Japanese Iris PondIris genus is known best for its beautiful flower. Various species and cultivars in species exist for this vibrant plant genus. All Iris are considered to be an herb.

Two Iris species are popularly known by insiders and sport hobbyists within the water gardening set as the best water filtration species. The cultivars of these species each have something different to offer a filtration setting.

The Iris genus is a strongly pest free marginal. It is also important to note that there are 850 species and over 11,396 plus cultivars. This is a short and sweet overview that is not meant to be comprehensive. Many listed cultivars are actually species as well. Not only are new species, sub species, and cultivars invented or discovered every year; but labeling and relabeling is an on going task. For this to be complete breeders should meticulously record the process of how the new cultivar or stabilized species has been bred.

There are many sub genus within the ranks of the species that are collectively the Iris genus. The well known sub genus are Hermodactyloides, Iris, Limniris, Nepalensis, Scorpiris, Xiphium.

In the Future Louisiana may be added to the sub genus list, as well as other species with cultivars that are groups of sub cultivars.

The stems that are usually under ground and in some species under water are called rhizomes.

The Iris is a world renowned icon. They speak to the sentimental core of even the most rigid human heart.

The Iris genus grows best in full sunlight. And they companion well with other filter plants.

Water at the gardens edge should not be more than a few inches over the crown. However, water can be covering the cultivars and species of the Iris genus year round.

Clay soil works best from a wide PH range.

The Iris genus species and cultivars are not able to survive in salt water at all.

The Iris genus is at its peak in 18 Celsius which is 65 Fahrenheit.

Enough cross breeding has gone into the Iris genus that the results over time are astounding. But the care the goes into each species and its numerous cultivars is somewhat uniform.

In the spring cultivars that are potted should be brought up to the surface leaving the crown under water. The warm water will help kick start the life cycle of the plant cultivar in this genus.

In the summer to promote fertilization and pollination, pull back the dead plant material, and dried flowers. 18 Celsius which is 65 Fahrenheit is the goal temperature needed in the pool before fertilization should begin; then continue on a monthly basis until the species dies back.

During the fall discontinue fertilizing a month before the last frost free days set in. And if the water garden is not in a cold state; then stop when the flowers are no longer budding.

At the beginning of winter the water garden variety cultivars of this genus needs to be submerged in the water garden at a depth that does not freeze.

In order for them to grow well the following spring be sure to submerge them in a shallow wide pot: That is at least one foot (30cm) in diameter. This keeps the plant from popping out of the pot too easily when it grows next season. The rhizome needs to be sitting over a thin layer of dirt. The rhizome should be placed to the side of the pot with the tip pointing inward, and slightly covered in more soil.

The time of year a plant in the species grouping of the Iris genus will or will not bloom varies greatly from one cultivar to another even within the respective species. Although some cultivars in a given species group will bloom all at the same time of year in some specially grouped cultivars.

Iris Water species are: Fulva, Laevigata, Louisiana, Versicolor, Virginica, and Anguifuga. Iris species that like to be very wet, but still work best with soil, but then like to be dried out are: Ensata, Siberian.

Iris species for both wet soil and water are: Regelia, Tall Bearded, Rebloomer, Abbeville Reds, Other Numerous Stabilized hybrid species and their cultivars, Peggy Mac, Brevicaulis, Giganticaerulea, Hexagona, Tet tetraploidy a.k.a. The Professors, and Nelsonii.The species with question marks are also thought of as subspecies of the Louisiana species, of which Fulva is the most controversial. We will briefly touch on that further on.

Some of the more popular cultivars in the Ensata a.k.a. Kaempferi (Japan Iris) species are: Crown Imperial, Dark Lightning, Dragon Mane, Edged Delight, Epimethius, Espata, Fond Kiss, Frosted Plum, Hue and Cry, Muffington, Peak of Pink, Pinkerton, Pooh Bah, Rafferty, Rose Water, Ruby Star, Sapphire Crown, Shinto Rings, Silver Band, Southern Son, and Variegatus.

A very short list (VSL) of popular cultivars in the Tall Bearded species are: Galactic Warrior, (Sub species Rebloomer cultivars VSL: Come What May, Coral Strand, Shebas Queen Et., al. etc.), Dwarf, Variegatus, and many more….

About a month after the Tall Bearded species have bloomed and its Sub species Red Bloomer have first bloomed; the Louisiana cultivars take their turn to spread their pedals in the light. These majorly popular cultivars are: Bayou Blue Bird, Red Echo, Idle Gossip, Bayou Dawn, Voodoo Queen, Cajun Angel, Jeri great white hope, (Louisiana Sub species Peggy Mac and cultivars, Louisiana Sub Species Iris nelsonii and cultivars), Abbeville Reds, Caragonia, Dixie Deb, Elizabeth the Queen. Fulva is also part of the Louisiana speciel family colloquially. Fulva is one of the five main sub species of Louisiana species of the Iris genus. Even some printed material removes Fulva from the Louisiana line. Instead listing it apart as a species in the Iris genus unto itself when it is not totally clear how diverged the plant group is from its common association with the Louisiana species.

Copper Iris, Red Flag are popular terms for Fulva: Some of the popular cultivars of this sub species of the Louisiana species in the Iris genus are: Iris Louisiana Fulva Laevigata (not to be confused with the plant it is named after which is the main Iris Laevigata species); Marvel Gold; Butterscotch; Bayou Bandit, and Ker-gawl among others.

Many references cite Fulva as both a solitary species in the Iris genus, and one of the main five (out of man others) subspecies of Louisiana species.

There are the ten tetrapoidy professors species stock developed in 1964; that were further bred into ‘Bozo,’ ‘Decoy,’ ‘Godzilla,’ ‘King Kong,’ ‘Sauterne,’ and ‘Wine Cooler cultivars of historical note, as well as others that have become popular due to the creativity expressed in their creation within the genre of the non diploidic sub races of the Iris Genus form the mankind mutated version of the Louisiana specie. These are by far the most interesting of the Iris genus cultivars instantly mutated via harsh chemicals into species with additional chromosomes: As invented by Professor Mertzweiller and his tenassistant professors: Then further defined by the super hero like cultivar mutant in carnations of Durio, Norris and Raabe respectively from these ten professor species that were forced to evolve from Louisiana cultivarsunder chemical duress.

To make this clearer some think-tanks list the five main sub species of Louisiana in the Iris genus as Fulva, Brevicaulis, Giganticaerulea Hexagona, and Nelsonii.

This seems to be for brevity since there are many more popular subspecies like Peggy Mac.

Although the popular market may hold on to the Louisiana Iris cultural iconic label unless there is a common genetic reason for the label rather than a world wide respected almost hollowed cultural reason for the labels continued use in the fan fair of Iris genus enthusiasts and professional breeders hard science may need to let the term die off in the technical realm for the sake of scientific clarity. Or accept that with Iris and many other water garden plant genus; there are species and sub species, then cultivars. Or what has been considered a cultivar is discovered to actually a species. And have a mode in place that accurately denotes these additions when the human induced or even natural evolution of these cultivars exposes them as species within species. If our definitions are not definitive then they must evolve as a technology to remain scientific rather than nostalgic.

The Iris genus Laevigata (rabbit ear) species from Asia historically that are the most talked about cultivars are: Variegata, Variegata Alba, Violet Parasol, Albopurpurea, Colchesterensis, Midnight Wine, Monstrosa, Mottled Beauty, Regal, Royal Cart Wheel, Semperflorens, and Snow Drift.

The cultivars of the–native North America Versicolor species ranging from upper Canada down to Texas and over to the Mississippi, (commonly referred to as Beet Root Iris & Blue Flag), that are most often cited for their light blue flowers in spring are: Between The Lines, Candystriper, Little Rhyme, Mint Fresh, Mysterious Monique, Party Line, Pink Peaks, and Shape Up.

In the same habitat zone as the Versicolor Blue Flag; the some what taller and more drought tolerant Iris genus Virginica species carries the same common name and this species most well documented and popular cultivars are: Contraband Girl, Dotties Double, Pond Crown Point, and Pond Lilac Dream.

Iris genus Pseudacorusis note worthy due to the fact that all water gardeners need to be careful where they are planted. The species and its cultivars are invasive. Planting them were the seeds can spread to other water ways is an irresponsible water gardening practice. If they are planted the water garden flow must be under complete segregation and control of the water gardener. This species is not suggested for novice gardeners for this reason. In many states this species and its cultivars are illegal.

Read the Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants, it’s the best book on the subject to own and make reference to over the years…


Posted in Articles, Water Garden Plants by Administrator on March 10, 2009.

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