Keith Pendergraft

Keith resides outside of the town of Independence, La. It is still what most people would consider country and he has lots of space to grow and hybridize Louisiana irises.

He is a licensed Landscape Contractor at present and has hybridized Azaleas, Daylilies, Rose Mallow, Lobelia Figs, as well as Louisiana Irises.

Keith started collecting plants at a young age. His mother and both grandmothers were avid plant lovers. He said he was always in the woods and along creeks or rivers and saw a wide range of plants that you typically don’t see in local nurseries. Whenever he saw something of interest, he would bring a few home. One collected plant was an iris Fulva, and that got him started growing the Louisiana natives. He began hybridizing about 12 years ago. His first goal was just to reproduce native species which he had collected by cross pollinating them to like species. This goal was adjusted some when he saw his first Louisiana Iris Hybrids. He bought some named Louisianas and started crossing a few. His first two Registered irises aren’t really where his heart is. His future introductions will probably be species crosses.

His goals in iris breeding are to produce plants that are unique and are good growers. He also hopes to have some improved species irises, by using the best collected specimens to produce better characteristics.

At this time Keith has registered two Louisiana Irises. Aftermath will be his first to be introduced and grown Commercially, with Destination Unknown to come out in another year. Destination Unknown won the Katherine and Ray Corney Award, Best Tall Seedling of Class and Best Seedling of Show at the Ais Convention in Lafayette.

We welcome Keith onboard and look forward to his future Introductions.