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PREC garden: IRISES!

June 12, 2011

I dropped husband off at work at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center last week. On my way out, I screeched to a halt. I had never seen the irises in the D. A. Murphy Panhandle Arboretum in bloom before.

The self-guided tour website calls the plants the Trails West Iris Collection and tallies the collection at over 300 varieties of iris. A brochure printed last year for the PREC centennial calls it the Monument Valley Iris Society Collection with a 600-variety tally. Whichever name and number is correct, the variety of blooms is certainly impressive!

I took a few photos that rainy morning.

That evening, I came back for more pictures. Here is a gallery of iris diversity:

Aannnnnd . . . a BLACK IRIS! (Rather mysterious-looking, don’t you think?)

Hurry up and head out to the Center if you want to see the crazy variety of blooms. I imagine these thunderstorms we’ve been getting may be hard on the flowers.

To get to the irises, head about 0.6-0.7 mile north on Avenue I / Highway 71 from Highway 26. Turn west at the entrance, which is marked by an electronic sign. At the stop sign, turn north (right). As the road curves to the west, you will see the irises ahead of you.

Even if you miss the spectacular flowers, there are a few other things to see on the self-guided tour (linked above). There are collections of grasses and trees (including an experimental oak planting initiated by a forester named Doak Nickerson). There are also demonstration areas with berms, planter boxes and native plants.

Go check it out!

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 13, 2011 11:13 am

    I remember being a child the same height as an iris and gazing at their individual beauty!

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