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Apr 11, 2020 8:18 AM CST
Name: Katy
Clovis, New Mexico, USA (Zone 7a)
Bookworm
Hi, I took a picture yesterday of my first iris bloom, -- a red iris called Berniece's Legacy. I did not post the picture because when I looked at the iris I saw that it had 4 falls and no petals (or should I say small weak or insignificant petals) rising from the center (standards) to make the official iris shape. I cut that bad flower off and waited till this morning when the next flower was due to bloom. That one also had no inner petals and 4 fall petals.

I have seen this cultivar (Berniece's Legacy) in pictures online with the correct number of petals and falls. Did I get a genetically bad plant? Is this a disease? Should I fertilize with something else? Did the grower perhaps add growth hormones that deformed the plant and will this get better once the chemical or hormone is out of the system-- Like next year. It is a pretty color, no doubt, a burgundy with a bright orange beard.
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Last edited by KatyLLL Apr 11, 2020 8:21 AM Icon for preview
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Apr 11, 2020 8:47 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
No, it is producing chimera, deformed blooms caused by environmental stress of some type. It looks to have more blooms in bud, so hopefully the later ones will bloom normally. And wait a year before you think of tossing it, as next years blooms will probably be okay. If it is the first time blooming it may still be settling in to your garden conditions.
"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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Apr 11, 2020 10:58 AM 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
Katy ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray!

I had one iris do that last year, and a different one do that the year before. However, not all the blooms were with 4 falls. Like Leslie said, give it a chance to prove itself.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Apr 11, 2020 12:51 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
With the consensus here - this can be typical of an iris who is still getting used to their new area. Or stressed out for another reason.

Hopefully, it's just the first bloom. Smiling
AB Iris 'Saracen Cinnamon' faithfully blooming early. (May 2022)
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Apr 11, 2020 3:58 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
Some irises have a propensity for anomalies.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Apr 12, 2020 9:44 AM CST
Name: Katy
Clovis, New Mexico, USA (Zone 7a)
Bookworm
Thanks, everyone. Yes, this is the same thing I have encountered with some orchids-- the first year first blooms are often deformed-- especially paphiopedilums. I just went out and looked at it this morning, and the 3rd bloom was normal. I guess it encountered stress while those first buds were blooming. This is the earliest bloomer I have, and for the next 3 days it will be below zero so I will cover it tonight and hope for the best for the final blooms.
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Apr 12, 2020 10:52 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
Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!
Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice!
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