This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We had the opportunity of seeing this year, for the first time in American gardens, Iris cristata, a native of the woods of North Carolina. It was figured in the Botanical Magazine in the early part of the present century, and so should be in English gardens, if not lost. It is a " dear love of a little creature," as a modern society lady might say. It has very broad leaves, but when in flower the whole plant is but a few inches high. The flowers are of a bright blue, though there are other colors mixed, and form a sheet of color for nearly a week. It will interest the botanist by the very long tube to the flower, and possibly those versed in botanical philosophy may tell us what kind of bee or moth has the contract to draw the honey and cross-fertilize the flowers.
And you saw this year for the first time in American gardens Iris cristata! (see p. 197). When you were at Prof. Sargent's, a few years ago, you may have overlooked it; but his herbaceous border was partly edged by it. And there were large clumps of it in the Botanic Garden at Cambridge; and, perhaps disseminated from Cambridge, it is not infrequent in gardens around Boston; indeed, in '78 or '79 (I forget which), I sent nearly a barrel of it to Woolson. It is a little beauty and well worth growing, and given a nice spot in a garden border it soon spreads itself into broad patches. I found it perfectly hardy in Massachusetts.