1880, Iris Iberica and Susiana by H. J. Elwes
The Gardeners' Chronicle p.342, September 11, 1880
Iris iberica and Susiana. In answer to an inquiry as to the cultivation of these lovely plants, I may say there are but few localities and fewer seasons in which they will succeed perfectly in the open air, though every now and then one sees and hears of their flowering out-of-doors. What they want like so many other plants of the East is a season of heat and drought, which will enable them perfectly to mature their rhizomes and to rest for three or four months. There are three ways in which I have grown them with fair success. One is in pots, plunged in a frame during the autumn and winter, and brought into a cold house to flower, after which they should be kept in the warmest and driest place that can be found till about September. A second plan is to plant them out permanently in frames, and keep the lights on without shading for three or four months after flowering. The last is the plan which is followed by the Dutch growers for Iris Susiana, but which I do not think would suit I. iberica, and is intended rather to produce fine roots than flowers; viz., to keep the tuber dry like a Hyacinth, and plant it in the open ground in December, so that it does not begin to make growth above ground until spring.
I fancy that both the Irises prefer a rather strong loamy soil il it is dry and warm enough ; but they soon rot out-of-doors in such seasons as we have had lately. Besides the two plants above named I grow a hybrid between them, raised by Herr Max Leichtlin, which I do not think is an improvement on either; and three other nearly allied species, from North Persia and Armenia, I. Saarii, I. Heylandiana, and I. acutiloba. All of them are rare and difficult to grow, though very showy when in bloom. H. J. Elwes, Preston, Cirencester.
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