Monday, July 18, 2011

Not my Iris

I was told it's an Iris but it sure doesn't look like the Iris I had in mind.

The flowers of our Walking Irises (Neomarica gracilis).

It all started when I asked Mom a year or so ago to buy some Iris plants so we could start propagating them. My plan was to use these Irises as bog or marginal plants in the future Koi pond and water garden. That way when the pond and water garden are built there would be plenty of Irises ready to use without the need to buy more.

Our Walking Irises in bloom in the nursery.

So that's how these Irises came to exist in the farm. But the flowers don't resemble the ones I've seen in some online pictures growing near bodies of water so my only conclusion is that this is not the Iris I wanted. However, since they look good just the same they are a very welcome addition in the garden.

The flower of our Giant Apostle's Iris (Neomarica caerulea).

But once again I was at a loss as to what type of Iris these are. I've been wanting to write about them but I don't exactly know their actual names. But the wonders of the internet never cease to amaze. I wasn't even googling for this type of plant when lo and behold there it was staring at me on my monitor, a flower that looks exactly like the blooms of our no-name Irises.

Our Giant Apostle's Irises temporarily placed in front of the front porch of our humble house.

Now I know. Our mysterious Iris is called the "Walking Iris" or the "Apostle's Iris" from the genus Neomarica with sixteen different species. It is native to Central and South America as well as the tropical regions of western Africa. This plant belongs to the family Iridaceae so technically it's still an Iris but quite different from its true Iris cousin which is from the genus Iris. To be specific ours is the Neomarica gracilis and the other is the Neomarica caerulea.

More young Walking Irises in the nursery.

I could only blame myself for not getting the plant I was looking for. It could have helped a lot if I had been more specific when I asked Mom to buy some Irises. I should have said 'Water Iris', now that would have been clearer. The ones we have don't even like wet soil so they'll definitely feel miserable in the future Koi pond and water garden. Anyway, there are plenty of spaces waiting for them in the upper garden where they can thrive in peace and multiply as they desire.

And so the search for the Water Iris is still on. But wait! I have no budget left for more plants.....grrrr!tropical garden Tropical Garden tropical garden Tropical Garden