Boat House Iris returns to Jungle Gardens

After nearly 50 years an Iris from the Gardens comes home!

Patrick Fett from north-central Louisiana has brought a wonderful gift to Jungle Gardens. As the story goes, Patrick was a student at USL (now UL Lafayette) in the early 1970s. While on a field trip to Jungle Gardens with Horticulture professor Ellis Fletcher, he was given a small rhizome of a beautiful pinkish red Iris that was growing in abundance near the famous Ward Boat House.

Cultivating Louisiana Irises became one of Patrick’s many passions. He has developed a splendid collection of native species and their cultivars at his home. Earlier this year (2022) he reached out to me and told me the story behind the “Boat House” Iris that he has been growing for nearly 50 years. When I told him that it no longer grew near the Boat House nor anywhere else in Jungle Gardens, he was determined to bring some back to the Island.

Two weeks ago he visited and brought a large container with over 24 plants, many of which were in bud and ready to flower. There are a sufficient number of plants in the container so that we will be able to place several small colonies in different sites in the Gardens and retain one in the container for continued growth.

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