PURPLE IRIS

Post last updated: October 11th, 2018

I could not believe my eyes yesterday. From my front porch, I could see a deep purple iris bloom in my Fern Bed, probably a distance of 50 to 80 feet.

Purple Iris
Purple Iris

Years and years ago, probably around 2004 when I was working on the Fern Bed, I had ordered $93 of plant material from a seed catalog from way up north. Most of the stuff just didn’t make it. From then on, I placed my orders with companies in the south whose plants would be more acclimated to my neck o’ the woods.

Nevertheless, a few straggly, thin-leafed iris from that order continued to sit in the Fern Bed doing as close to nothing as nothing can get. I have no idea why it finally bloomed. Did it take eight years to acclimate itself to Florida? It’s not like iris don’t grow here. I have some light purple and yellow ones out at the Gator Pond, in fairly deep shade that bloom now and again. Here’s the purple iris and the iris plants in the Gator Pond:

I don’t think we can grow bearded iris here but Louisiana iris will grow here.

A local gardener has a few hundred of them growing in full sun, in the right of way, in massive clumps probably 4 or 5 feet in diameter. Kinda makes me want to move my way-up-north iris and some of those from the Gator Pond into full sun where they might actually thrive. I couldn’t get a better drive-by shooting with my camera because it was raining.

Local gardener's iris bed
Local gardener’s iris bed

Speaking of rain, yesterday I needed to unload some groceries from my car. In an effort to preserve what was left of my hairdo, I came in the house and donned a short yellow rain slicker and my blue plastic shower cap. Whiskey the Cat looked up from his food bowl with one dry niblet stuck to his lips, saw me, and was clearly terrified. His eyes bulged, his ears flattened back and he took off running. I had the decency not to laugh but it reminded me that Poppie’s been telling me his cat does not recognize him when he’s in his Sunday best. Interesting.

18 thoughts on “PURPLE IRIS”

  1. It’s funny that cats are like that. They don’t trust my husband when he’s wearing boots! Or me, when I’m wearing my gardening hat! As for the iris, that’s a Japanese iris, and it likes moist soil and full sun, so moving it is probably a good idea. Just something else for you to do! 😉

  2. Beautiful Iris. I’m glad it finally bloomed. Laughed a good belly laugh at the cat, because I am all too familiar with the cats getting weirded out by me wearing a different pair of shoes or new glasses. Happy blooms.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Kim. I love your coral house with purple trim AND the lavendar studio. I was not familiar, at all, with cats being weirded out by clothing. If you could have seen his expression! I just can’t have a camera in hand at all times.

  3. Looks like Virginia iris. We have them growing natural in the wetlands here in the area… Miles of blue… We get genetic drift, as they come up from seed… I way like variations…

      1. Stone – A possibility for that very purple photo at top. Will never know unless they send me another catalog. Hmmmm, might need to check my car. I put some catalogs in there to give to a friend.

      1. ‘Preciate the extra photo…pics of the foliage would also be helpful… Have you noticed blue shoots in the Spring? Search “iris robusta” to see what I mean…

        I’m thinking siberian iris for the top pic, and Iris virginica for the middle.

        Iris sibirica seems easy to grow (if your garden is wet enuff), I used to plant the seeds, to get that genetic drift effect, where the patch wasn’t that single matching clone look… which I despise.

        1. Stone — Been extremely busy. Added the photo of the plants. Can’t be “iris robusta.” My opinion differs on the “single matching clone look.” I like the use of a single color in a “mass” planting.

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