Field of Science

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo just after star wars day, TPP can only stand so much excitement.  Nothing much to do with plants for either day, but lots of things to choose from.  A relatively new addition to our gardens will have to do.  Firstly, know that Mrs. Phactor loves Iris of all sorts.  A native iris is now available in our garden shops even though it just barely makes it into the southern most tip of Lincolnland.  TPP first saw this species, Iris cristata on a field trip to eastern Kentucky.  This particular clone seems fairly robust and has flowered in its first season, a good sign.  It has been a bit tricky to grow in that it's hard to find a place this little woodland iris likes where it isn't too exposed but doesn't get over grown with more aggressive plants.  In this case it seems to like a corner of a low garden wall next to a sidewalk.  The whole plant only stands about 6 inches tall, with flowers just barely over an inch in diameter.  It's distinctive feature is that the "falls", sepals, have a raised crest sporting some contrasting white and yellow pigmentation with a darker purple margin rather than having a beard of filaments. The iris flower functions rather like 3 bilaterally symmetrical flowers, so presumably the crest is a nectar guide. The sepals are partly covered by a 3-parted petaloid stigma that hides the 3 stamens.  Don't let Mrs. Phactor catch you  pulling apart one of her Iris flowers.  

1 comment:

nycguy said...

Be careful with it. In the Northeast, it's as bad as lily of the valley for taking over the garden.