Thursday, April 28, 2011

PCH Iris

The Pacific Coast Hybrid Irises are now in bloom. Prettyness in so many colors! Of course, I like the purple best, but wouldn't you know it, I don't have a pic. Oh well. The yellow and white, canyon snow, is beautiful and also vigorous. A very nice choice.

So I knew that these were hybridized from iris native to the west coast, and I thought that meant douglas iris and maybe a couple of others. But it turns out there are at least six species native to the area: I douglasiana, I innominata, I macrosiphon, I munzii, I purdyi, and I tenas. But they all have the same range of colors; cream to yellow to purple. So how do they get maroon out of that? Ah, the wonders of plant breeding.

They are all easy to grow. They like partial shade and drought tolerant, although they do better with some deep watering in summer. Best transplanting season is fall. Very deer resistant, even the flowers. Hardy to 15 degrees F.

They are pretty when first planted, but after a few years the clump gets big and puts on an amazing display.

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