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Avatar for ania555
May 12, 2020 8:42 AM CST
Washington, D.C. (Zone 7a)
Hello! This is my first post and first time here. I was wondering if anyone could help me identify this particular iris I have in my yard. It's a beauty and I'd love to know what it's called. Thanks in advance!

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May 12, 2020 11:38 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
Ania ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray!

Maybe someone here can help you out. There are many dark and near black irises.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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May 12, 2020 11:42 AM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
Discover more wildflowers
Annuals Houseplants Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Peppers Seed Starter
Snakes Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tomato Heads The WITWIT Badge Vegetable Grower Beavers
Maybe Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Midnight Oil')

Or is that too black?
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
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May 12, 2020 12:24 PM CST
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
Post more details: when bloom compared to others, height of blossom, purple basal foliage, size of blossom, etc. All will give clues to help id your beauty. But as Evelyn said-there are many black ones.
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May 12, 2020 12:48 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Welcome Ania from another new member!
There are many blacks and near blacks. Yours has nice purple-black beards and purple spathes (papery sheath around base of bud). This fits "Before the Storm" a popular black. But there are likely many others that have these characteristics, too.
Sorry, I don't know how to post a picture from the database, yet--there are many pix there of BtS.
This is from my garden:
Before the Storm:

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May 12, 2020 1:58 PM CST
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Vermiculture Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
welcome, ania. do you remember the vendor, or the year it might have been purchased, as well? these all give clues.


you might do a search on nga's data base under tall bearded, and limit the search by color, 'black'. this will give you a place to start. as you will soon see how many there are, and without more clues. it's quite a daunting task. it would be great to have one or two to choose from, but the numbers are many!

good luck in your search.
Avatar for ania555
May 13, 2020 7:00 PM CST
Washington, D.C. (Zone 7a)
Thanks for all the replies, everyone!! Wow, I didn't realize just how many black iris there are out there. Unfortunately I have no details as to the vendor or when they were purchased. I was lucky enough to have them already in the garden when we bought the house. I have two other varieties of iris that also came with the house (neither of which I know the names of Sad though one is very similar to something called a 'maroon damask'), but these black ones bloomed a week or so later than those (they're still blooming now, I live in DC.) The blooms seem to be about 6", though I'm not entirely sure if I'm measuring them correctly. 'Before the Storm' seems like a good possibility, thanks for the lead lauriemorningglory! I will scour the database to see if I am able to pick out any other characteristics. Thanks again to all for welcoming this iris noob!
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May 13, 2020 10:29 PM CST
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Dog Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers
I wonder if it could be: maybe Coal Seams looks to new Shrug! .
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Last edited by iciris May 13, 2020 10:30 PM Icon for preview
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May 14, 2020 6:11 AM CST
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Garden Photography Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Region: Japan Region: Pennsylvania
Welcome. When we talk about a measurement, we mean how tall the bloom stalk is (from base to top of bloom). Width of flower is not usually a big factor.

When did you buy the house? How many of the "Before the Storm" do you have? This is how you can start a way of narrowing the field for the correct name.

As an example: The last mentioned possible ID was "Coal Seams". Let's look at "Coal Seams" vs "Before The Storm".

Coal Seams
2013
41" tall (average)
Purple tint

Before The Storm
1989
36" Tall
Red tint

Coal Seams has only been on the market for a short 7 seasons. Let us know how the search is going. Former Maryland gardener and current "old" Maryland gardener.
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