Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Irises


It happens every year. This one variety, whatever it is, of Pacific Coast Iris blooms here in the dead of winter. We've had night temperatures consistently at or below freezing, last month saw weeks of snow, ice, drizzle and dark skies, and yet these flowers felt the impulse to form. Normally, Pacific Coast Irises bloom in the spring and early summer. They are native to this region, if not this far inland, and have been collected and hybridized by horticulturists for garden use in a surprising variety of colors. They should call this one January Survivor.

14 comments:

Kym said...

None of my irises, native or not, bloom this early. And those are gorgeous. You'd best not tell me where you found them or I'll be sneaking down there with a shovel.

Babzy said...

how surprising ! You're so lucky to have these beautiful flowers in winter heart. Have a nice week end !

Abraham Lincoln said...

They are beautiful at any time of the year.

JM said...

They are beautiful! We have darker ones also blooming now.

Sharon said...

Wow, these are beautiful blooms.

Petrea said...

January Survivor. It's lovely. I'd like to see the hybridized colors, but I doubt they could surpass the original.

Ernie Branscomb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernie Branscomb said...

Iris douglasiana Or the Douglas Iris.
Named after the Scottish naturalist David Douglas, who sailed from England to the north coast of California., were he, as newcomers are want to do, RE-named the Douglas Iris and the Douglas Fir. I don’t know what the Native Americans called them, but I’m sure they didn’t name them after Douglas.

I like the name “Pacific Coast Lillie” the best. They always bloom up here in Humboldt County around Easter, so they are sometimes mistakenly called Easter Lillies.

The Indians worked the leaves and made rope and baskets out of them. They made a medicine out of the root that they thought cured stomachaches.

I just enjoy them.

glo said...

How beautiful. "January Survivor" -- sounds like me!

Laurie said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous. Amazing how something so papery delicate can emerge in the cold.

Chuck Pefley said...

Always like seeing unexpected bright colors in an otherwise drab time of year. Amazing, really, given recent weather.

USelaine said...

Kym - Usually the first are the little "bulb" type irises from the Old World. My secret is safe, uh, with me.

Babzy - Thanks!

Abe - They are one of my favorite kinds of flowers.

JM - I love all irises.

Sharon - Thanks!

Petrea - This one has an unusually rounded petal and vein pattern area. But I've seen some hybrids in apricot and maroon!

Ernie - Thank you for that. I really should have provided a link to more information, but you filled it in beautifully.

Glo - It's been cold, hasn't it?! I hope your heater is working this season. I use a hot water bottle for my feet at night.

Laurie - I don't know how they do it, but they do. I can't imagine how and where the birds stay warm enough too.

Chuck - That's another reason why I jumped on this image. There will be lots of florals to choose from in a few months, but right now they are few.

I'm glad you all enjoyed these as much as I did!

Halcyon said...

They are gorgeous! How lucky for you.

Hilda said...

Amazing little flower. I guess they're not as delicate as they seem. And somehow, I like that idea :)