Louisiana Iris ‘Black Gamecock’

May 30th, 2011
Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock'

Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock'

It took several years, but the Louisiana Iris is finally in bloom. I think it would have bloomed last year, except for a little mishap with the spouse and the lawn mower. It was worth the wait. Big, velvety, dark purple flowers.

Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock'

Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock'

They’re maybe a little darker than the photos here show, but nowhere near as dark as some catalog photos (gee, do you think they enhance them at all?).

I haven’t been able to find out much about the origins of this iris, other than that it was registered in 1978 by Frank Chowning, who bred irises with increased hardiness in mind. Interestingly, he was a pal of Caroline Dormon, who was a pal of Elizabeth Lawrence.

We have a poorly drained area which is wet all winter, but does dry out during the summer. I planted ‘Black Gamecock’ there next to a tiny Atlantic White Cedar tree (Chamaecyparis thyoides) which is growing like  a weed, so I’ll soon have to move the iris (I’m not moving the tree). Other purchased companions are Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ and Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, started from seed). I’ve also been digging up some wild plants from the surrounding area and adding them to the same bed – Common Rush (Juncus effusus) and Maryland Meadow Beauty (Rhexia mariana). I started this bed with a very different idea in mind, but now I’m planning to keep it local by adding wild plants to create a sort of cultivated wild garden. The Louisiana Iris gets to stay, however.

5 Responses to “Louisiana Iris ‘Black Gamecock’”

  1. gail says:

    Oh to have a nice sunny spot in the garden that was moist and inviting for this beauty, the Rhexia and other lovers of damp soil! I may just order the iris and keep it well watered. Your planting sounds lovely and is inspiring. gail

    • entangled says:

      From what I’ve read, the Louisiana Irises don’t necessarily have to have very wet conditions. Mine do get quite dry in the summer and haven’t seemed harmed by it.

      But it feels so strange to me to be able to grow moisture-lovers. I had nothing but hard dry clay in the suburbs.

  2. Wendy says:

    Really pretty!

  3. Wendy says:

    Oh, I’m pretty sure I have a Louisiana iris as well. HAD to have it despite the instructions that they do well near water. It’s been fine.

    • entangled says:

      I’m continually amazed at the number of plants that grow well in places and times that all the books say won’t work. I understand about “had to have it” 😉

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