST
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

Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
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
Mar 14, 2019 12:44 PM CST
On my list! THANK YOU! Thank You!
A 'Premonition of Spring' - PCI time already?!
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
Mar 14, 2019 1:14 PM CST
Monty - I would have to agree that both Montmartre and Thornbird are perfectly rated for our area. Some of my best growers.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
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IrisLilli
Mar 15, 2019 6:53 AM CST
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:



You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
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UndyingLight
Mar 15, 2019 11:23 AM CST
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.
What a beautiful sunset!

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