My friend Dave contacted me a couple of days ago to ask me if my plant of Iris kolpakowskiana was in flower and, if it was, could we try cross pollinating between our plants in the hope of getting some seeds.
I confirmed that my plant was in flower so Dave popped round today with his and we went to the greenhouse to instigate proceedings. An anther was removed from each plant and applied to the stigmatic surface of the other. We then withdrew for a post-coital coffee.
Iris kolpakowskiana is a species within the Reticulate Iris group. The more common reticulate Irises are a feature of many gardens in late winter. Iris kolpakowskiana is, however, very rare in cultivation and requires specialist care and a very careful watering regime. It is native to the mountains of Central Asia (e.g. Kazakhstan). And is very much a snowmelt plant that is adapted to cold winters and long dry summers with a very brief growing season in spring when snowmelt provides sufficient water. It is a challenging plant to grow and it is a remarkable coincidence that Dave and I both maintain plants only a few miles apart, and that they have flowered the same weekend. Fingers crossed that seed will be produced!
Apologies if you clicked on this post expecting something else 😉