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Bellefontaine in Bloom

May 19

Horticulture Supervisor, Kyle Cheesborough

Irises of Wild Wood Valley

Iris versicolor

Iris versicolor

Blue flag (Iris versicolor), is a wetland iris growing along shorelines or in a few inches of standing water.  The blue flag can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals, so be sure to wear gloves when dividing the rhizomes.

Iris pseudacorus

Iris pseudacorus

Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus),is another wetland iris growing in boggy, water-logged soils.  However, the yellow flag does well in average garden soils, though it grows less aggressively – this can be a good thing, since yellow flag is often considered aggressive to the point of weedy.  The seeds have been utilized as a coffee substitute, and the rhizomes have been used as an emetic.  The plant can serve as a water treatment, with the roots being able to absorb heavy metals.

The Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Just north of Garden of Angels, on either side of the road, as well as around the Hawthorn Gatehouse, you will find the Judy Watters Iris Collections. Judy Watters was an active volunteer for the Butterfly House, MO Botanical Garden, and Greater St Louis Iris Society.  She bequeathed over a thousand irises from her personal, award winning Iris collection to Bellefontaine Cemetery.  They display spectacular shapes, colors, and scents. The Iris beds serve as a memorial to Judy, who passed this past winter and is laid to rest at Bellefontaine.

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

Judy Watters Iris Collection

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