Friday, June 4, 2010

Springtime at Schreiner Iris Garden--Final Project

Springtime at Schreiner Iris Garden

More than 60 years ago, F. X. Schreiner moved his family and his beloved iris collection from the harsh Minnesota climate to the more temperate Willamette Valley in Oregon.  He chose the Quinaby district, just north of Salem.  Today, his grandchildren, Steven and Ray, and their children maintain a 10-acre garden filled with over 200 named iris.  On an additional 200 acres, they operate an internationally recognized hybridizing program that produces flowers that win domestic and international medals.

Throughout the year, iris collections or other seasonal flowers and birds and insects can be enjoyed.  Photographers, artists, painters, the young and young at heart are welcomed to picnic, view the gardens or purchase flowers from dawn to dusk each day of the season.

Plein air painter, Brooks Hickerson, captures the beauty of the Schreiner Iris Garden.

Even young children like this toddler, Jake Smith,  are captivated by the beauty of a bearded iris taller than himself throughout Schreiner Iris Garden.

Hybridizer and co-owner Steve Schreiner spends many hours each day carefully checking the test garden. He evaluates the progress of the plants at Schreiner Iris Garden that were hybridized two years earlier. Although hybridization is done in the wild by bees, blossom formation requires very aggressive or large bees, like the bumblebee to be successful.

Honey bees easily pollinate open flowers like the beautiful oriental poppies at Schreiner Iris Garden.  Consistent, successful hybridization of the iris, however, requires human intervention.

Anita and Vidya Rao stroll one of the many paths that invite visitors to wander through Schreiner Iris Garden.  Each bed overflows with varieties of flowers including  lilies, colorful poppies, columbine and pansies interspersing the Schreiner award-winning iris.

The Hybridization Process

Remove the falls--the lower petals.

Remove the standards--the upper petals--to expose the crest.

Identify the anther and stigmatic lip--the male/female part.

Pull the crest back to expose the stigmatic lip.

Remove the anther then scrape it lightly across the lip to deposit pollen on the lip. Allow the crest to return to its position.

When the fertilization is successful, seeds will grow in the seed pod below the anther.

Fertilized seeds will be planted the following year, and a beautiful new blossom will be seen in the spring of the second year.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Althea! Bless you for posting my update on the "pattern" for the soap hammock. Feel free to reach me directly at,