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A rainbow of irises goes on display


People who grow irises are always looking for something that makes you say “wow” when you walk into your garden, according to Cynthia Wilson, president of the area branch of the American Iris Society.

“Irises are many colors – called the rainbow flower,” she said. “It’s a real affinity for the iris and we never get tired of walking in the garden when they are blooming. The one you are looking at is the most beautiful. Then you keep going and there’s one more. And one more …”

The Mesilla Valley Iris Society Iris Show is scheduled for Saturday, April 22. The public is invited to browse the flowers 1-4 p.m. at the Mesilla Valley Mall near the theater.

“This is our first show since Covid-19,” Wilson said. “This year's show will be dedicated to our 50-year member, Ann Colwell, who passed away in December. Her passing is a huge loss for the Mesilla Valley Iris Society.”

The morning is dedicated to participants preparing their irises and the judges judging the show, she said. The event is open to anyone in the community to also put their irises in. Participants don’t need to be members of the club.

The criteria for submitting include knowing the variety of the iris. To enter, the times are 8-10 a.m.

“It has to have its name, that is very important,” Wilson said. “We welcome anyone who does have an iris and we can help with classification.”

Having an iris in the show is a learning experience, she said. This year the judges are coming from the Albuquerque club. Being part of the show is about meeting old friends, talking about irises and growing them.

“It’s a serious, serious business, judging people’s irises,” she said.

All American Iris Society functions are open to the public. In Las Cruces meetings are on the third Sunday of the month except for June, July and December. For more information including iris submission rules contact Wilson at 303-910-7764.