June 1, 2011

Bearded Iris

I'm not really sure where this white iris came from. I was shocked when I discovered it in my front border. It must be a sport from my dark purple iris. Can this happen?

The flowers on this white iris are huge and pure white.

Here are the dark purple iris that I think must have given rise to the white iris. These purple iris came from my parent's house (which came to them from a neighbor). I love how plants migrate through people.

I've had dark purple columbine revert to white a couple years ago, so maybe this can happen. I don't like the white ones, but I can't bring myself to pull them out.

This light purple iris came with the house. I have a ton of it and it's gorgeous every year!

This peachy colored iris also came with the house. It used to be on the side of the house in the shade. It wasn't flowering well, so I moved it to the front border. I was surprised that it flowered this spring considering I just transplanted it a couple months ago.


  1. Oh, sweet Irises! I love them - especially mixed colours. The white one is likely a sport as you suggested, and I dare say quite a lovely one! I used to work as a perennial grower, and when the Iris bay was in bloom it was incredible - a symphony of colours and fragrances! My all-time fave was one called 'Good Show'... a beautiful creamy orange that totally smelled like Creamsicles. Yum!

  2. You know, I don't think I ever thought to smell irises. I'll have to give it a try!

  3. I don't think you can get "sports" from bearded irises that are totally different colors, because they spread by rhizomes (I know you can with columbines however, since they grow from actual seeds). That white looks like the variety "Immortality" which is a popular rebloomer.

    1. Bearded iris spread via rhizomes, but they also produce seed. However, most gardeners cut down the spent flower heads before the seed can ripen. The reason we have hundreds (thousands?) of different iris cultivars is because plant breeders have crossed different varieties and grown offspring from seed.


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