Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Backyard Irises

A compact grouping of yellow and purple irises is framed by other flowers and stands at the foot of an old tree. You can see the head of a sprinkler system just to the left of the bright purple iris on the right. The right mix of sun and water and good soil can keep these bulbs going for a long time. Irises are a harbinger of Spring and are an early bloomer. There are many species of this popular bulb, which grows from rhizomes. One can easily understand why this flower was named for the Greek word 'rainbow" because of it's many colors. Mother Nature aka God has planned an ingenious way to pollinate these flowers so that insects actually do not pollinate the first plant they enter because of the way the Iris is constructed; when insects enter the plant, they get pollen on their legs only after passing the stigma. When they enter the second plant, they deposit their leg pollen on the stigma. The insect in the first case, as it backs out, avoids pollinating the first plant with it's own pollen. Just brilliant!

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