It is not as if the previous article about it was inadequate. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/05/05/san-francisco-iris/ I really did not want to get into the habit of writing so many sequels. However, something happened to necessitate this update.
I found what seems to be a REAL San Francisco Iris, right here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Except for being somewhat etiolated from the shade of the surrounding redwoods, it looks very similar to the San Francisco iris I picked on the Montara Peaks when I was in high school! This one happens to be a bit lighter blue than most, but is certainly well within the color range of the flowers that I remember. Most were probably a bit darker blue, but many were lighter, and some were very pale blue.
It is impossible to know if it was planted in this spot that had been landscaped in the distant past, or merely grew wild. It is right down the road from the more colorful cultivars that I got pictures of earlier. It only recently bloomed on rather grassy foliage that was easy to miss.
I know it does not look like much, but I prefer it to the fancier garden cultivars of the same specie, Iris douglasiana. (It is not the ‘San Francisco’ cultivar of bearded iris.) It is what I am familiar with, and exemplifies the species. Besides Montara, I remember it from San Bruno Mountain, Angel Island and Alcatraz. I might have seen it in the Oakland Hills and on Point Reyes too, but I am not certain if they really were the same.
The bearded iris from my great grandmother’s garden will always be my favorite. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/roots/ However, these San Francisco iris and I have too much history together to ignore.