Louisiana Iris


By Dick Sloan - Click images to enlarge

Above is 'Irish Spirit', a smaller statured plant with smaller flowers on shorter stalks. The contrast of the deep blue flower color with the green signals makes it special. It's by Richard Morgen, of the Little Rock area, so likely is more cold hardy than some. It was registered in 1997.

'Kelly's Choice' is an iris by Richard Morgen, registered in 1991 at 28". Because of similar heights and somewhat similar colors, it is sometimes confused with 'Gold Reserve'. Both are lovely.

'Dawn Aglow' was registered in 1987 by Dean Lee of near Houston. It was his only registration and never distributed in his lifetime. Dean and Laurel Bridgeman, his widowed sister, lived together in their later years and were active in the Mercer Gardens in that area, as well as in SLI. Charles Arny named a straw yellow iris for Laurel in 1969 and a brown iris for Dean in 1970. In 1969, all the registrations were by Charles Arny or a Mr. Hale except one. Hale produced a red, not too different from 'Red Echo', named 'Red Dazzler' and registered it that year among others. The third registrant was Marvin Granger, pronounced Grawn Jay, if you are from Acadian Louisiana. His registration was not for one of the doubles for which he is most famous. Recently 'Dawn Aglow' was sent from Marie Caillet's garden to a commercial grower and introduced. It is a 19" iris, and this year for me has four bud positions in the stalks.

'Henry Rowlan' is M.D. Faith's registration in 2000 and named for another of the Little Rock hybridizers. I first saw this bloom at the Faith garden on a dark rainy morning. We iris nuts are out there in any weather with our umbrellas up, probably the laughing stock of the neighbors. The flower appeared black with a brilliant gold signal. Here, this year, it is a very dark purple, with that shining gold signal and a plush texture. My picture doesn't show the plush and the weather has conspired this season to prevent a better picture of this dark beauty.

This is 'Pumpkin Chiffon', from Shepard of Phoenix, AZ, in 1999. Yes, they do grow Louisianas in the desert. In fact, the Society for Louisiana Irises convention will be in Tucson in 2005.

Heather Pryor of Sydney, Australia, is leading the charge for an "orange" iris. She released 'Bound for Glory' the same year, 1999. While the picture of 'Pumpkin Chiffon' shows more orange and less copper color than in reality, everything I've heard or seen of 'Bound for Glory' indicates it is orange. I received a plant in March and it went from pot to ground this week. It should show me if it is orange next spring. I want to grow an orange Louisiana!

 'Atchafalaya' was a 1998 introduction by Farron Campbell, of the Dallas area. >>

<< 'Gulf Moon Glow' is another in the lilac and yellow colors. This is a tall strong iris from Bo Bo Faggard of southeast Texas, registered in 1994. My picture doesn't show the texture veining of the actual flower. Bo Bo, now in poor health, is one of those live wire people. No one at our conventions was ever in doubt of his presence, and we love his enthusiasm.


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