|Celestial Ghost Iris|
Last night as I was walking around checking out all of the wildflowers that are coming up in the natural area around the new beds I came across the beautiful, delicate little white flower at right. I only found a couple of them with complete petals, the others seemed to be fading and curling up. When I got back to the house, I pulled out my Texas wildflower books and tried to figure out what they were. I had absolutely no luck. I even looked on-line and couldn't find anything with the right leaf, petal, and stamen configuration in white.
This morning I went back to the books determined to find a match, and the first thing I decided to disregard was color. Bingo! Everything but color is a perfect match for Celestials. Most references I could find list them as only blue and ours are pure white. (Though the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center database of plant images has several verified photos of white ones too...) They are also supposed to bloom early in the morning and close up by afternoon. When I went out a bit before noon today looking for them, there were none open. I saw some buds that looked like they might be opening today, but they certainly weren't open by noon. So ours are later afternoon/evening bloomers and white. (Indeed, they were just closed when we got home from the movies about 9:00). I did find finally find one reference to them that said they are night blooming and referred to them as Celestial Ghost Iris. They were still listed as blue, but at least I got closer. Maybe I should start growing them and sell them! They are clearly native as they are all along the roadside and in an area of our yard that has never been planted.