Champagne Elegance - my never-ending rebloomer

First of all, let me say that I've resisted the temptation to pay attention to rebloomers because rebloomers never rebloom in my part of the country (Inland Northwest) ... or so I thought.

In 2007, I purchased one Champagne Elegance rhizome, planted it and it quickly took root and produced increases. Our winter of '07-'08 was especially looooong and our winter snow cover didn't leave until mid-April. Our bloom season was delayed by at least 2 weeks this year.

My Champagne Elegance iris was hurt by the late late snow cover and wet cold spring. The main plant rotted to the top of the rhizome and fell off (the part of the plant that should have normally produced a bloom stalk). So, I thought my hopes to see Champagne Elegance bloom in 2008 were quashed.

To my surprise, one of the increases shot out a bloom stalk and it bloomed in late June. I was pleasantly surprised but didn't think to much of it (quite a few of the other plants received more of my attention). Well, in early July another increase shot out a bloom stem that bloomed a bounty of blossoms with the last one expiring on or about July 25th. WoW!!!. This was the latest I have ever had any iris bloom. Normally my bloom season is over by the end of June or 1st of July.

Due to a customer request about another iris variety I am growing that just happened to be growing right next to my Champagne Elegance, I was going out to see it late in the evening, after dark, with a flashlight. As I directed the light to see the plant I intended to examine, my light flashed over the Champagne Elegance plant and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was producing another bloom stalk. I was blown away by this discovery.

Well, I patiently watched this new Champagne Elegance bloom stalk grow to maturity and on August 24th it bloomed about a half dozen blooms and left many more undeveloped bloom buds standing still. I began to water the plant a little more (it was August after all and no rain was forthcoming) and these undeveloped buds begun to finish maturing. Champagne Elegance will bloom for me, again, in the next week. It is September 19, 2008, as I write this story. I will update the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks but I suspect my incredible Champagne Elegance tall bearded iris will not only produce blooms in September but carry on over into October as well.

[UPDATED October 23, 2008] This Champagne Elegance bloom stock bloomed again starting September 25th and continued until today, October 23, 2008. Around October 8th, I was compelled to cut the bloom stalk out of my garden and put it in water in the house because we were starting to get heavy frost at nights and I didn't want the blooms to freeze out. This was a good decision because I received an extra 2 1/2 weeks of enjoying the blooms.

This was simply an amazing iris season for me, a large portion of this fact is to be credited to one amazing iris plant, Champagne Elegance. [End update]

What an incredible experience this Champagne Elegance iris has given me in 2008. I can hardly wait to see what it has in store for me in 2009.