Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Mystery of the Grape Pez Iris

Most iris share a similar familiar floral scent. Sweet, flowery, a hint of vanilla and lemon perhaps. But one particular iris, one small, lavender iris with a yellow and orange beard, it smells like grapes. Fizzy grape. Nehi grape soda or grape Pez, and not just faintly. No, quite distinctly and profusely. They parade up the side of my driveway and greet me when I open the door of my truck or home. As I work in the yard, planting lantana and coleus in the big, square planters, their candy-sweet scent wafts to me, tickling my nose as well as my fancy. What could be more playful? What could be more odd? I imagine some elderly botanist, snickering mischievously over the unexpected propagation result. Grape! Grape? This will confuse them! Yes, it does. But I delight in it anyway, perhaps more so.

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