IBERIS (Candytuft). Neat dark green evergreen foliage is
covered with white flowers in May. Plant in sun or part shade.
We feature Autumn
Snow, which reblooms in September without fail, and Purity,
an old variety. To Zone 3.
IPOMOPSIS aggregata (Scarlet Rocket, Gilia). To 6 ft. (More
like 4 ft. here). Showy spikes of intense red flowers, July
& August. Biennial Plains wildflower. Zone 5 or warmer
IRISES, IRISES, IRISES
Phoenix Flower Farm grows over 1000 varieties of irises.
That may seem excessive--sometimes it does to us--but the
iris family is a large one and has been extensively hybridized.
We grow at least a sampling of each species and subspecies
that will live in Central New York. Irises are broadly divided
into Bearded (Eupogons) and Beardless (Apogons).
BEARDED IRISES. The
best known bearded iris are the Tall Bearded (erroneously called
German) but there are five
BARE ROOT IRISES FOR LANDSCAPING: Beardless irises
are good landscapers. We prepare #1 divisions for planting,
and provide instructions. I.
pseudocorus (Yellow Flag) and Siberians are
25 for $75; Japanese and
I. versi-color (blue flag) 25 for $89. Varieties,
where applicable, our choice. Available May and September
groups of smaller-than-tall bearded iris that deserve a spot
in your garden. In general, the smaller in size, the earlier
the bloom. The little guys have fewer blossoms on a stalk,
but they make up for that by really fast increase. Heres a
rundown of the bearded classes, in approximate order of bloom.
They carry the internationally accepted designations of the
American Iris Society. The Miniature Dwarfs (MDB's)
sometimes bloom as early as the last week of April and other
classes follow at 10-day to two week intervals, with much
overlap due to variability of cultivars. During Tall Bearded
season (roughly June 1 - 15) the beardless species kick in.
Bearded iris grow from rhizomes (RYE-z-oh-mz). They require
full sun and well-drained soil. The early bloomers can be
planted in deciduous woods because they bloom before the trees
leaf out. All bearded irises are tolerant of a range of soil
types and of summer drought. We dig bearded irises between
April 15 and August 31, but mostly while they are in bloom
so that you can see exactly what you are getting.
Bearded irises are most often sold bareroot, but we do offer
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selected varieties in pots. The bareroot prices below are
for standard varieties; new introductions will be more expensive.
DWARF BEARDED IRISES
Height: MDB's to
8 Inches; SDB's 8 to 15 Inches
Price $2 each, 3
of a kind $4.99; 6 assorted $9.99
Highest Award: MDB's
Caparne-Welch Medal (CWM);
Height 16 to 27 Inches
Price $3.50 each,
3 of a kind $9; 5 assorted $15
Highest Award: Hans
& Jacob Sass Medal (Sass)
MINIATURE TALL BEARDED
Height 16 to 25 inches.
Price $3.50 each,
3 of a kind $9, 5 assorted $15
Highest Award: Williamson-White
BORDER BEARDED (BB), TALL BEARDED (TB) IRIS
Height: BB's 16 to
28 Inches; TB's Over 28 Inches
Price: $5 each; 3
of same variety $12; 6 assorted $25.
Highest Awards: BB's
Knowlton Medal (KM);
TB's Wister Medal
The beardless iris--Siberians, Japanese, Louisianas, Spurias,
and others--are often overlooked. Even gardeners who properly
value them for their graceful>
iris culture differs in several ways from bearded iris practices.
Beardless iris require
more moisture, at least when first transplanted. That's
the reason we sell them in pots. Beardless iris will tolerate
some shade and still flower. Once
established, they require less care than bearded iris
and will bloom for many years without division. Though iris
borer does attack them you will seldom lose an entire plant
to borer, probably because most beardless varieties have smaller
rhizomes and more of them.
Most of the beardless
species are excellent landscape plants, giving a strong vertical
accent and maintaining attractive foliage into the Fall.
Siberians are the
best all-around irises for Central New York. If you can provide
the necessary acid soil, you will enjoy the elegant Japanese
ensata). For alkaline soils the spuria
family is the best choice. Louisiana
irises are hybrids of several species native to the Mississippi
Valley. Selected varieties grow as far north as Minnesota.
Louisianas actually grow in water, not just near it, as does
the wild "yellow flag" (I.
the beardless species do well on stream banks and other near-water
locations. Make it a point to look at some of the
more unusual irises when you visit us--you're sure to find
one that's just right for your garden.
SIBERIANS. Caesar's Brother is a fine Siberian iris, but
it was introduced in 1932 and many hybridizing advances have
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Phoenix Flower Farm
occurred since! You may be surprised to know that there are
pink and lavender Siberians, and better yellows all the time.
Highest award for a Siberian, short of the Dykes Medal, is
the Morgan-Wood Medal, formerly the Morgan Award (Mor). We
always have an assortment of Siberians potted and can recommend
for your landscaping needs.
JAPANESE. These aristocratic irises require moisture during
the growing season but their crowns must be dry during freezing
weather; the bank of a stream or pond is ideal. Highest award
is the Payne Medal (PA). The JIs typically bloom late June
into July here.
UNUSUAL IRIS SPECIES
bulleyana. 18-20". Native to western Asia.
chrysographes. 24". (Black iris). One of the
Siberian iris species--very striking.
cristata (Dwarf Crested). 6". Blue or white flowers
of a quarter; charming native for part shade. Z3.
Aureo Variegata have pale blue
flowers, but are grown for white and yellow foliage stripes.
Charming 12" plant native to
North America. Blue flowers in June.
tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris). 12-18". This charming
lavender-blue species is grown like a bearded iris, in well-
drained soil, though partial shade is OK. It has a delicate
and open flower form, and foliage that maintains its quality
well into the Fall. Alba
is the white form.