Monday, November 4, 2013

Rebloomers at Bridge In Time Iris Garden

After the Fall Freeze 2013 . . .
By Betty Wilkerson

 zone 6b in South Central Kentucky

It’s been an interesting year at Bridge In Time Iris Garden. Despite a fall freeze, and my inability to get into the garden much lately, some rebloomers have shown their beautiful faces through the weeds.  I have not fertilized for the past two years either, which has had an effect on the garden.  Weather was good for rebloom, but only a few faithful bloomed this year.  

Most of the larger, bloom-sized rhizomes were dug and sent around the country earlier this year. I have reports of some of these reblooming already in other areas. 

Bloom began here in late August with 1907-10Re.  In 2011, this was one of the two seedlings that bloomed all summer, but this year it didn’t show its beautiful face until late summer.  It was a welcome sight.  

1906-10Re Fall Overlay (Wilkerson seedling) 
Pretty as it may be, it does not always grow tall enough, and it's PURPLE.  Purple is a common color in reblooming iris.  Would you buy it?

1906-10Re-Beard (Wilkerson seedling) 

Currently, 'Over and Over' is one of the most dependable rebloomers in my garden. It wasn't the only one to rebloom in this difficult year, and it wasn't the first one to rebloom, but it did, and faithfully. I've discussed this with other breeders and many have said they won't use it because it isn't pretty enough, but I'd like to remind everyone that it is a really strong rebloomer.  Furthermore, when crossed on self irises it will not give plicata coloring.   

'Over and Over' (Innerst 2000) 
Toward the end of the season, but with plenty of time to open well, '2150-02Re' put up stalks. This is from 'Star Gate' X 'Matrix'.  Many seedlings from this cross rebloomed, but this one blooms the earliest and is most dependable.  Again we have the "dependable" quality, but not early enough, and PURPLE.  'Star Gate' is a dependable rebloom parent, but tends to breed only white or blue/purple with an occasional plicata.  Most often, this seedling will maintain the good fall form and also show an apron pattern like picture 2.

2150-02Re (Wilkerson seedling)

2150-02Re (Wilkerson seedling)  
Some might wonder why I've not made a cross between the two purple rebloomers.  Up to this point in time, I've not wanted to mix the beards.  '1906-10re' has many siblings and about a dozen have rebloomed. Same is true with '2150-02Re.'  With their parentage most of the seedlings would be purple and white plicata. Then there is the question on beard color.  There would be no chance of a tangerine beard.  Still, maybe next year!

Here are the seeds for 2013.  There are fourteen tall bearded crosses represented here!  They should start sprouting by April first, and I hope for lots of rebloom. Where there are irises and hope, there could be rebloom!

2013 seed crop


  1. Yes, I would buy that purple reblooming iris.

  2. I wouldn't buy 1906-10Re (purple iris) because it doesnt have the X-factor, sorry


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