Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Louisiana Iris
Iris 'Black Gamecock'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Gamecock
Hybridized by Chowning; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1978

» View all varieties of Iris

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

79 members have or want this plant for trade.

Louisiana (LA)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:
Midseason (M)


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Awards (if applicable):
Honorable Mention
Award of Merit
Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal (LA)

Click thumbnail
to view:

By fallingfeather
Thumbnail #1 of Iris  by fallingfeather

By suncatcheracres
Thumbnail #2 of Iris  by suncatcheracres

By lmelling
Thumbnail #3 of Iris  by lmelling

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #4 of Iris  by Clare_CA

By jnana
Thumbnail #5 of Iris  by jnana

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #6 of Iris  by Clare_CA

By RikerBear
Thumbnail #7 of Iris  by RikerBear

There are a total of 28 photos.
Click here to view them all!


11 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive datagoodies On Jul 1, 2013, datagoodies from Stratford, CT wrote:

In the late fall of 2012, I planted 3 bareroot Black Gamecock Louisiana Iris here in Stratford, CT near the marshes of Long Island Sound. The site, about 6 inches from the side of our garage -- which doesn't have any guttering, had always been a wet, mossy mess. I amended the soil with a bag of manure from Home Depot and covered the site with large pine bark chunks that kept the soil from washing away.
Although the winter that followed was spectacularly cold and snowy and the site gets only afternoon sun, all plants produced beautiful blooms by the end of June 2013. I added dwarf rasberry astilbes ("Visions") in front of the plot. Happy to have swapped mossy puddles for these water lovers that seem to take care of themselves.

Neutral WoodlandLisa On May 30, 2012, WoodlandLisa from KILLINGWORTH, CT wrote:

I'm looking for some feedback re this plant. I received 3 free bulbs from a nursery vendor with an order I placed. I'm in CT and my house is in/surrounded by woodland. I get very little full sun, but happened to plant these bulbs (with roots and new growth) in a place with full direct sun from about 10 am to 3 pm. Though I'm concerned beause most of what I'm reading indicates these do best in a boggy/moist environment. Does anyone have any input or advice contrary to these circumstances? While I didn't buy these plants, they are pretty and would fit into my garden scheme and I'd like them to surive and thrive. Also, notes indicate they are deer resistant? Any input or feedback is appreciated.

Positive sunkissed On Apr 22, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I bought this plant back in April of 2009 at a local nursery, it was in full bloom when I bought it. I planted it into the ground and by the end of summer it was looking pretty bad. Then I discovered it needed to stay moist and realizing in my hot sandy soil that wasn't going to happen, so I moved it to a big ceramic pot that stays pretty moist. All year in 2010 I had luscious green growth, but never any blooms, it tripled in size. Over wintered just fine with temps dipping into the upper twenties quite a few nights. Then this year I added some coffee grounds to it, read somewhere that they like them. At first they yellowed and I thought I made a mistake, but then greened up a deep dark green. And to my surprise I got lots of flowers for the first time the end of March through the first weeks of April. It seems to be done flowering now and I'm letting those stalks go to seed. I'm just so happy it finally flowered. The flowers don't last but a couple days but are so beautiful.

Positive vossner On Apr 21, 2009, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

What a stunning display it makes. Mine is planted inground, part sun and while not in a very boggy area, I did take care to plant it where the sprinkler will hit it for sure.

It has been a fast multiplier, though I'm hoping that having it in less than full sun and not as moist will slow down its enthusiasm for spreading.

Positive Gabrielle On Jul 12, 2008, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A very regal shade of purple. Blooms in June in my garden.

Neutral tosoiba On Jul 11, 2008, tosoiba from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I am attempting to grow 5 gamecocks in the small flower bed right in front of my house. I have the moisture right, the full sunlight and the acidity. So far they aren't doing too bad.

Could someone advise me on how often to fertilize my plants.

Positive WUVIE On Apr 27, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The Louisiana Iris is indeed a durable beauty.

We grow them in a natural pond, in pots, in the ground, all
over. True to form, they bloom best when grown in water.
Can be grown in a container with adequate watering or in
a pot with a tray of water beneath.

Endures the winter as if it didn't have a care in the world,
blooming in late spring to early summer.


Positive GeorgiaJo On Jun 11, 2006, GeorgiaJo from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Grows in the pond, alongside the pond, in pots, in tubs, in sun in part-sun.....

Blooms well and multiplies quickly.

Positive TBGDN On Mar 9, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

BLACK GAMECOCK: (F. Chowning, R. 1978). Sdlg. FC77-12. LA 24" (61 cm) L. "Blue-black (RHS 103A) self; narrow gold line signal. Unknown parentage., Melrose Gardens 1980." Very hardy here in 5a/b. Easily grown in damp, boggy or consistently moist soil. Requires somewhat acidic conditions which can easily be achieved by addition of garden sulphur or Miracid commercial fertilizer.

Neutral Joan On Dec 21, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: American Iris Society Honorable Mention '82, Award of Merit '86, Mary Swords Debaillon Award '89

Neutral nevadagdn On Apr 26, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I just added this to my pond this year. More as the year progresses.

Positive lmelling On Oct 23, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have several of these iris in my iris bog next to my pond, and also planted in my front garden where it seems to do equally as well in spring moist/well drained soil. This is one of the few iris I can say reliably blooms each year. Flag iris, does, of course, but I haven't had as much luck with other types such as bearded.

Positive suncatcheracres On Nov 30, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I bought mine from a local nursery in early Spring of 2003, and it flowered in May here in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, and is now growing in a low, wet spot near a Brown Turkey fig tree with several other kinds of iris. It eventually had several flowers and three seed pods. I let the pods hang on the stalks for months--I eventually had to stake them--and when the pods started turning yellow, I opened them up and found seeds, despite the pods having several insect holes bored into them. I planted the seeds in light potting soil and late this summer I saw about a dozen little sprouts. I shared some of the sprouts with friends and planted the rest in my garden, where so far several have survived both dogs and squirrels. Next time I will let the seedlings stay in a pot for at least a year.

'Black Gamecock' is noted for its "outrageous vigor," and is a parent of the "Voodoo Series" of Louisiana irises. It has short stalks and blooms late, and is the 1989 Debaillon Medal winner, the most prestigious award for Louisiana iris. It makes a strong statement in the garden, despite it's deep color. The petals look like dark purple/black velvet. I strongly recommend this plant as a first purchase if you are just getting started in Louisiana irises.

Positive ChefWil On Jun 27, 2003, ChefWil from Washington, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

It grows well in my pond planted in 2" of clay pellets over a 4 inch layer of heavy clay soil submersed in 3 inches of water in full sun. I fertilize with houseplant stakes every month.

Positive fidler On Jun 14, 2003, fidler from La Verkin, UT wrote:

Hybridized from Louisiana, it grows very well in my southern Utah pond and bog gardens. It also does well in moist borders in partial shade gardens. Less light and higher alkalinity resualt in pailer color. Very hardy.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Booneville, Arkansas
Clayton, California
Fremont, California
Fresno, California
Sebastopol, California
Ventura, California
Washington, California
Killingworth, Connecticut
Stratford, Connecticut
Brandon, Florida
Fort White, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jay, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Pekin, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Ames, Iowa
Johnston, Iowa
Mount Sterling, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Brusly, Louisiana
Gray, Louisiana
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Lewiston, Maine
South China, Maine
Edgewater, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Hatfield, Massachusetts
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Mora, Minnesota
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Kansas City, Missouri
Averill Park, New York
Cicero, New York
Hilton, New York
Ithaca, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Summerfield, North Carolina
Coshocton, Ohio
Bray, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Thackerville, Oklahoma
Portland, Oregon
Gaffney, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Pickens, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Christiana, Tennessee
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Houston, Texas
Lockhart, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
North Richland Hills, Texas
Richmond, Texas
La Verkin, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Arlington, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America