NDSU Iris Project
Welcome to the North Dakota State UniversityIris Project website.
Art Jensen grew and sold irises out of his home in south Fargo, North Dakota, for over 30 years. After his death in 2003, his family donated Art's large iris collection to the NDSU Department of Plant Sciences. Due to declining health in the last years of his life, Art was no longer able to give the same devoted care to the collection. Over time the labels identifying the plants became faded or lost.
The collection was dug and moved to a temporary location on the NDSU campus in 2003 and 2004. As plants bloom, they are photographed and cataloged in hopes of identifying them and removing the duplicates. Once duplicates are discovered, one plant is moved to the "Art Jensen Memorial Iris Garden" in the NDSU Horticulture Research and Demonstration Gardens, and one plant is kept in the temporary area as a back-up plant.
The majority of Art's irises were tall bearded, but he also had a few IB (Arctic Kiss, Az Ap, Bit of Chocolate, Lady Mohr, Theda Clark), AR (Pomo Chief, Trisha), BB (Brown Lasso, Butterfly Baby, John's Joy, Jungle Shadows), and SDB (Alene's Other Love, Cherry Garden, Michael Paul).
The irises are currently located on the west side of the NDSU campus in Fargo, ND. Peak iris bloom in this area is typically late May through mid-June. The gardens are open to the public and any iris lover in the area is invited to come and view the irises.
The purpose of this project is to enable others to help us in identifying the irises. By posting pictures of the irises that have been blooming, we hope to get input from fellow iris lovers as to their identification. We have Art's catalogs from 1994-2000 as a starting point and are using the official iris checklists for descriptions. We would also like to get pictures of the irises that are listed in Art's catalogs. Iris cultivars which are highlighted in the catalog list are those for which we still need pictures.
You Can Help
- View the pictures of irises yet to be identified. If you recognize anything as you look through the pictures, please let us know. You can refer to Art's catalog list to make sure it was an iris he sold.
- Review Art's catalog list. We would like to obtain pictures of each of the irises Art had listed in his catalogs from 1994-2000. Iris cultivars which are highlighted in the catalog are those for which we still need pictures. If you can supply us with any pictures, please let us know.
If you can identify any irises, supply us with a picture or have any questions, please contact:
Department of Plant Sciences
NDSU Dept. 7670
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: (701) 231-7484