The annual color explosion of Briarwood's louisiana iris

by Richard Johnson

After a seemingly unending winter, spring arrived at Briarwood with an explosion of color and the air has been perfumed with a myriad of fragrances!

The harbingers of spring let us know in early March that spring was indeed coming with the various narcissus blooming in profusion across the wildflower meadow. Their abundant blooms letting us know that they, if no one else, appreciated the cold winter.


Early April brought out the blooms of the American Osmanthus, Osmanthus americanus as well as the native azaleas, Rhododendron canescens and Rhododendron austrinum which added their pink and orange color to the white of the Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida. Strolling through the woods, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the forest really puts life and its stresses in perspective. A recent visitor breathed deeply and said “that smells nice” I inhaled to see what fragrance they were detecting so I could identify the plant for them, finding none I realized that they were simply enjoying the smell of fresh clean air!


After staying hunkered down for a few extra weeks to insure that the weather was going to stay warm, the Louisiana Iris have hit full stride in the Bay Garden. When asked to describe the iris when they’re not in bloom, the only analogy I can come up with is an Easter Basket. The amazing array of colors that are produced by the iris makes it easy to understand how people are so easily “hooked” on growing and hybridizing them. We enjoy going to the garden every evening to look and see what new treasure has been revealed by the day’s sun and marvel again at the beauty that is the Louisiana Iris.

Briarwood Louisiana Iris

I hope that you will come and visit us soon and enjoy the experience that is Briarwood. If you want to keep track of what is in bloom here at Briarwood, friend us on Facebook at Briarwood Nature Preserve there I post a weekly bloom bulletin listing the plants that are presently blooming here at the preserve. 

Briarwood is open for guided tours in March, April, May, August and November on Saturdays from 9 am until 5 pm and Sundays from 12 pm until 5 pm. Appointments for other times and for large groups are available by special request.

Briarwood Contact Information:

telephone 318-576-3379

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