Petal power: Group works to preserve wild Louisiana irises - InfoNews

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Petal power: Group works to preserve wild Louisiana irises

Tyrone Foreman, a member of the Greater New Orleans Iris Society, and Patrick O'Connor, who supervises the group's iris collection, confer on April 4, 2018, at the Greater New Orleans Iris Society's collection in New Orleans. The society is creating core collections of up to 100 more basic wild varieties of the five Louisiana iris species to ensure the flowers' genetic diversity survives as development, farming, storms and other factors eat away at the wetlands where they grow. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)
May 10, 2018 - 8:36 AM

NEW ORLEANS - A small group of enthusiasts is doing its best to make sure that an unusually varied group of irises doesn't go the way of the passenger pigeon.

The Society for Louisiana Irises says development, farming, storms and other factors have been eating away at the wetlands where the beautiful flowers grow.

The group has created four repositories where they are growing dozens of varieties: three in Louisiana and one in Tennessee.

The idea is to create a store of the plants that can survive even if they get wiped out in the wild.

Charles Perilloux is heading the preservation effort, which started in 2015. He says some varieties of Louisiana irises already have been eradicated by hurricanes or saltwater intrusion into their territories.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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