The F. A. C. McCulla Memorial Louisiana Iris Bed

Men's Garden Club of Houston, Texas

Affiliated with The Men's Garden Clubs of America and The Gardeners of America

The F. A. C. McCulla Memorial Louisiana Iris Bed

The Men's Garden Club of Houston has constructed an 18 foot by 28 foot pond with the planting of over 100 Louisiana Irises. This garden is located in Hermann Park, near Rice University, in the central part of Houston, Texas. The planting is on the west side of the existing Rose Garden, near the Houston Museum of Natural Science where presently the IMAX Theater, the Cockrell Butterfly exhibit, and the Burke Planetarium are housed. The Iris Garden is a memorial to F. A. C. McCulla, a long time member of the Men's Garden Club and the Society for Louisiana Irises. It is believed that an Iris Garden would be the best way to honor him. The cultivar, named after F. A. C. McCulla, was planted in the garden. This iris plant is so adaptable to East Texas, it grows like a native plant.

The Men's Garden Club of Houston had some funds saved to honor F. A. C. McCulla. Additional funds in the form of grants from Pan Energy and Shell Oil were made for the construction of this garden. While there is another planting of Louisianas in far northwest Harris County at Mercer Arboretum, it is felt that a planting in the central part of Houston is quite desirable.

The garden is planted with "Louisianas" that are presently the most popular varieties of the Iris Society, such as Acadian White, Bayou Knot Out, Bayou Short stuff, Bill Neill, Black Gamecock, Buff Dancer, Charles Strawn, Charles Tress, Clyde Ikins, Clyde Redmond, Colorific, Creole Canary, Delta Star, Easter Love, Freddie Boy, F A C McCulla, Handmaiden, Lavender Desire, Lucienna, Ice Angel, Marie Caillet, Pegalett, President Hadley, Sallie Keith, Sea Knight and others. Albert Faggard, a hybridizer from Beaumont and Kirk Stawn, hybridizer from College Station provided most of the irises.

The City of Houston excavated the pond area to a depth of one foot and made the connection of a float valve to the existing water line that will release water to the pond when the water level drops below the float. A plastic liner 20' x 30' has been placed in the bottom of the pond. Six Cypress, "Montezuma", trees were planted on the west side of the garden to frame the pond. A four foot walk has been laid out along the bank of the pond for good viewing of the Irises. In the foreground, near the existing concrete walkway, a Crepe Myrtle, "White Fantasy", has been planted in a raised bed of Society garlic. Along the walkway, Katie Ruellia are planted with Crinum lilies.

Louisiana irises are adaptable to a wide range of climates and soils. They can be grown with moderate to excellent results in almost any part of the United States and most other countries. Limits of adaptability have not been determined. The best suggestion for almost any location is "try them." You will probably be amazed by the results! They can be grown with annuals and other perennials in regular beds, in bogs or in water up to a foot deep. They can also be grown in containers in shallow water.

Visit Our F. A. C. McCulla Memorial Louisiana Iris Bed Image Gallery to see the Iris Garden Layout in Hermann Park.

Louisiana Iris Culture
Culture is relatively easy, but a few items are critical and will pay great dividends in performance. In their natural habitat they grow under constantly moist conditions, often in shallow water. Duplicating such conditions in a garden by planting in low, easily flooded beds or around a pond is highly recommended. They perform well in an ordinary bed if sufficient water is provided during the entire year. Other important requirements include at least a half day of sun, acid soil of pH 6.5 or less (acidification agents may be necessary) and high fertility with manure and compost or generous applications of an acidic fertilizer. Rhizomes are best transplanted either right after bloom or in the late summer and early fall. Place the top of the rhizome not more than one inch below soil level and do not allow it to dry out. Louisiana irises bloom at the same time as bearded irises or slightly later in most climates.

Louisiana Iris Displays and Sources
In the March 1991 issue of the Society for Louisiana Irises Newsletter there appears a list of Display Gardens in the United States. The following is a combined list of the Display Gardens and the Commercial Growers to show you the wide range and where this iris can be seen:

George C. Bush
1739 Memory Lane Extd.
York, PA 17402
(717) 755-0557

Larry and Joy Westfall
673 W. Boot Road
Dowington, PA 19335
(215) 363-6829

Mt. Gretna Gardens
2493 Pinch Road
Manheim, PA 17545-9466
(717) 664-5080

Garden of Wyatt LeFever
4536 K-ville Road
Kernersville, NC 27284
(199) 788-6770

Mignon S. Dulko
1524 Pulaski St.
Port Charlotte, FL 33592

Quail Hill Gardens
2460 Compton Bridge Rd
Inman, SC 29349

Kridler Gardens
4809 Homeworth Rd
Homeworth, OH 44634

Pine Ridge Gardens
832L Sycamore Rd
London, AR 72847

Comanche Acres Iris Garden
Rt. 1, Box 258
Gower, MO 64454

Cooper's Garden
2345 Decatur Ave. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55427
(612) 591-0495

Redbud Lane Iris Garden
Rt. #1, Box 141
Kansas, IL 61933
(217) 948-5478

Goodnight's Sunshine Garden
1005 Gamblin Lane
Hobbs, NM 88240
(505) 392-5459

Bois D'Arc Garden
1831 Bull Run Rd
Schriever, LA 70395
(504) 446-2329

Rt. 3, Box 412
DeRidder, LA 70634
(318) 463-9365

Louisiana Iris Farm
321 W. Main St.
Lafayette, LA 70501
(318) 232-6096

Hodges Gardens
P. O. Box 900
Many, LA 71449
(318) 586-3523

605 Alice Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503
(318) 984-0916

Louisiana Nursery
Rt. 7, Box 43
Opelousas, LA 70570

Deep South Garden
1218 Duhon Road
Duson, LA 70529
(318) 984-4311

Bayouland Garden
117 Reams Blvd
St. Martinville, LA 70582
(318) 394-4990

Contemporary Gardens
Box 504
Blanchard, OK 73010
(405) 485-3302

Vanowen Iris Garden
23337 Vanowen St.
West Hills, CA 91307
(818) 884-0130

Solar Hills Iris Garden
3913 Solar Hills Drive
Vacaville, CA 95688
(707) 447-7371

Bay View Gardens
1201 Bay Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Marie Caillet
1216 Cedar Pine Lane
Little Elm, TX 75068
(214) 292-1154

2100 Tarleton St.
Midland, TX 79707
(915) 697-6320

Lone Star Iris Garden
5637 Saddleback Rd
Garland, TX 75043
(214) 240-4016

Mercer Arboretum
22306 Aldine-Westfield
Humble, TX 77338

Albert C. Faggard
3840 LeBleu Street
Beaumont, TX 77707

Lillypons Water Gardens
P. O. Box 188
Brookshire, TX 77423

Hot Springs Mid-America
Hot Springs, AR

Ft. Worth Botanic Garden
Ft. Worth, TX

Beech Creek Farm
32428 CR 681
Bangor, MI
(616) 427-5509

Some are private homes, some commercial gardens and some are botanical gardens. In most cases, it is suggested you call ahead and arrange to visit. This will help you locate the place and will assure you that someone is there to show you around. These public gardens, commercial growers and individual plantings of Louisiana Irises will show visitors that Louisiana Iris can be grown anywhere and by anyone.

Visit Our Louisiana Iris Image Gallery to see a few selected Louisiana Iris and Louisiana Iris Gardens.

Links to Other Louisiana Iris Sites

IRIS HYBRID 'Idlewild':
IRIS HYBRID 'Professor Jim':

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Page Prepared by;
Milton L. Pierson

Last Modified September 26, 2001