Our Symposium Speaker:  Benny Trahan, Sr.

No one today has more extensive experience than Benny Trahan in observing Louisiana irises in their native habitats.  He has systematically traveled the state with topographic maps leading him to places where the terrain would indicate the possibility of iris populations. 

Benny has studied fulvas, giganticaeruleas, brevicaulis and, his specialty, the nelsoniis.  For comparison, he traveled to Florida to observe I. hexagona in its various forms. 

Benny tells fascinating stories of his excursions and his observations on the status and variability of the remaining native iris populations  He has recounted some of his experiences and findings two articles in the quarterly publication of the Society for Louisiana Irises several years ago. 

Nelsonii habitatYou can check out those articles at the links below.  The Friday tour to Benny's garden in Slidell will provide a chance to see some Benny's finds in bloom and at the Symposium you can hear the stories behind them.

Click here for Benny's original article and here for the follow-up (both pdf files).  You can save them to read later.


Left: The habitat of I. nelsonii

Benny Trahan with Iris nelsonii
Benny Trahan on the 2011 SLI Convention tour near Abbeville in the heart of nelsonii territory.