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Louisiana Iris ‘Black Gamecock’

Louisiana iris are easy to grow in the Midwest if you have good soil, moisture and space for them to spread.

black gamecock

Photo: jacki-dee (flickr)

Louisiana iris, Black Gamecock.

In recent years I have become fond of Louisiana iris.

I can’t believe that I gardened for so many years before I discovered them. They are easy to grow in the Midwest if you have good soil, moisture and space for them to spread. I have, however, stuck mine into many parts of my garden, and luckily they have taken wherever I have put them as long as there is space for them to spread. With plants that I love, I always put them in more than one spot as insurance in case I lose them in one location.

I got my first start of the Louisiana iris ‘Gamecock’ at a plant swap. I looked it up and also found out that it is described in catalogs as the best Louisiana iris cultivar ever grown. It certainly is dependable and vigorous in my zone and produces velvety purple-black blooms with small gold markings.

As one would expect, it tolerates humidity and heat well but also the cold winters in Indiana. It blooms in early summer and looks perfect as a single flower in a narrow-necked vase because the branching and leaves are exquisite.

I have read that since it loves moisture it is a good choice for troublesome boggy spots or by ponds and streams. It certainly is especially happy right next to my large fountain where the breeze blows the water so the soil is often damp. Each summer I wait impatiently for it to bloom.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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