February 23, 2019
Trip to Santa Ana Botanic Garden to See the Irises
SPCNI Visit to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden-Bob Sussman
April 14, 2019
Ten years Michael Monninger and a group from the SPCNI(Society of Pacific Coast Native Iris) visited the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. The garden is primarily a California native botanical garden, run for many years by Dr. Lenz, one of the great botanists of California flora (you can check the web as to who Dr. Lenz is). Additionally, Dr. Lenz did a lot of early work with pacific coast irises including a lot of early hybridization and selection. Thanks to the garden staff and record keeping many growing locations though out the garden are known for visitors to see. And that is what we are going to do and you can come along!
There is some concern on the part of the garden staff that damage from our prolonged drought might make the bloom somewhat less spectacular than previous years but good rainfall this year may make the bloom as nice as ever.
My family and friends will be visiting the garden Sunday, April 14th of this year and your welcome to join us. Meet at the entrance at 10:00, pay our admission and have a fun day at the garden. We’ll visit the iris growing locations and I’ll act as the best tour guide I can and you’ll also get to enjoy the wildflower events taking place that week too.
I’ve received permission to demonstrate how to pollinate some of their rare native irises. The seeds from these pollinated irises will help to sustain their living collection. We’ll be focusing on pollinating the I. munzii collection. Dr. Lenz hybrdized several award winning I. munzii the most well known is probably ‘Sierra Sapphire’- big award winner too. The I. munzii is a rare on in nature and lives only Tulare County. They are exceptionally tall at 30″+ and the flowers are lavender to blue. Most if not all of the blue flowering pacific coast irises have the origin in I. munzii.
They also have a really nice nursery shop so you can buy and take home many of the interesting plants that they grow including pacific coast irises and all kinds of books and other interesting things from your visit.
Above is one of the stands of pacific coast irises at the garden.
Above is an Iris munzii flower in bloom.
Other stuff….We’ll meet at the entrance (at 10 am) and pay our regular admission – check the web I’m told you can buy tickets online. I’ll be attempting to make a short video of how to cross/self pacific coast irises as well as lots of still shots so here’s your chance to be in the movies. Not a bad idea to bring a snack or two and there are plenty of good restaurants to stop off at on the way home when you’re done. Additionally, it’s spring in the garden and lots of wildflowers on display- for both native plant people and iris people it doesn’t get much better. As the time gets closer I’ll post any changes/updates!