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Apr 25, 2016 6:33 PM CST
Thread OP
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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!
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Apr 25, 2016 6:40 PM CST
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
Irises Region: Oregon Organic Gardener
That looks like a variety of Siberian Iris to me. I'll look more into it.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Apr 25, 2016 6:43 PM 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
Siberian tend to be shorter. Maybe a Japanese iris.
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Apr 25, 2016 6:51 PM CST
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
Irises Region: Oregon Organic Gardener
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 Icon for preview
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Apr 25, 2016 6:52 PM CST
Thread OP
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Apr 25, 2016 7:06 PM CST
Moderator
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Forum moderator Irises Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level
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.
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Apr 25, 2016 7:25 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
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.
"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 25, 2016 8:15 PM CST
Thread OP
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
OK, Siberian iris then, thanks.

Now can someone please explain to me about Spuria irises, and why this isn't a Spuria iris? Confused
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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May 3, 2016 1:06 AM CST
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Birds Bulbs Region: California Dragonflies Foliage Fan Irises
Keeper of Poultry Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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).
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
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May 3, 2016 2:22 AM CST
Thread OP
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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.
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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May 3, 2016 7:15 AM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
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
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May 3, 2016 8:10 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Tri Cities, WA (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
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.
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May 4, 2016 4:40 AM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
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
Avatar for crowrita1
May 4, 2016 7:56 AM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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.
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May 4, 2016 8:03 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
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.
Avatar for crowrita1
May 4, 2016 8:46 AM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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?!
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May 4, 2016 10:44 AM CST
Thread OP
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Thanks everyone for enlightening me. It seems that seedlings, misidentifies, and NOIDs abound...
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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