Monday, April 15, 2019

The Heralds of Spring

By Virginia Spoon

After a long cold winter, nothing invigorates my spirit like going out to the garden and seeing the spring bloom of the irises. The tiny miniature dwarfs are the earliest of the bearded irises to bloom.  I love the early bulbous irises that bloom even earlier such as danfordiae and reticulata, however, the tiny bearded dwarfs are my favorites.


 Miniature dwarf irises blooming in early April. Photo--Ginny Spoon

We have a large collection of miniature dwarfs and it is sometimes hard to find a place to put them so they won't get over shadowed by the larger irises. We put one large planting on a bank and when they are blooming  in March and April they cover it with a carpet of color. 


           Miniature dwarf iris planting at Winterberry.  Photo--Ginny Spoon

Shorter than the standard dwarf bearded irises (8-16 inches), the miniatures top out at 8" tall. They are tiny and to be enjoyed to the fullest, they should be planted either in a rock garden setting or a raised area. They bloom early too, so you may want to plant them close to your house so you won't miss any of the bloom.


                     Miniature dwarf iris 'African Wine'.  Photo--Ginny Spoon

"Pixie Flirt' is a vigorous grower and it can grow into a marvelous clump in just a few years.


                                             'Pixie Flirt'  Photo--Ginny Spoon


Winter Aconite,  Snowdrops, small narcissus such as 'Tete- a- Tete' make good companion plants for the miniature dwarfs.


                                      Winter Aconite  Photo--Ginny Spoon


The bulbous iris reticulata is a good companion plant, and they bloom even earlier than the dwarf irises, sometimes even in the snow. 


                                                   Iris reticulata  Photo--Ginny Spoon



 ' Atroviolacea'   Photo-- Ginny Spoon

The miniature dwarf 'Atroviolacea' is usually the first bearded iris to bloom for us, sometimes even in the March snow.

                        
                            Miniature daffodils 'Tete-a-Tete'  Photo -- Ginny Spoon


        'Early Sunshine' usually follows second behind the bloom of 'Atroviolacea'. 


                                          'Early Sunshine'  Photo--Ginny Spoon


                                               'Kayla's Song' Photo--Carol Coleman

We were excited that our 'Kayla's Song' received the Caparne Welch Medal in 2018.
We are members of the Dwarf Iris Society and if you would like to join us contact our membership chair:  Rose Kinnard (RKinnard@minesmo.org




Monday, April 8, 2019

Arilpums: Fertile Arilbred Dwarfs!

by Tom Waters

'Aladdin's Gem' (Thoolen, 2002)
OGB/ABD

Most arilbred medians are produced by crossing standard dwarfs (SDBs) with fertile halfbreds (OGB). The results of such crosses tend to be pleasing garden subjects, occupying about the same niche as intermediates (IBs), but with the added interest of arilbred color patterns. Unfortunately, arilbred medians produced this way are usually infertile, or have very limited fertility at best. Also, being only ¼ aril (OGB-), they don’t always show enough pronounced aril characteristics to really stand out as arilbreds.

For those of us who enjoy the smaller arilbreds, the holy grail would be diminutive fertile arilbreds that are half aril in content. We might imagine miniaturized versions of the taller arilbreds that have come from breeding arils with tall bearded (TBs). One approach to realizing this dream is through the creation of “arilpums”: hybrids between arils and the tiny dwarf bearded species Iris pumila. This type of cross produces true arilbred dwarfs, around 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) in height, fertile, and half aril. Additionally, Iris pumila is expected to confer winter hardiness on its seedlings.

The potential of such breeding was first appreciated in the mid 20th century, when iris breeders became aware of the cytogenetics of irises, and the possibility of creating “fertile families” of irises from wide crosses, if the parents are chosen to have the right chromosome configurations to produce fertile offspring. Both the SDBs (from TBs crossed with Iris pumila) and the fertile arilbreds (from TBs crossed with arils) are examples of such fertile families, and show how varied and successful they can be.

The most direct way to build a fertile family of arilpums is to cross Iris pumila with tetraploid arils. In nature, the only tetraploid arils are the Regelia species Iris hoogiana and Iris stolonifera. Indeed, the pioneering hybridizer Paul Cook (who also introduced the first SDBs from TB x pumila crosses) produced two hoogiana/pumila hybrids in the 1950s: ‘Hoogpum Blue’ (Cook, 1956) and ‘Hoogpum Purple’ (Cook, 1956). Both were fertile, but Iris hoogiana doesn’t have many characteristics that most of us think of as epitomizing the “aril look”, and these little offspring were not very distinguishable from MDBs, and in fact were registered as such.

The first approach to arilpums with oncocyclus ancestry came from Peter Werckmeister, the great expositor of cytogenetic theory to English-speaking irisarians. In the 1970s, he produced “Miltonia” (not registered) from a lucky cross, in which the aril parent (an oncogelia from ‘Teucros’ x Iris susiana), although a diploid, acted as a tetraploid by producing an unreduced gamete. Werckmeister reported eventually creating a whole array of fertile arilpums from “Miltonia”. Alas, they were not widely distributed and are now lost to us.

Thoolen arilpum seedling AP9007-1
Interest in arilpums underwent something of a revival in the 1990s, after Samuel Norris and John Holden created a line of tetraploid oncogelias from using colchicine treatment. Crossing these with Iris pumila produced arilpums with much more “onco look” than had been possible previously. The first of these to be introduced was ‘Barbarella’ (Mathes, 1991), followed by ‘Aladdin’s Gem’ (Thoolen, 2002). Both Harald Mathes and Francesca Thoolen raised a number of different arilpum seedlings, but these were the only two registered and introduced into commerce. Both ‘Barbarella’ and ‘Aladdin’s Gem’ produce fertile pollen, but are unwilling pod parents. Mathes and Thoolen noted similar difficulties with their other arilpums, and their breeding programs were eventually abandoned.

The lack of pod fertility was an unfortunate setback, because the simplest way to build up this family would be to cross the existing arilpums among themselves, rather than repeating the initial aril x pumila crosses.

'Topaz Talisman' (Jensen, 2015)
RB/ABD
The most recent arilpum is the lovely stolonifera/pumila hybrid ‘Topaz Talisman’ (Jensen, 2015). It has not yet been tested extensively for pod fertility.

Why has this family not made more progress? It has been more half a century since its potential was first understood, theoretically. I do not believe the pod fertility issue is insurmountable, although it is a setback and perhaps kept the family from taking off in the 1990s, when interest was greatest. Since then, the number of hybridizers working with arilbreds has declined, and not all are interested in such an experimental project. The parent plants, tetraploid arils and Iris pumila, are not easy to grow in all locations: the arils need a very dry summer, and pumila needs a cold winter.

Another obstacle is that the initial crosses are difficult, not many viable seeds are produced, germination is poor, and so a lot of persistence is needed to bring arilpum seedlings to bloom. Since I began working in this area six years ago, I have made 365 pollinations, resulting in 525 seeds, and at long last four seedlings which I hope to see bloom this year or next.

I would love to see others get involved; the prospects for eventual success obviously depend on a number of people working with determination over the course of a number of years. Here is the recipe:
  1. Acquire tetraploid arils, such as Iris stolonifera, ‘Tadzhiki Bandit’, ‘Tadzhiki Eclipse’, ‘Werckmeister’s Beauty’, ‘Balalaika Music’, and ‘Dunshanbe’. Keep in mind that you must use tetraploid arils – crossing Iris pumila with random arils and arilbreds offers no special hope of fertility in the seedlings.
  2. Acquire Iris pumila, either from seed exchanges, or named cultivars such as ‘Royal Wonder’, ‘Wild Whispers’, ‘Little Drummer Boy’, ‘Hobbit’, and others.
  3. Make crosses between these two groups, as often as possible, and mixing and matching parents as much as possible.
  4. Also get any available arilpums (pretty much just ‘Aladdin’s Gem’ and ‘Topaz Talisman’ these days), to cross amongst themselves or with arilpum seedlings you produced from the aril/pumila crosses.

Hildebrandt arilpum seedling 11-4-2
(photo: George Hildebrandt)
I think this a project that offers enormous potential in the long term, and is ideal for a small, backyard hybridizer who does not have the resources to grow thousands of seedlings and does not need to worry about immediate commercial success. There is a whole new world waiting to be opened up!

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Preview of the 2019 American Iris Society Convention

by Jean Richter

In late April the American Iris Society will hold its annual convention. This year the convention returns to the San Francisco Bay area for the first time in quite a few years. The convention hotel is the San Ramon Marriott, and garden tours will feature five excellent gardens in a variety of microclimates throughout the greater Bay Area. Here is a preview of what you will see at the convention - for even more information, see the convention web site.

The first day of garden tours will feature two gardens in the greater Sacramento area. Frannie's Iris Garden is located in Elk Grove, near Sacramento, and is tended by Fran and Russ Shields. All the iris beds are flat with wide, smooth grassy pathways. If a little rest is needed there is a huge gazebo at the edge of the garden, and cold drinks are close by. The guest beds are laid out for perfect photo shots. Fran has added a few pieces of garden art here and there. Russ and Fran are members of the Sacramento Iris Society. Don't be surprised if, in addition to many beautiful iris, you encounter a llama or friendly papillon!


The patchwork quilt garden of Mary Ann and Ed Horton is spread over several acres of irises. This commercial garden is spotless. You will get a lot of walking done in this garden - walk quickly as this is a huge garden. There are vintage automobiles on the property that have been restored to original, working condition. Feel free to have your photo taken with them. AIS guest irises are on top of a slight hill. Mary Ann and Ed are members of Sacramento and Sierra Foothills Iris Societies.



The second day of garden tours takes you to the Sonoma Valley wine country to the C&L Vineyard Garden. This garden is owned by Joe Lawrence and Rudy Ciuca. The grapes will not be ripe but the vines are there, as well as 70 olive trees. This garden holds several hundred irises in addition to the guest irises. Rudy is a gourmet cook with a gourmet kitchen, so the possibility is good that he will whip up something good to nibble. Joe and Rudy are members of Santa Rosa Iris Society.



'Jade Moon' (O'Brien 1997) C&L Vineyard Garden has all of local hybridizer Lois O'Brien's introductions in their permanent collection.

On this day of the tour we will also be visiting Sonoma Plaza, located in downtown Sonoma in the heart of the Somona Valley wine country. There are a wide variety of things to see and do in the Plaza, including historic buildings (among them the northernmost California mission), over 30 wine tasting rooms, plenty of shops, and world-renowned restaurants. More information is available at the Sonoma Plaza Visitor's Guide.

The final day of garden tours will visit two gardens. The garden of Jim and Irene Cummins is located in Scotts Valley, not far from Santa Cruz, on a gently sloping hill overlooking a small valley. The Cummins' personal garden has hundreds of irises.Guest irises are well marked in a bed away from other irises. A very fun and interesting yard is filled with hundreds of pieces of whimsical garden art. With luck a flock of turkeys may be seen. The Cummins are Monterey Bay Iris Society members.

 


The convention's master planting is the Dry Creek Garden, an historic cottage garden managed by the East Bay Regional Park District, the largest urban park district in the United States. In addition to the large convention planting, you will have many other plants to enjoy over the garden's acreage. The convention planting is overseen by Jeff Bennett, a member of Sydney B. Mitchell and Mt. Diablo Iris Societies. The convention planting will remain a permanent iris planting in perpetuity with new plants added yearly and the historic garden expanded yearly. Any iris planted in this garden hopefully will still be somewhere on the grounds 100 years from now.




 'Cascade Trails' (L. Miller 2016) MTB

 'Crystal Ship' Lauer 2006 SDB

"Perry Dyer' Black 2017 arilbred

'Top Down' (H. Nichols 2015) novelty iris

If you'd like to join us at the convention, registrations are still being taken through April 15. You can register for the full convention, or for single events or tour dates. Price breakdowns and the registration form is available on the registration page. Lots of information and the latest updates are available at the convention web site. We hope to see you at the convention!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

IRISES: The Bulletin of the AIS - Spring 2019 Edition

By Andi Rivarola 

A warm welcome to those who are seeing IRISES, the Bulletin of The American Iris Society for the first time. If you are a member of The American Iris Society I hope you enjoy this new issue.

The Spring issue of the AIS Bulletin is already available for online viewing, and accessible via the Emembers section of the AIS website. The print copy has been mailed via the U.S. Post Office. On the cover, a beautiful iris reticulata covered in snow as it awakens from a cold season.

Note: to access this area of the website you must have a current AIS Emembership. (AIS Emembership is separate from the normal AIS membership.) Please see the Electronic Membership Information area of the AIS website for more details.


In this issue...

A wonderful read about A Few Irises in China, by Panayoti Kelaidis, on pages 16 through 18. Oh, so many lovely images of Iris chrysographes!

On pages 20 through 22, a reprint from our blog posts called, A New Iris World, on iris hybridizers in Eastern Europe by Sylvain Ruaud from France. 

On pages 23 through 25, yet another reprint from our blog posts, this time A View from Russian on Gypsy Lord and Children, by Sergey Stroganov. 

Ready for photography tips? Find them on the article by Neil Houghton called Job it Out, on pages 26 and 27.

And Maryann Schicker talks about Iris Identification Made Easy and Enjoyable, on pages 28 and 29.

Not a member of The American Iris Society? Please see our website for information about becoming one: http://irises.org/

There's a lot more to see and read in this edition of IRISES, either in digital or print formats.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Diversity of Color in Louisiana Irises - White irises

by Ron Killingsworth


"The name Iris is derived from a Greek word meaning "rainbow" and is a fitting name for this beautiful family of flowers." (The Louisiana Iris - The History and Culture of Five Native American Species and their Hybrids, an official publication of the Society for Louisiana Irises.)

The pigments of the iris petals create the brilliant colors of irises.  There are many articles and books written on this subject, so feel free to "google" it and learn as much as you desire.  Our discussion today is simply about the wide range of colors to be found in this group of irises.

The color range of Louisiana irises had been greatly expanded by more than 75 years of hybridizing.

This time we will look at the wide variety of shapes and sizes in white Louisiana irises.  White irises must have good substance in order to withstand "washing out" in the hot Louisiana sun.  There are still quite a few white Louisiana irises to be found in the native habitat, especially in south Louisiana, and most likely in the species i.giganticaerulea.

In other postings we discussed other flower colors to be found in Louisiana irises.  Today we look at some of the white Louisiana irises.  Again, different people see color in different ways so you may not find all these irises to be what you consider as "white". Without further discussion, let us jump right into examining some fine examples of white Louisiana irises.
'Acadian Miss' by Charles Arny, 1980.
This is one of the first Louisiana irises to exhibit some ruffling on the edges.  The very first iris to show ruffling was 'Charlie's Michele' (Arny 1969) which was a rose colored iris.  'Charlie's Michele' was the pod parent of 'Clara Goula' (Arny 1975) and the ruffling is quite nice on 'Clara Goula'.  'Clara Goula' was the pollen parent for 'Acadian Miss' and passed some of the ruffling on toe this iris. It is distinguished for other white irises by the ruffling and the bold green style arms.

'Circe Miss' by M. D. Faith 2005
'Circe Miss' resembles 'Acadian Miss' but there is a difference in the two irises.  This one does not have as much ruffling and the signals are somewhat different.

'Clara Goula'
This is not a great picture of 'Clara Goula' and again you can see the resemblance of the progeny.

'Cotton Plantation' by Mary Dunn 1994
This is an example of a bloom that has recently opened.  Below is an example of blooms that are a few days old and you can see how the petals re-curve somewhat in the picture below.

'Cotton Plantation'
If you have even been in a cotton field just before picking time, the cotton bolls do resemble this iris.

'Danza' by J. C. Taylor 1986
This iris tends to be more "light yellow" when first opened but fades to a pleasing white that can stand up to hot weather.

'Dural White Butterfly' by J. C. Taylor 1989
This is one of the "famous" white irises and it has been used in many hybridizing attempts/successes.  It is registered as "White self", no further description.  Again you can see the characteristics of the parents back to 'Charlie's Michele'.

'Her Highness' by Levingston 1957
This is a collected i.giganticaerulea alba and is one of my favorite white irises in the old open form.  We have a huge patch of this iris and it puts on quite a show every year.  It won the Mary Swords DeBallion Award in 1959, the highest award most Louisiana irises will ever win.


'Ice Angel' by A. Faggard 1988
Registered as "white, diamond dusted icy blue" and a great description of this iris, another of my favorites.  When it first opens, the area near the style arms dust in fact have a dusted icy look.  The pinkish blush also sets it apart for other white irises.

'Ice Magic' by J. C. Taylor 1991
A lot of Taylor's white irises have 'Helen Naish' (J. C. Taylor 1979) as one of the parents (pollen parent in this case).  'Helen Naish' has 'Clara Goula' as the pod parent.

'Inez Conger' (Charles Arny, 1973)
The real Inez Conger lived in Arcadia, LA, and raised many irises back in the 1950-70 time frame.  Her son, Sidney Conger, hybridized many Louisiana irises.  This one is registered as "white self, large orange signal" as if you paid the registration fee based on the number of words in the description!

'Lime and Soda' by Peter Jackson 2010
It is registered as "stands and falls soft lemon".  Perhaps this is a picture of a bloom a few days old and has faded to a pleasing white with a yellow blush.  I bet you could trace the parentage back to one of the famous white irises.

'Longue Vue' by Dorman Haymon 1999
Dorman named this iris for Longue Vue Home and Gardens in New Orleans.  It has 'Dural White Butterfly' for the pollen parent.  This is one of the most well know white Louisiana irises.

'Longue Vue'
Another nice picture of 'Longue Vue'.

'Marie Dolores' by Dorman Haymon 1986
Another fine example of a white Louisiana iris, this one with cream colored style arms and nice signals.  The registration says it has "pronounced sweet fragrance" but I have seldom found a Louisiana iris with fragrance.  I must check it out next year if I can simply remember to do so!

'Miranda Leigh' by Rusty Ostheimer McSparrin 2001
A very nice white iris that won the Caillet Cup in 2009.  It grows pretty short for me but really puts on a show during bloom season.

'Monument' by Mary Dunn 1977
The pod parent is 'Charlie's Michele' and the pollen parent is 'Ila Nunn' (Arny 1967), a pretty light yellow, registered as white, which I assume pleasingly fades to white.

'Starlite Starbrite' by Marvin Granger 1985
No, I did not misspell the name.  Marvin hybridized quite a few of the "cartwheel" form and this is by far one of my favorites.  It will win you a nice ribbon on the show table. It has all falls and no stands.

"Sylvarena' by Jeff Weeks 2010
A very nice iris that will catch you eye during bloom season.  It has 'Exquisite Lady' (A. Owen, 1986) as the pod and pollen parents.  'Exquisite Lady' has a silver rim (halo) on the stands and falls but I see that did not get passed to the progeny.

'Texas Toast' by Joe Mertzweiller, registered by Marie Caillet in 2005 after Joe's death.  It is a tetraploid registered as "cream" but fading to white.

To learn more about Louisiana irises, visit their website here. 
To learn more about all irises, visit the American Iris Society




Monday, March 18, 2019

Eastern Europe: A New Iris World

By Sylvain Ruaud

Until the 1990s the world of iris was limited to Western Europe, North America, and the two major islands of Oceania. At that time, iris lovers in these countries were not interested in the rest of the world, and the belief was that the rest of the world was not interested in irises. At least that's what was commonly accepted. It all changed due to the Florence International Competition in Italy, when the existence of iris interest in other parts of the globe became known.


Two major events opened the eyes of the western world, that there were irises elsewhere, and especially behind the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain.


In 1985, a variety called 'Libon' (Smid, unregistered) triumphed in Florence. This elegant variegata won over 'Cameo Wine' (Blyth, 1982) and 'Fort Apache' (Schreiner, 1982). These were irises from the great American-Australian tradition, that were accustomed to winning the awards. The second event was the victory in 1995 of 'Ikar' (Volfovitch-Moler, 1995), a variety from Uzbekistan, a country whose very existence was not known to everyone, and winning it did, in a competition that included  'Classic Look' (Schreiner, 1992) and 'Goldkist' (P. Black, 1993). At that point, iris growers knew that there was something new happening in Eastern Europe.

In the Soviet Union

In Eastern Europe, iris culture is determined by climatic conditions. In the southern areas, it is the summer heat that is not suitable for large iris (TB); in the northern states, it is the cold and wet winters that are unfavorably to good growth. The suitable area for growing irises extends roughly between the 41st and 56th parallels. This is why, for this article, I will focus on five states: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia.


Iris ‘'Libon' is from the Czech Republic. In the 1980s the problem for those who wanted to try iris hybridization was to obtain broodstock for interesting crosses. In an economy completely in shambles, it was necessary to be cunning and, most of the time, to get the rhizomes secretly, without telling others how it was obtained. This is how 'Libon' was produced, its creator Wojtech Smid made the crossing Crinkled Gem X Amigo's Guitar, two varieties dating to 1964.


At the same time a well-known scientist in the field of botany and horticulture, Milan Blazek, who practiced hybridization himself and took advantage of his contacts abroad also helped by bringing back some plants. All this was improvised, and it is quite surprising that W. Smid managed to send some varieties to Florence.

Before the collapse of the Soviet bloc, elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the iris world was non-existent. Except, it must be pointed out, in the USSR itself, where Professor Rodionenko had acquired a world-wide reputation in botany and specifically in iris botany. Some daring individuals tried to hybridize with means as limited as those available to the Czech hybrizers, and for no other purpose than to indulge themselves. For example, only after 1990 was it announced that Vitali Gordodelov, a former Red Army officer in the Caucasus in Stavropol, or Irina Driaghina of Moscow, were creating new irises.

The freedom found


The dismemberment of the Soviet Union was the occasion for the emergence of a large number of new iris hybridizers. In the Czech Republic, for example, where there has always been a nucleus of hybridizers, they were immediately organized and they even created their catalogs including the western irises they had obtained, and many skilled and inspired horticulturists appeared: Josef and Jiri Dudek, Pavel Nejedlo, and Zdenek Seidl.

'Modre Pondeli' (Seidl, 1997
These four very good hybridizers made themselves known beyond the borders of their country, as soon as they could export their production. The situation in neighboring Slovakia was about the same. But only one breeder managed to conquer the western world: Ladislaw Muska. As soon as he was able to acquire modern varieties he embarked on a highly developed hybridization program. His varieties appeared in France in the late 1990s and, moreover, have distinguished themselves in competitions organized very quickly in Eastern Europe and Russia.

'Brekeke' (Muska, 1996)
In Poland, the movement was launched by a former actor and director, Lech Komarnicki. Living in the north-west of the country, he encountered major setbacks with his irises when they were  destroyed by frost. But these difficulties did not dampened his enthusiasm and he has become an inescapable element of irisdom in his country and neighboring countries.

In Ukraine, an exceptional person was at the origin of the movement: Nina Miroshnichenko, wife of an officer of the Red Army, garrisoned in the east of the country, with rudimentary means, undertook a remarkable hybridization work. She was quickly joined by a nurseryman, Alexandr Trotskiy, whose varieties quickly joined the international level.

Sergei Loktev, extravagant and passionate character, launched the movement in Russia. He abandoned all other activities to focus on hybridization and created in twenty years nearly 800 new irises of all categories! At the same time he organized the Russian Iris Society, which  became one of his most important achievements. Many hybridizers followed his example, and thus Russia became one of the countries with the highest number of new varieties.

'Feodosiya' (Loktev, 2011)
Modern times


Today the countries of Eastern Europe and Russia constitute major centers of iris collections in the world. Some young hybridizers have become admired personalities for the quality and originality of their introductions. This is the case, in Slovakia, of Anton Mego, a hybridizer that has become known in the United States since his iris 'Slovak Prince' (2002) received a Wister Medal in 2009. A distinction as prestigious and as difficult to receive, which is a true testament to his talent.

In Poland Robert Piatek, has hybridized irises since the early 2000s, has done considerable work but unfortunately, is still poorly known outside his country. Other Polish hybridizers have followed suit. Several Ukrainian breeders, benefiting from more favorable climatic conditions, have created irises that are not yet sufficiently known elsewhere than in Ukraine. They are Igor Khorosh and Svetlana Yakovchuk. Both, with seemingly interesting varieties, seek to make themselves known abroad.

The world of iris in Russia is experiencing a real explosion. Three or four names rise above the lot. As Olga Riabykh, Vladimir Osipenko, Viktor Kolesnikov, Marina Volovik, who are among the best known. However, it seems that these hybridizers have difficulty marketing their products outside their country of origin. Some of the issues could be due to the current state of international political conflicts.

'Grinoy Dozhd' (Riabykh, 2015)
Some other breeders also deserve to be recognized: Izidor Golob, in Slovenia, who works quietly in his small country; Laimonis Zakis in Lithuania, a maverick, who creates irises comparable to those elsewhere in the world, but refuses to register them and does not intend to make himself known outside his home.

Some examples:



'Fioletovy Nizkorosly' (Driaghina, 1996)



'Solovinaya Noch' (Miroshnichenko, not registered)


'Horské Oko' (Mego,2015)


'Etsitu' (Piatek, 2015)


'Sertse Okeanu'(Khorosh, 2007)

By spreading throughout Eastern Europe, the cultivation of irises has entered a new field. We can only rejoice at this expansion. But it must be said that irises still have many parts of the globe to conquer.

Editor's Note: Sylvain Ruaud is a well known iris authority in Europe, keeping up with iris news and events in that part of the world. He writes about gardens and irises on his French blog  Irisenlige  and this is his second posts for us. In future posts, he will continue to update us about the world of irises in Europe. 
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