Discussions and Q and A about growing irises forum: I. pseudacorus the thug

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Imageeclayne
Mar 17, 2011 9:45 PM CST
Name: Evan Layne
Western Mass, USA, z6a
Birthplace of Basketball
I’ve recently noticed a number of websites showing cultivars of Iris pseudacorus as well as new hybrids. The ones that caught my attention were the pseudata, I. pseudacorus x I. ensata. Beautiful iris all! I really like the pseudata. Here’s my issue and what I hope you can provide some opinions on. I. pseudacorus is considered a noxious weed and/or prohibited in several states, see USDA Plants Database profile, http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch, and is under review in many others. In Massachusetts I. pseudacorus is prohibited, and this includes all cultivars and hybrids, including pseudata, as per Dr. Jennifer Forman Orth, State Plant Pest Survey Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Does this jibe with what you’ve heard?

I called pseudacorus a thug because I’ve seen what it can do. More than one of my old inland paddling spots in eastern MA and southern NH has pseudacorus clogging up the waterways.

Does anyone know if the pseudata or the cultivars are as aggressive as the pseudacorus?
Evan
ImagePollyK
Mar 17, 2011 9:59 PM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

No question pseudacorus is a thug.

The cultivars I have grown are not. But I have not grown all of them.

The pseudatas, absolutely not. In fact most are sterile. Most of the pseudatas being introduced now are coming from Hiroshi Shimizu of Japan, through Carol Warner of Draycott Gardens. Although I also see Ensata says they are now co introducing them. The parents of the Shimizu pseudatas are Gubijin, (a pseudata from a cross between a pseudacorus and Roy Davidson), and various diploid Japanese irises. Gubijin does set seeds, so it may possibly be invasive also. But the crosses so far have been sterile, to the best of my knowledge. I have not heard of any of the recent pseudata intros being back crossed with Gubijin or other pseudatas. Maybe they're too new to know yet.

But I've raised the Shimizu pseudatas since they were introduced, a few years now, and absolutely no seeding. I've been watching.

I have not heard of the pseudatas being banned anywhere, but that may be the case. If so, I think it needs to be re- looked at.

What bears looking at though, is the pseudacorus does not need to seed to multiply. Even a tiny, tiny piece of rhizome has potential to spread. I don't know about the pseudatas under those circumstances. Louisianas spread like that also, so I suppose it's possible. But seeding, no, I don't think so.
Imageirisarian
Mar 18, 2011 1:18 AM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
If pseudatas are banned in Mass it is a mistake. They might spread in a waterway (why plant them there) but I don't think they are grown enough here to be banned. Whoever did so didn't do their homework.
ImageKentPfeiffer
Mar 18, 2011 6:52 AM CST
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska
It's standard procedure when listing a plant as noxious, prohibited, etc. (different states use different terminology) to include all of its cultivars and hybrids as well. They do that for two reasons. If they didn't, many nurseries would continue to sell the plant under a cultivar name. Plus, hybrids are often even more aggressive than the original species. For what it is worth, I have no idea if pseudatas are capable of spreading in waterway, but if they are, the time to ban them would be before very many people start growing them.
ImagePollyK
Mar 18, 2011 6:59 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

I seriously doubt they will be able to spread in waterways like the pseudacorus, but I'm not positive. I will test some this year in my little ponds. I'll cut up pieces and see if they survive. But I doubt it, and I know they don't re seed.

You're right, Kent, some hybrids are more aggressive than the species. In this case, with one parent being ensata, I don't think it would be more aggressive. I so wish ensata was aggressiver. (Is that a word? LOL).
Imageirisloverdee
Mar 18, 2011 8:49 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Well I wanted to know that answer on the hybrids and the pseudatas so last year I gave them both 3 gallon flat pots with tons of holes in them to see if they would spread like the pseudacorus in my small fish pond and to date they are not much bigger than when planted I am going to leave them in there for 3 years and watch. My pond does not freeze very often and if it is predicted to have a hard freeze I bring them in the greenhouse until that freeze is lifted,

Now the ones in the field not a problem at all. I have even moved them and nothing is growing in the area I lifted them from. I want to end up with a collection of Shimizu pseudatas and am sure Polly will as well since we both feel in love what the nickname for them "eyelash"

Now on the hybrid gubijin I have had it now for 3 years and it does not spread and it too has been moved

D

Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

ImagePollyK
Mar 18, 2011 8:55 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

I think they seem to really take after the ensata babydaddy, don't you Dee? They seem to increase at about the same rate as my JIs.

By the way, on the pseudatas, if anyone wants to try crossing, Gubijin is the babymomma, and the ensatas are the babydaddy.
Imageirisloverdee
Mar 18, 2011 2:26 PM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Also Chance Beauty as well.

Well in talking to Carol Warner about that they take after the Ensata she says that is what happens.

Mine are going at the same rate as the other JI

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imageeclayne
Mar 18, 2011 6:39 PM CST
Name: Evan Layne
Western Mass, USA, z6a
Birthplace of Basketball
Hi guys,
Thanks for all the background info. I'm wondering what the future of the pseudata will look like. If the states "prohibit" all crosses of "prohibited" plants, the burden then falls to the hybridizers, growers, societies,... to prove their non-invasive nature. As pseudacorus is the only Iris I've seen on any of these lists I'm wondering if this is new territory.

I've read that rhizome propagation is one of the principal methods of dispersal for pseudacorus in the wild. Apparently plants at the edges of the mat get swept downstream, presumably during spring flood.

I find the pseudatas to be very attractive as what I call beardless Type Irises, as in close to species distinct. Even though I'll have to "cross" them off my wishlist there are still wayyy too many possibilities to be really disappointed. I've been hopping around your websites, trying to zero in on some. Very tough as you all have amazing stuff!
Evan
Imageavmoran
Mar 18, 2011 6:53 PM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
All pseudacorus and their cultivars are extremely fertile and freely self seed. Many states take aquatic backhoes to large areas to dig them up in an effort to get rid of them. A very small part of a rhizome can start a new plant.

Pseudatas on the other hand are sterile for the most part to date I know of only one and I have yet to see it set seed. Carol Warner Introduces pseudata for Hiroshi Shimizu and I do not thing she had gotten any seeds. In fact if left on their own by 4 years you can see that the plant is stressed. The one thing that pseudacorus brought ot the ensata in this cross is the ability to survive standing in frozen water which JIs can not do.

:)
A
ImagePollyK
Mar 18, 2011 7:21 PM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

I was wondering if the pseudatas would survive standing freezing water. I haven't wanted to chance it, as they are so precious.
lovelyiris
Apr 5, 2011 10:32 PM CST
Name: Marian Ritchie
Winnsboro, Texas
Ok, this is all way over my head. Duh..... but I know they don't like us growing the yellow water iris here because it grows like crazy and takes over everything. Maybe that's the one ya'll are talking about.
Marian Confused
ImagePollyK
Apr 6, 2011 6:33 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Yep, that's it.
lovelyiris
Apr 6, 2011 2:55 PM CST
Name: Marian Ritchie
Winnsboro, Texas
I figured it was but not sure and of course Polly I don't keep up with all the lingo as it's just not that important to me. I grow everything just to see the lovely blooms and textures of the plants. At my age I don't see any of that changing in the near future.

Hugs, Marian

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