Four or five years ago my friend Jean Schon gave me small plant she called Fan Iris. This has truly been the gift that keeps on giving. It’s ten times its original size and has been transplanted and divided several times. I’ve learned that it’s a fairly rare, tropical species, imported from Brazil, Neomarica gracelis caerulea, also known as Walking Iris, Apostle Plant, and Twelve Apostles Iris. In the winter it lives in the little greenhouse, happily, with little care. In the spring and summer it lives on the deck in a very tall pot, from which it sends off innumerable shoots on three-foot runners. Many have become substantial plants of their own, given to friends, traveled who-knows-where. Chunks of it have been part of mixed containers at horticulture shows, and it has won a blue ribbon on its own.
Today it decided to bloom.
I’ve noticed over the last week that about 20 new shoots have sprung out of the center and are pointing toward the sky. This morning, three of them opened into miniature white irises with purple centers. I photographed them around noon. Now, at 5:29 pm, they are shriveling, ready to fall off. A long-lasting plant with fleeting moments of even greater beauty.
Thank you, Jean. Happy Memorial Day. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.