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“Mixed” Pacific Coast Irises?

“Mixed” Pacific Coast Irises? By Bob Sussman

We have a large inventory of pacific coast irises that we refer to as “mixed”. What in the world do that mean? We’ll there are between 11 and 13 pacific coast iris species that you can collect seeds for and grow any of those species. That is, if you collected seeds from Iris douglasiana and planted the seeds you’d get more Iris douglasiana, same with Iris tenax or I. purdyi, or I. munzii you get the idea. These irises easily cross and they do in nature as well. The more interesting hybrids are selected and divided like Iris ‘Canyon Snow’ – the most well known pacific coast iris. See below.

Seeds from Iris ‘Canyon Snow’ will not produce more Iris ‘Canyon Snow’. The seeds will produce what are often termed mixed pacific coast irises. Additionally, we cross other named pacific coast irises like ‘Ocean  Blue’ or ‘Bonnie Rose’ to get new iris beauties. Both I. ‘Ocean Blue’ and I. ‘Bonnie Rose’ are shown below, we used both as parents in many of our hybrids.

Ocean Blue

Bonnie Rose

When we cross these we get all kinds of really cool offspring but we have way too many seeds to grow out from these crosses to grow out. After all, we’re talking years here so we grow and track out a reasonable amount and toss the rest into a group. Called “mixed” and sell them to you for your garden.

Here are some pacific coast irises from the “mixed” category that we managed to get pictures of before they went to people’s gardens.


So, the lesson from all this is the irises in the “mixed” group are individuals and some pretty cool ones that would make excellent additions to your shade garden.

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Asclepias eriocarpa

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Indian milkweed


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Full Sun


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