Monday, August 21, 2017

Louisiana Bayous and Louisiana Irises

by Ron Killingsworth

Louisiana has plenty of “bayous”. defines bayou as “located chiefly in lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf States, a marshy arm, inlet, or outlet of a lake, river, etc., usually sluggish or stagnant.” It is pronounced bahy-oo.
A list of Louisiana bayous and rivers can be found at Wikipedia, even an alphabetical list of bayous.

There are, not surprisingly, 56 Louisiana irises registered with the name “bayou” as either the first name or the last name of the iris.  Not surprising since there are so many bayous in Louisiana.  I do not grow all the Louisiana irises named “bayou”, nor do I have pictures of all of them.  In fact, quite a few are missing their pictures in the Society for Louisiana Irises checklist.  The checklist is published by SLI on a yearly basis and contains 2553 registered Louisiana irises and many pictures.  However, I do grow quite a few and decided to show the diversity of Louisiana irises by concentrating only on irises with the name “bayou”.  Although they share having “bayou” as part of their names, they are very different from each other in size, season, form and color.

Let us start with irises in which the second name is “bayou.”

'Arabian Bayou' (Faggard, A 1984) - cream peach
'Cedar Bayou' (Strawn, K 1993) - blue
 There are others with a last name of "bayou" but I do not have pictures of those irises. Now for those sharing the first name "bayou".

'Bayou Bandit' (Weeks, Jeff 1998) - pink with lavender tones - photo by MJ Urist

'Bayou Blue' (Arny, Charles 1962 - blue with white spray pattern

'Bayou Candelabra' (Arny, Charles 1974) - blue self

'Bayou Classic' (Faggard, A 1986) - blue purple

'Bayou Comus' (Arny, Charles 1969) - light tan self

'Bayou Duplantier' (O'Connor, Pat 2002) - violet

'Bayou Fountain' (O'Connor, Pat 1992) - blue purple

'Bayou Heartthrob' (Faggard, A 1980) -violet - photo by Pat O'Connor

'Bayou Mystique' (Dunn, Mary 1988) - lavender violet

'Bayou Mystique'

'Bayou Shadow' (Arny, Charles 1978) - lavender-pink

'Bayou Short Stuff' (Faggard, A 1986) - blue - photo by Iris City Gardens

'Bayou Sunset' (MacMillan, W 1945 - soft rose

'Bayou Tiger' (Strawn, K 1993) - a great LSU iris

'Bayou Vermilion' (MacMillan, W 1943) - velvety crimson

'Bayou Vixen' (Rowlan, H 1985) - brick red
 As you can see, Louisiana irises exhibit many different flower forms.  The flowers as well as the plants come in many sizes.  Plants can be from 12 inches to over 6 feet.  The flower can be very small or as large as a plate.  I have added a picture below that shows a huge flower of a Louisiana iris but I do not have the name recorded.

Unknown very large Louisiana iris bloom
To learn more about Louisiana irises, visit the Society for Louisiana Irises web site.
To learn more about other species of irises, visit the American Iris Society web site.

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