Black Gamecock Louisiana Iris
Iris 'Black Gamecock'
'Black Gamecock' is a breathtaking flower, fully half a foot wide and so velvety you can't resist touching the deep purple petals! The golden throat just highlights the ebony hues of the bloom, which stand out like sentries in the early-summer garden! A splendid blossom for any setting, 'Black Gamecock' is especially effective in a waterside planting, the middle of a border, or naturalized in a meadow or woodland setting.
This plant reaches 3 feet high and wide, and is virtually maintenance free in rich, consistently moist soil. Louisiana Iris is a native strain, thriving from Texas to Georgia and South Carolina but concentrated, as you might guess, in Louisiana. (No wonder it sports the colors of the New Orleans Saints!) Usually available only as a mix with a variety of colors, this family just took a big step upward with showy, stately 'Black Gamecock'!
This Iris thrives in full sun, but appreciates a bit of shade in the afternoon in hot climates. It spreads by rhizomes, and the grouping you plant this year will be even bigger and better in a season or two! Tolerant of unseasonable cold as well as heat and humidity, this hardy native is pest and disease free, happy to form a large, thriving clump of smoky color wherever the soil stays moist and is reasonably fertile. Space 'Black Gamecocks' about 2 feet apart. Zones 4-9.
|Zone||4 - 9|
|Bloom Season||Early Summer|
|Plant Height||3 ft|
|Plant Width||3 ft|
|Bloom Size||6 in|
|Bloom Color||Black, Dark Purple|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Part Shade|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Cold Hardy, Heat Tolerant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
Set plants 2 feet apart. Choose a location in full sun or, father south, in light shade. The soil should be moderately water-retentive to damp, with extra organic matter added. Cover the rhizomes with 2 to 3 inches of soil. An acidic soil of pH 6.5 or lower is a must.
Keep plants well watered during periods of drought. A balanced fertilizer, applied twice a year as new growth commences and two months prior to bloom, is recommended, as is a year-round mulch, partic ularly in the colder regions.
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Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates:
1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".
2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.
3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.
4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.