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Purple-based Foliage (PBF) and Purple Rhizomes (PR) in Irises

Iris Introduction

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PBF Irises

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© copyright 2002-06

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Purple-based Foliage

Some irises manifest purple or reddish coloration at the base of their leaves. In some, this color is very pronounced. In others, it is barely noticeable. This color usually becomes most clearly visible when leaves are at least half grown but may fade in some plants later in the season. Some irises that exhibit purple-based foliage (PBF) in certain gardens and climates may not exhibit the color (or only very slightly) in other locations. The best time to evaluate PBF is just before bloom time.

Some iris gardeners - myself included - appreciate PBF irises for the visual interest and extra touch of color their foliage lends to the garden throughout the growing season.

The following irises exhibit PBF at some time during the growing season in at least some gardens. This is by no means a complete list of all irises exhibiting PBF, and I welcome and will include any and all additions submitted to me via email. There is also an extensive list of historic PBF irises published on the HIPS website.

About Last Night TB
Abridged Version MTB
Acoma TB
Adopt Me IB
Alately (strong) MTB
Al Borak TB
Alicia M TB
American Sweetheart TB
Amethyst Suncatcher TB
Anvil of Darkness TB
Anything Goes TB
Appleblossom Pink IB
April Rose MDB
Around Midnight TB
Around Town TB
Autumn Tryst TB
Aztec Copper TB
Aztec Sun TB
Azure Whir TB
Baby Bibs MTB
Balch Springs TB
Batik (very faint) BB
Bayberry Candle TB
Belle Meade TB
Berkeley Gold TB
Bewitched TB
Billie the Brownie MTB
Bittersweet Gold TB
Blackbeard BB
Black Dragon TB
Black Pearl TB
Black Sergeant TB
Blue Aristocrat TB
Blueberry Bliss TB
Blue Crusader TB
Blue Ice TB
Blue Shimmer (strong) TB
Blue Whiskers MDB
Brigadoon TB
Broadband TB
Broadway Star TB
Bronze Bell TB
Bronze Sprite MTB
Brown's Mutant MTB
Buttered Popcorn IB
Butterfingers TB
Cajun Cooking TB
Cajun Queen TB
Calypso Mood TB
Canadian Streaker TB
Canaveral TB
Candy Queen SDB
Candy Rock IB
Candy Stripe TB
Capital City Jazz TB
Capricious TB
Carnival in Rio TB
Carnival Song TB
Caroline Jane TB
Cat's Eye SDB
Celestial Snow TB
Celestial Storm TB
Celestial Sunshine TB
Certain Bounty TB
Chelsea Turner MTB
Chenedolle TB
Chickee MTB
Cinnamon Sun TB
Circus Circus TB
Classical Music TB
Cliffs of Dover TB
Codicil TB
Color Carnival TB
Comanche Gold TB
Concertina IB
Confederate Muster TB
Confederate Royalty TB
Congo Love TB
Conjuration TB
Continuity TB
Corn Harvest (faint) TB
Country Squire TB
Cranapple BB
Cute or What SDB
Dalila IB
Dark Aura spec-X
Dark Chocolate TB
Dark Passage TB
Darkside TB
Dark Waters IB
Dashing TB
Dauntless TB
Dazzling Delight TB
Dazzling Gold TB
Deep Throat TB
Desert Wine TB
Designing Woman TB
Devil David TB
Devonshire Cream TB
Dime a Dance TB
Dirty Dancing TB
Divine TB
Dorothy Evans TB
Double Bubble TB
Double Oh Seven TB
Double Shot (very faint) TB
Double Vision TB
Do Wa Diddy TB
Down and Dirty SDB
Dracula's Shadow TB
Dune Sea TB
Dusky Challenger TB
Dusky Evening TB
Eagle Control TB
Elizabeth Carol TB
Elsa Sass (very strong) TB
Emerald Star SDB
Enriched MTB
Etched Vividly TB
Evelyn Kuykendall TB
Evelyn's Echo TB
Everything Plus TB
Evolution TB
Exclusivity TB
Fabian TB
Fancy Stitches TB
Fancy Work AB
Far West TB
Fiery Temper TB
Firecracker TB
Folk Music IB
Foolish Heart TB
For Patsy Lou TB
Foreign Legion TB
Fort Apache TB
Fragrant Lilac TB
Fright Night TB
Frilly Milly MTB
Frolicsome IB
Frontier Marshall TB
Frosting TB
Full Impact TB
Gajus TB
Gallant Moment TB
Gallant Rogue TB
Gambler TB
Gay Head TB
Gene Machine TB
Genetic Leader AB
Gentle Orchid TB
Glistening Icicle TB
Glory Story TB
Glowing Smile TB
Golden Gleam TB
Golden Immortal TB
Golden Majesty TB
Golden Muffin IB
Gold Fish TB
Gold Galore TB
Grand Canyon TB
Grand Vizier AB
Grand Waltz TB
Grape Adventure TB
Gypsy TB
Gypsy Queen IB
Halloween Halo TB
Halston IB
Hans Peter Sass #1 (sdlg.) TB
Happenstance TB
Harvest of Memories TB
Hearthstone TB
Hee Haw SDB
Helen K. Armstrong TB
Hello Darkness TB
Hey Boy TB
Hollywood and Vine TB
Honky Tonk BB
Honky Tonk Blues TB
Honky Tonk Hussy BB
Honorabile MTB
Horny Lorri TB
Ida Red (faint) TB
Iditarod TB
Impulsive (faint) TB
Inaugural Ball TB
Inca Chief TB
Incentive TB
Indigo Princess TB
Infernal Fire TB
Inferno TB
Instructor TB
Intermission TB
Interpol (very strong) TB
Iris florentina TB
Iris setosa (most Alaskan forms) setosa
Island Dancer TB
Istanbul TB
Jacquesiana TB
Jake TB
Jazz Me Blue TB
Jesse's Song TB
Jigsaw TB
Jonnye's Magic AB
Joseph's Coat Katkamier MTB
Joy Junction TB
Joy Joy Joy TB
Jubie MTB
Jump Start IB
Jungle Princess TB
Kaleidoscope MTB
Kekionga TB
Khedive TB
Kuza-Nama AB
Laced Cotton TB
Lace Jabot TB
Lacy Snowflake TB
Lady Mohr AB
Lakota Warrior TB
Lalitha Mallette TB
Lapwing IB
Lebanese Snow AB
Liaison TB
Lilting (faint) TB
Limesicle SDB
Little Caillet spec-X
Little Clown MTB
Lively Rose MTB
Local Color TB
Loreley TB
Lovely Lois TB
Lucky Mistake MTB
Magic Fountain TB
Magician's Apprentice TB
Magic Man TB
Malvina TB
Maori King TB
Marsh Marigold IB
Mary Geddes TB
Master Charles TB
Master Touch TB
Matterhorn TB
McKenzie TB
Men in Black TB
Merry Ripple TB
Metolius Blues TB
Midnight Caper TB
Midnight Cowboy TB
Midnight Fragrance TB
Midnight Hour TB
Midnight Lace TB
Midnight Madonna TB
Midnight Mink TB
Midnight Moonlight TB
Midnight Oil TB
Mini Wabash MTB
Miss Jessica TB
Mogambo TB
Momauguin TB
Monterey TB
Mood Swing TB
Moon Journey TB
Mother Earth TB
Mount Olympus TB
Mrs. Andrist TB
Mrs. Horace Darwin IB
Music Lover TB
My Shadow TB
Mysterious Balance TB
Mysterious Monique versicolor
Mystery Story TB
Navajo IB
Navajo Pride IB
Navy Chant TB
Navy Doll MDB
Navy Strut TB
Navy Wave TB
Neanderthal TB
Neglecta TB
Nehalem Bay TB
New Snow TB
New Tomorrow TB
Night Game TB
Night Hawk's Dream TB
Night Owl TB
Night Ruler TB
Noble House TB
Nobleman TB
Nokomis IB
Nova at Midnight TB
Oba Oba TB
Occult TB
Oh So Neat MTB
Oklahoma TB
Oklahoma Crude TB
Old Time Religion TB
Olympic Torch TB
Ozark Sky MTB
Ozone Alert TB
Pacific Overtures TB
Palace of Thoughts TB
Paris Lights TB
Pat Loughran TB
Peach Brandy TB
Pee Wee MTB
Perfect Pitch TB
Persian Padishah AB
Persona MTB
Phaeton TB
Piety TB
Pink Betterment AB
Pink Confetti TB
Pledge Allegiance TB
Plicadilly TB
Plum Wine SDB
Point Made TB
Polish Princess TB
Pop O'Sha TB
Premier Edition TB
President Pilkington TB
Prince of Burgundy IB
Private Treasure TB
Progressive Attitude TB
Prosperity TB
Proud Tradition TB
Pumpin' Iron SDB
Pure as Gold TB
Purple Pepper TB
Quaker Lady TB
Quandary TB
Queen Bee BB
Quintessence TB
Quite the Reverse TB
Quite the Same TB
Rage BB
Rain Forest TB
Rain Man TB
Rare Treat TB
Rave Review MTB
Rave On TB
Rebus SDB
Recurring Glory TB
Reminiscence MTB
Revere TB
Rhein Nixe TB
Ribbon Round TB
Ride the Wind TB
Ring Around Rosie TB
Rip City TB
Rolling Thunder TB
Romeo TB
Rosemary's Dream (strong) MTB
Royal Crusader TB
Royal Satin TB
Sable TB
Sambucina TB
Samson SDB
Samurai Warrior TB
Sans Souci TB
Santana TB
Sara's Love MTB
Sea Swells TB
Secret Melody TB
Secret Service TB
Serendipity Elf SDB
Serene View TB
Serenity Prayer SDB
Shadow Dancing TB
Sharpshooter TB
Sherbert TB
Sherwin-Wright IB
Silver Peak TB
Skywalker TB
Smiling Faces TB
Snow Goddess TB
Snowmound TB
Snow Parasol TB
Snow Shoes TB
Soft Halo TB
Somersault TB
Sonata in Blue TB
Spinning Wheel TB
Spirit of Fiji TB
Splashacata TB
Splash of Red SDB
St. Louis Blues TB
Starlit River TB
Starlit Velvet TB
Storm Track TB
Strawberry Sensation TB
Striped Butterfly TB
Stunning Serenade TB
Style Conscious TB
Suky TB
Summit TB
Sunny Disposition TB
Swazi Princess TB
Taj Mahal TB
Take Me Away TB
Tanner TB
Taste the Wine TB
Tel Aviv AB
Tempting TB
Tennessee Gentleman TB
Tennessee Woman TB
The Black Douglas TB
Thorbecke TB
Thornbird (faint) TB
Thunder Spirit TB
Timberwind TB
Tink BB
Titan's Glory TB
Tobacco Road TB
Todd MTB
Tokatee Falls TB
Tokyo Blues TB
Torchlight Parade TB
To the Point TB
Traitor TB
Trick or Treat TB
True Spirit TB
Tudor England TB
Turn the Page MTB
Tyke MTB
Unchained Melody TB
Uncle Charlie TB
Valiant Warrior MTB
Valvouche TB
Vanda Song TB
Vegas Heat TB
Velvet Bouquet MTB
Velvet Toy MDB
Vera-Olivia AB
Victorian Lace TB
Victoria Rose TB
Villain TB
Violet Harmony TB
Violet Shimmer TB
Vitafire TB
Wabash TB
Wacko SDB
Waffle Talk TB
Walking on Air TB
Waltzing Widow TB
War Chief TB
Watch Night TB
Western Carnival TB
Whirl Around TB
Wide Blue Eyes IB
Willamette Mist TB
Wings of Love IB
Winning Ticket TB
Witch TB
Witch of Endor TB
World Class TB
Wright Flyer TB
Yellow Flirt MTB
Zaton TB
Zebra Blush TB
Zula MTB
Zurich (faint) TB

Purple Rhizomes and Purple-ringed Rhizomes

Some irises manifest purple coloration across the tops of the rhizomes (purple rhizomes - PR) or in narrow rings encircling the tops of the rhizomes (purple-ringed rhizomes - PRR). PR and PRR are most commonly observed on standard dwarf beardeds, though they can occur in other bearded classes and iris types as well. It is unclear how or whether PR and PRR are genetically related to PBF. Some cultivars have been noted to exhibit both PR or PRR and PBF, while others exhibit only one or the other. Some cultivars exhibiting both may do so in a continuous extension of color along the tops of the rhizomes and up the fan bases. Others may express PR or PRR followed by a gap in purple pigment before beginning again with PBF on the leaf bases. Of course, most iris cultivars display no purple pigment on either rhizomes or leaf bases.

Though PR and PRR are not generally visible in the garden, they are characteristics worthy of note for cultivar identification purposes. PR and PRR are most easily observed on dug and washed rhizomes with the older, outer leaves removed.

The following irises exhibit PR or PRR to some degree at some time during the growing season in at least some gardens. This is by no means a complete list of all irises exhibiting PR or PRR, and I welcome and will include any and all additions submitted to me via email.

Apricot Drops MTB
Astounded (faint) BB
Aurora Sea MDB
Baby Prince SDB
Beauty Mark SDB
Blessed Again IB
Blue Doll MDB
Candy Rock IB
Cat's Eye SDB
Caution Sign SDB
Chanted SDB
Child Bride MDB
Concertina (faint) IB
Counting Sheep SDB
Doozey MDB
Double Byte SDB
Down and Dirty SDB
Elephant Footprint (faint) SDB
Fantastic Blue IB
Flower Shower SDB
Forever Blue (faint) SDB
Fortune Seeker SDB
Green Eyed Sheba (faint) AB
Hee Haw SDB
Hey There MDB
Hi Sailor SDB
Hokeypokey IB
Honky Tonk Hussy BB
Immortality TB
Irish Chant SDB
Jump Start IB
Just a Croc SDB
Limesicle SDB
Little Episode SDB
Little Mohee MDB
Loudmouth AB
Lovin' Spoonful (faint) SDB
Low Ho Silver IB
Minidragon (faint) SDB
Miss Mauve IB
Mithras IB
Nancy Butterfly MDB
Negra Modelo SDB
Orange Tiger SDB
Pink Blink MDB
Pink Kitten (faint) IB
Plum Wine SDB
Raku Blaze TB
Raspberry Jam SDB
Ruby Eruption (faint) SDB
Serendipity Elf SDB
Small Business MDB
Splash of Red SDB
Three Cherries MDB
Waxen Image IB
With Castanets SDB
Wizard of Id SDB
Zipper MDB


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