WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on May 28th, 2010

Iris to Love

May 28

…in the order of my devotion. There’s a lot to love about Iris including the varieties available, their range of habitat, the huge selection of flower colors, the ease of care and even the sword shaped leaves. I know I’ve missed other qualities but I think you get the point by now, Iris have a lot going for them. But there is one attribute that nearly makes all the nice things you can say about them moot. The flowers don’t last long enough. Any blooming love affair is over before you know it. You’re lucky to get a weekend fling.

That’s one reason this Iris is on the top of my favorites list. I swear this Iris blooms a minimum of 2 weeks. It just doesn’t seem to quit. Another big reason I like it so much is the fact I found a single specimen over 30 years ago at an abandoned farm. When I say that single plant multiplied into 100s I believe I’m as accurate as the Census counting the homeless. The number could very well be in the 1000s by now since most have gone on to other gardeners and you know what they’re like.

Old yellow Iris

My 2 favorite Iris thrived on my neglect. So did the weeds. This year is time to divide again.


Number 2 is a nice color but is really a plain jane looker when it comes to Iris. What gets me is the fragrance. It smells like bubblegum, more specifically Bazooka Joe bubblegum, you know the one with the inside comic wrapper. This one my wife brought home from somewhere about 20 years ago. If we ever knew the name it’s long forgotten. I just call it the Bubblegum Iris. This too has gone to many other gardens. I have to admit a big reason I spread it around so much was that I could tell even more people where they should stick their nose.

bubblegum Iris

Number 3 is a better looker and has been around longer than any other. It was my first Iris. The name is long forgotten but we’re familiar enough for me to get away with calling it Old Purple.

Iris - old purple

For the next on my favorites list I have to wave the Yellow Flag. I’ll let the photos explain why I like it.

yellow flag iris in the garden

Yellow Flag Iris – Iris pseudacorus

yellow flag iris flower

That’s not all but I just don’t get that worked up over my other Iris. I like them all but I won’t write home about them.

I’ve always thought females with dimples were cute. And like most females this one got upset by my advances and started waving her arms at me.

Goldenrod Crab Spider – Misumena vatia

Goldenrod Crab Spider

9 Responses

  1. Tatyana Says:

    for several plants #1 and #3 I would weed your graden.

  2. Sheila Says:

    I too am an iris lover! Your are beautiful!

  3. rainfield Says:

    The number 2 is a naughty one, stretching its tongue and show us its throat.

  4. cindee Says:

    I love iris too. I have many different ones and I agree they don’t bloom long enough at all. Some years they don’t bloom at all. Its weird how that works. I totally neglect mine. I know I should divide and all that but I just don’t feel like it unless someone wants some then I will dig them up and separate them, otherwise they just do their own little thing.(-: Your #1 is a nice one!
    I think I have that #3 one(-: No idea on name either(-:
    I hope you are having a great weekend!

  5. Kathleen Says:

    I love iris as well but the photo of the crab spider is what thrills me! That is just a fantastic shot.
    Glad your bluets came back too ~ they are gorgeous growing with abandon ~ much more so than just plain grass. 🙂

  6. Kate Says:

    I adore Iris #1 and your bubble gum description of #2. We have a very pale yellow variety. Not sure what it is just yet. I love your blog. We just moved into a home with a very woodland like yard. I have found so much inspiration in your posts!

  7. Claire Says:

    Hi. I really like your photographs, they are gorgeous. Also, unrelated to this particular post, I have some ID’s for your unidentified fungi and shrooms…I studied ectomycorrhizal fungi in graduate school, (they grow in association with tree roots), and spent some time in the woods here in the adirondacks keying out various fungi…
    Xerula furfuracea = “deer ? mushroom” I don’t know if it is edible or not, but it is so watery and “thin”, I don’t think it would taste very good.

    Lactarius deliciosus (?) = “funnel shaped mushroom” (the stout orange one with concentric circles on the cap…not the yellow chanterelle looking ones)
    I am not 100% on this, but if you break a piece of it and an orange latex (milky looking stuff) comes out, then I would be certain. All Lactarius sp. have the latex, unless they are old and dried out. A similar genus is Russula, which looks like Lactarius except they don’t “milk”. Some are edible, some are poisonous. Lactarius are typically easier to key out than the Russulas, which I usually just get to genus…

    Hygrocybe genus = a lot of the “small orange mushrooms”. these have thick, waxy looking gills and caps, hence their common name, waxy caps. They often have really bright orange, red, and yellow colors too. The larger orange mushrooms might be a Hygrophorous species, which are typically larger and thicker than the Hygrocybe. I don’t think many people eat these, and I don’t really know if they are poisonous or not.

    Russula or Lactarius = “unknown white mushroom”

    Cantharellus species? = “funnel shaped mushroom” (the yellow ones). I put the question mark because I would really have to see the presence of ridges vs. gills on these, and although a beautiful photo, I can’t quite make them out.

    Anyhow, I will enjoy looking at more of your photos! Very nice stuff!

  8. Claire Says:

    Um, yeah, so deep in the recesses of my mind I remembered that the common name for Xerula is “Deer mushroom”, so you are right on that one! (anyway, now you can put it in the “known” part…)

  9. Nancy Says:

    I was trying to find info on my bubblegum iris when I stumbled across your page. Mine, through a round a bout path, come from my grandma’s garden. They look just like yours, so I’m thinking that’s their name, especially since we live a good 1500 to 2000 miles apart! I was in a superstore this spring when I could smell ’em. They had a varigated leaf varity and the flower was a very light purple, with white as well. But it was the same wonderful smell.