Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Keith Keppels Iris 2015 Catalog

FIRE DANGER M 33" ((Inside Track X Spice Lord) X Sorbonne). Hotly colored plicata. Dark reddish burgundy standards are solid except for faint pale yellow dappling visible on close inspection. Bright lemon yellow falls carry a wide border to match standards. Unobtrusive rusty tan beards layered violet and white. Terminal two branches and spur, seven buds #07-197c.

SHIVAREE M 33" ((( Game Plan pod parent sib X Game Plan pollen parent) X Sunblaze) X Golden Panther) As loudly raucous as any proper shivaree!! Ruffled bright orange standards sit atop falls of equally bright but more yellow toned orange. Shoulders are pleasingly decorated with soft rosewood reticulations beside the solidly colored red orange beards. Unfortunately like its parent color is not totally sunfast, but a shrill orange blast in the garden it is hard to surpass. Three branches, seven to ten buds. Judged best seedling in show, Salem 2014. #04-13A .

Keith Keppels 2015 catalog arrived in the mail two weeks ago and contains 9 brilliant Tall Bearded Introductions.
Keith writes "overall, a somewhat milder winter this round, quite wet and windy at the moment.  Irises started into growth and iris seeds germinating.  We're naturally especially hopeful this will be a good bloom season in view of the convention.  We're not on tour, but there are two optional tours before the regular convention meetings, and on one of the tours about 150 people  will stop here, so there will be far more garden traffic than usual.  We do no local advertising and do not keep up a display garden...this is strictly a working iris field....so aren't used to, or geared for, people en masse"
If you get to go on the optional pre-convention tour to Keiths gardens you are one lucky person, savour the day!!

Be sure to visit Keith Keppel's web site!!
As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Photo credit and copyright Keith Keppel.


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tall Bearded Iris SPANISH GIFT

 Spanish Gift is in a small and select collection of George Shoop's Irises at home. The bloom has a very chiselled masculine look that displays on strong well branched stems that always have a great bud count. Healthy vigorous growth resulting in a large clump quickly is a huge plus, and even this last bloom season at home which at best could be kindly described as mediocre 'Spanish Gift' was one of the few outstanding performer. 

George A. Shoop, Hybridizer, Portland Oregon.1966
SPANISH GIFT 1965. Bright orange with deep orange-red beard. Wide, ruffled, flaring falls. Well branched. Large, strong stalk. 36". Seedling 60-16-1. $25.00

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1970, Number 198.
The Overlooked Wonders, Joseph J. Ghio, Santa Cruz, Calif
In our rush to see the newest and most discussed irises, we often overlook some fine, even great, varieties. Once overlooked, an iris rarely makes it through the quagmire of obscurity to receive its just reward. Occasionally an overlooked iris does clear the clouds and enters the shining light it deserves......It is our opinion that the following irises have been overlooked and underestimated. They are worthy of far more recognition and fame than has been accorded them...............................
SPANISH GIFT (Shoop '67) is an apricot-orange of fine branching and bud count. A rhizome will produce an "instant" clump; and in Santa Cruz it is an everblooming iris, a trait to cultivate in more irises!

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon. Iris Catalog 1970.
SPANISH GIFT (Shoop, '65) EM. 35" Each $7.50
Warm, glowing, bright orange self; the beard is still deeper orange red on a creamy central ground. Here is a fine follow up on the heels of the variety listed just above from this same hybridizer.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1972, Number
Youth-Views. Radical Views Perry Dyer.
In the orange class, again the older one appears to be the best all around. SPANISH GIFT (Shoop, '65) is by far the most vigorous orange on the market, and probably has the best form.

AIS Checklist, 1969.
SPANISH GIFT G.Shoop, Reg. 1964 Sdlg. B60-16-l. TB, 36" (91 cm), M ; Orange self; deep orange beard. Bright Magic X B55-39. Shoop 1965. HM 1967.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Classic Tall Bearded Iris MYSTIC MELODY

Stevens Bros. Bastia Hill, Wanganui. Irises 1951-52 Catalogue.
Novelties 1951-52

Proud as we are to have raised Pinnacle and Summit with their sensational and wholly new colour combination,we are equally proud to have raised this less sensational but no less lovely iris. Mystic Melody is a sister seedling of Summit, and while the contrast between the standards and falls is as great, the sharpness of the contrast has been muted and softened by the smooth cream standards and the richer deep gold of the falls. This beautiful mellow quality is intensified by the softer outline of Mystic Melody’s form, which surrenders the dignity of the classic shape for the charm of gentle ruffling. Though the flowers are really large, one is not conscious of their size owing to perfect proportions, and to the smooth purity of the cream and warm rich gold colour. If we were given the choice of one iris, and only one for our garden this lovely iris would be our selection. It has the ethereal beauty of the pale blues, the brightness of the gold’s, the grandeur of the richer colours, and the purity of the finest white iris, and no other iris we have seen possesses all these attributes. We have often been asked which is our favourite iris, and we have not been able to answer the question. But here we have found it, and it is Mystic Melody.

Courtesy Schreiner's Iris Lovers Catalog 1958. 

Schreiner's, Salem,Oregon, Iris Lovers Catalog, 1952.
MYSTIC MELODY M-L 39” This sister seedling to Summit though less striking, is not less glamorous, indeed there is a haunting loveliness about the butter yellow of the enamelled sun-drenched falls a the luminous, shimmering cream of the silken moonlight standards that weaves a spell over the beholder and leaves him rapt. Picture this iris with four open blooms may suggest a bunchiness which in fact does not exist, as the branching starts 8 inches from the ground. If you must chose between this and Summit I would say; If you are a breeder, buy Summit, if a fancier buy Mystic Melody. But if you can 'Buy Both', for each is a distinct and outstanding iris in its own right. HM 52

The Iris Year Book 1952.
Iris Travels in 1952, Mr Harold W. Knowlton.
People who think Pinnacle a trifle coarse can find a beautiful refined yellow bitone in Mrs. Stevens' Mystic Melody.

Fleur de Lis Gardens, Sioux City, Iowa. 1953 Catalog.
MYSTIC MELODY (Stevens) TB 40" M.
Another new bitone, this has rich cream standards, smooth butter yellow falls' Semi-flaring form. HM 1952

The Iris Year Book 1953
Progress in New Zealand, D'Arcy Blackburn.
In creating Mystic Melody, introduced in 1951, Mrs, Stevens has given us a still more finished flower but this time in a pattern of cream and gold. It, too, grows strongly and seems assured of a place in our gardens for many year to come.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1953, Number 128.
Random Comment.Don Waters, Ohio.
Mystic Melody is very fine both in form of flower and stalk-a refreshing yellow and cream bicolor with much more intensity of color than Pinnacle. In my opinion it is better in every respect than Summit in which I was somewhat disappointed.

Iris Society Year Book 1953 (British Iris Society)
Award to Mrs Stevens 1953 Foster Memorial Plaque, NLC.
One of her latest has perhaps been overshadowed by Pinnacle but it is my favourite, and, I believe her’s: Mystic Melody is from white and yellow amoena breeding but is not so definitely contrasted,the standards being cream and the falls golden yellow, very smooth and gently waved at the edges.It flowers late but very freely, and is good in all ways.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1954, Number 135.
Report and Varietal Comments From Region Three, Mrs. Wallace J. White .
Amoenas and near Amoenas
Mystic Melody - cream standards, butter yellow falls. Lovely.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1954, Number 135.
Report and Varietal Comments From Region 5, Ralph E. Lewis.
I saw Summit for the first time. It is much more striking than Pinnacle, but I still like Mystic Melody the best of these three.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1954, Number 135.
Report and Varietal Comment- Joplin Area, Mrs James A. Sapp, Mo.
Mystic Melody - Most outstanding  of the Stevens iris. Superior to Pinnacle or Summit in our garden.

Lyon Iris Garden, Van Nuys, California. Lyon's Irisland, Iris and Hemerocallis, 1955 Catalog.
MYSTIC MELODY (Stevens, 1951)
This is a sister to Summit. While there is not as much color contrast in Mystic Melody as there is in Summit, we think the form is better, and the petals broader. The enamelled butter-yellow falls create a "melody of sweet music" with the standards of soft cream. An impressive iris. 39" Mid-Late. Honorable Mention 1951.

Eden Road Iris Garden, Wenatchee, Washington. 1956.
Mystic Melody (Stevens) M. 39in. ((Fair Elaine) x ((Lagos) X (Gudrun x Sdlg.)))
Creams standards, and rich butter yellow falls are vet y contrasty. The medium sized flowers are of flaring form, charming and outstanding.

D'Arcy Blackburn 14 Clifford Street, Gisborne. Bearded Irises 1957-1958.
Mystic Melody (Stevens)
With cream standards and butter yellow falls. this sister seedling of Summit has received the Award of Merit of the American Iris Society. Distinct and outstanding and a favourite of the raiser, Mrs. Stevens.  AM '55 (42 inches)

The Iris Year Book 1957
The Iris Show, N. Leslie Cave.
Among the Trade Stands, Waterers put up their annual display. There were a number of New Zealand  irises and I once again admired the refreshing appearance of Mrs. Stevens' trio, Pinnacle,Summit and Mystic Melody.The latter has creamy standards and golden yellow falls, and like Pinnacle is a very good iris; unlike many pampered new irises they grow vigorously and flower freely, apparently a rather vulgar trait these days

Easy Breeze Gardens, Yakima,Washington. Irises 1957.
Mystic Melody (Stevens '51) This has cream standards, and butter yellow falls. Flaring form, nice contrast.

Edenwald Gardens Vincennes, Indiana. Iris, Summer and Fall 1959.
Sister to Summit, and although not as contrasty, may prove to be the better. Standards are cream and Falls butter yellow. A lovely Iris.

Waterson's Iris Gardens, Wanganui. Irises 1960-1961
 Mystic Melody is a sister seedling of Summit and while the contrast between the standards is as great, the sharpness of the contrast has been muted and softened by the smooth cream standards and the richer deep gold of the falls. This beautiful mellow quality has been intensified by the softer outline of Mystic Melody's form which surrenders the dignity of the classic shape for the charm of a gentle ruffling. Though the flowers are really large, one is not conscious of their size owing to their perfect proportions, and to the smooth purity of the cream and warm rich gold colour. A.M., A.I.S., 1955. 3½ft.

Longs Gardens, Boulder, Colorado. Summer and Fall 1967.
Longs Mile High Quality Iris
Mystic Melody (Stevens) M. 39in.
Cream standards and butter yellow falls combine to make this a very lovely iris. HM '52, AM '55

New Zealand Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2014
MYSTIC MELODY  Mrs J. Stevens, Reg., 1949.   Sdlg. 9/T192.  TB, 42″ -48″, M, Y6D. S. creamy white. F. Deep rich gold. Orange beard. Falls to small for standards. 3½ - 4ft.; Description J Stevens Studbook notes,‘1947 flowering’; ((Fair Elaine) x ((Lagos) X (Gudrun x Sdlg.))) Novelties' Stevens Bros 1951-52. Schreiners 1951, HM 1952 AIS, AM 1955 AIS.

It is a privilege to grow Mystic Melody at home and very pleased to have it in my collection. It is a very vigorous grower and flowers freely, shows good Purple bottom foliage (PBF).

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited.

Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©. 

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy New Year To You All

Yes I am still here, and I am halfway through my writing of the  'Year in Review' and hope to publish it here soon. Happy New Year to you all and here's a look at another of stunning Iris from New Zealand's late Ron Busch to start the year.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014


[For the specimens from which our plate was prepared 
we are indebted to Messrs. Barr & Sugden, who possess
 one of the most complete collections of Irises known.] 

December 20, 1879.


Everyone knows and, knowing, admires the bearded Irises ; but it is not everyone who is aware of the beauty and the delight which may be found in the beardless Irises, a group of which is represented in the plate issued with the present number. In this, as in so many other instances, the popular judgment is founded on reason. Taking them all through, no beardless Iris, not even the Kæmpferi (the one beardless Iris which has been honoured with the title of a " florist's flower," and which was described and illustrated in No. 406, p. 198) possesses that union of grace of outline with delicacy of colouring, which is the charm of such a bearded Iris, for instance, as I. pallida. Yet many of the beardless Irises are handsome and indeed lovely, and they are all worthy the attention of those who love flowers as flowers, and who do not regard plants merely as material for constructing the gaudy or the grotesque patchworks sometimes spoken of as gardens. To the gardener who is also a botanist they have an especial interest, because they are not only much more widely spread than the bearded forms, but in all probability older, that is, earlier in origin.[Ref i] 
Not only are the recognised species belonging to the beardless division more numerous than those of the bearded, but the differences between the several kinds are much more marked and distinct. The bearded Irises are very much alike, and, in giving them separate names, stress has often to be laid on such variable characters as colour and size. The beardless Irises, on the other hand, present a large number of tangible unlikenesses, enabling the very beginner to recognise the differences between the several species. Numerous, however, as are the various kinds, a very little study shows that they may be arranged with more or less completeness into a number of groups, each consisting of central or typical and outlying members.
One group, of which the beautiful unguicularis (or stylosa) may be taken as the type, is not represented in the plate, for the very good reason that the members of this group flower in winter or quite early spring, whereas most of the beardless Irises and all those pictured in the plate flower in mid or late summer. I regret this unavoidable omission, because unguicularis is, perhaps, the most lovely of all the beardless forms. Possibly its beauty appears all the more striking, at all events we appreciate it the more, just because it comes to us in the winter. It is an excellent, easily-managed pot plant, flowering readily under glass (in the open it is apt to be cut by the frost), and I would strongly advise those who are the happy possessors of a little greenhouse to obtain from Messrs. Barr & Sugden, or from Mr. Ware, or from some other of the nurserymen who make a speciality of Irises, good, strong, sturdy specimens of this delightful plant, taking care to choose those with the pots crammed full of roots. I think they will not be disappointed. The flowers are not very numerous at a time, but they come in succession ; I had last winter a plant which went on flowering from the beginning of December to the end of February, right through that memorable dreary season. Its large and elegant lavender coloured flowers, which, whenever they felt the influence of a little warmth and sunlight, sent forth a delicate and delightful fragrance, brought me consolation on many a dark and dismal day. I well remember that before the Iris flowered my little greenhouse was nearly filled with Chrysanthemums, of whose bloom I, and especially my gardener, were not a little proud ; but as soon as my first unguicularis bloom had opened I was impatient until my Chrysanthemums had been cast out : its delicate and sweet beauty made me intolerant of the showy, but, compared with it, garish florists' flowers. A very distinct group is formed by I. spuria and its allies. These are, for the most part, tall plants, blooming somewhat late in summer, with erect, rather narrow leaves and close set flowers, and their ripe capsules are strongly ribbed. One of the handsomest of these is I. ochroleuca. No. 6 in the plate. The opaque waxen whiteness of its large petaloid stigmas, [Ref ii] closely bent down, as in all the members of this group, over the falls, gives a peculiar charm to the flowers, contrasting as it does with the rich yellow of the falls themselves. The origin of ochroleuca is unknown ; it exists, as far as is known at present, in gardens only. A variety with the name gigantea is highly spoken of. One disadvantage in this group is that the flowers are so close set on the stalk that they have not room to expand, and, as shown in the figure, are tilted up on one side. A gathered cluster makes, however, a very handsome centre in a nosegay ; and, as is the case with almost all Irises, the buds expand readily in water. Next to ochroleuca, perhaps even surpassing it, comes the allied I. Monnieri, a very tall plant coming from Crete, with abundant large flowers of a rich yellow colour. It is one of the latest flowerers, showing a full bloom even when Kæmpferi has passed away, and has the further merit of being fragrant. The odour is not very powerful but very pleasing. Very closely allied to these is the Himalayan form, I. aurea, No. 8 in the plate. This is a very handsome plant, with which I hope soon to become better acquainted than I am at present. I. spuria itself, with its many varieties, does not recommend itself to me very greatly. In some of the forms, as in the so-called spuria major, and also in the Algerian variety known as Reichenbachii, the colouring is bright, and some people might think them handsome, especially when seen in masses ; but the mixture which they offer of blue or purple and yellow is to my mind too coarse to be pleasing ; besides, there is a certain stiffness and want of elegance in their outlines. I prefer the smaller flowers of such varieties as that known as desertorum, with its paler flowers, narrow falls, and, in some cases, marked fragrance, or even the white Gûldenstadtii, which, however, is very inferior to ochroleuca. Some of the spuria group are absolutely worthless from a gardening point of view. When you have devoted the best nook in your garden, and unwearied attention to a plant which, in the end, bears, amidst a dense mass of tall, strong leaves, a number of insignificant dirty-coloured flowers, you begin to understand the meaning of the phrase "of botanical interest only." As an outlying member of the spuria group, I may refer to the little I. graminea, though this is by some authors associated with quite different kinds. [Ref iii]  
This is of no great value as a border plant, the flowers are too much hidden by the over-topping leaves, and the flowers themselves are singly of no great beauty. Nevertheless their mixed blue and purple tints will be found to render them of value as cut blooms ; they can then be made to harmonise most effectually with other flowers.
Next to I. Kæmpferi, with which the present paper does not propose to deal at all, the mo5t popular, and, on the whole, the most beautiful of the beardless division, are the members of the sibirica group. In the typical form, I. sibirica, the flowers are, it is true, small, but they are produced in unstinted profusion, and their colouring and marking fully atone for the want of size. Many seedling varieties of sibirica of divers colours and tints are to be met with in the nurserymen's lists, all of them beautiful, some of them exceedingly so. The great feature in all of them is the delicate veining and marbling of the falls, as indicated in the white variety represented as No. 5 in the plate ; but it is impossible in any lithograph to reproduce the tints and gradations which make up the charm of the living flowers. 
All these kinds are worthy of cultivation; the only one to be avoided is I. sibirica fl. -pi.[Ref iv] 
Besides the garden varieties, there are many kinds of natural occurrence, such as the form known as acuta, with comparatively short flower-stems, and flexuosa with white flowers : and stretching away from the type are forms which may be recognised as distinct species, Messrs. Barr & Sugden are distributing a charming plant of this group, with pale and with also deeper purple flowers, under the provisional name of trigonocarpa ; and Haage & Schmidt have a kind which they call tenuifolia,[Ref v]    possessing the desirable feature that the flowers emit a perfume like that of cloves. But the one kind which "no garden should be without" is the form known as orientalis, No. 4 in the plate, the flowers of which are larger.the falls broader and bigger, and the colouring more intense and deeper than in I. sibirica. The red sheath or spathe, moreover, gives the plant a beauty while it is still in bud ; few sights are, indeed, more charming than a well-grown plant of orientalis, with its flowers partly expanded and partly ensheathed as buds.[Ref vi] 

I have not yet had an opportunity of studying as closely as I could wish I. tenax, a North American form (No. 2 in the plate), but it is obviously a close neighbour of sibirica, and is a very desirable plant ; it is now being carefully cultivated and may be obtained from the leading firms.
Allied to tenax, on the one hand, and, in many of its features, to orientalis on the other, and yet forming the centre of a group of its own, is the Californian form I. longipetala.
This, the various cultivated specimens of which appear to vary not a little, is a showy plant ; but its rather long and straggling falls, in spite of their charming light violet or lavender colour, and their graceful markings, give it a more or less unfinished look.[Ref vii]  Closely resembling longipetala in its foliage and habits, is the form which Regel has introduced under the name of I.spectabilis. It was gathered by his son, Albert Regel, in Central Asia, and, to judge by its name, ought to be handsome. My plants of it have not yet flowered, and I can say nothing more about it, but Regel promises an early description of it.

As the centre of another group we may take the common American I. virginica. This is a vigorous floriferous plant, spreading very rapidly when grown in a somewhat moist rich soil. The flowers vary very considerably in tint, and some of the more deeply-coloured forms are not unhandsome. There is, however, a certain stiffness and formality about the blooms which, to my mind, prevents it being considered as a really attractive kind. More highly coloured, frequently very striking from the juxtaposition of a pure white and a deep rose tint, is the very closely allied I. versicolor ; but this, too, lacks a certain elegance, so that one is, in looking at it, led to wonder why a flower so beautifully coloured gives one so little pleasure. Many seedlings, both of virginica and versicolor, are in cultivation ; and, though what may be perhaps considered as the typical forms of each are very distinct, almost every intermediate stage between the two may be seen.

One feature of the virginica group is the small development of the standards, and we thus pass to the very handsome I. tridentata (No. 1 in the plate). This, which is also a North American form, can hardly be said to possess any standards at all ; they are reduced to insignificant little peaks, which have to be looked for to be seen. In return the falls are largely developed, highly coloured, and manifest real beauty in their form and markings. It is an abundant bloomer, a strong grower, spreading very rapidly, and in every way a desirable plant. I. tridentata is an American form, occurring in the Northern States ;[Ref viii]  The form of the flowers, especially the stigna firmly reflexed over the fiddle-shaped fall, the ribbed capsule, the characters of the roots, and other features are most distinctly those of the spuria group, in spite of its leaves being, especially in the narrow-leaved form, narrower than the other members of the group.
Asia a closely allied, or at least a strictly analogous form, I. setosa. No. 3 in the plate, which, however, is a far less beautiful plant than its American ally. No one who compares tridentata with virginica can doubt that the two are closely allied, and yet tridentata has quite other affinities. In spite of its comparatively broad leaves, many of its features point to the narrow-leaved sibirica group, especially to orientalis. On the other hand, it is, I think, impossible to overlook its affinities with the Kæmpferi group ; and its beauty seems to be due to the fact that some of the characters of these two groups are added to those of the plainer virginica.
Resembling tridentata and setosa in one feature, viz., in the smallness of its standards, but in reality quite widely separated from them, is the common yellow Flag, I. Pseudacorus, a variety of which is seen in No. 7 of the plate. Common as is Pseudacorus, everyone who has grown it fairly, will, I think, be ready to admit its beauty. Whoever has in his garden a pond or a ditch, or even a thoroughly damp spot, ought to plant this Iris largely. Few things, indeed, are more beautiful than a great clump of this yellow Flag, with the tall leaves starting up from the side of a pool, and the golden clusters of flowers gleaming bright in a midsummer sun.
Three things it loves — a rich soil, plenty of water, and abundance of sunlight. It is cruel to place it, as I have seen it placed, in some dank dark hole, where the sun's beams never reach it ; it is disappointing to plant it, as I have seen it planted, in a dry and stony spot, where summer is to it one long continued thirst. But put it where its roots can run at will in rich black mud, and yet its head raise itself to the full light of a summer sky, and it will be a golden glory throughout the long days of June. Such are some of the more conspicuous and common beardless Irises, but I have far from exhausted the list. I have said nothing of the wide-spread Iris fœtidissinia, worth growing, not for its flowers, which are almost absolutely ugly, but for the bright orange berries of its gaping winter fruit, and still more for its glossy dark green leaves. I have said nothing of the bulbous Irises, which are all beardless forms, and which, save for fear of tlie anger of the botanists, I would say seem to me even more closely allied to various non-bulbous forms than they are to each other. But I should
weary the reader if I said more. Interesting, too, as is the story of their geographical distribution, I must pass that over, and end by saying a few words about their culture.
 In nearly all the forms, the one golden rule is that inculcating "wholesome neglect." Let them alone as long as they are doing well, and, above all, do not dig and scratch about their roots. Almost without exception all of them hate to be disturbed, and resent interference by refusing to flower. All of them like the sun. If you care for Irises do not plant them, as they are often planted, right in shade of trees or big shrubs, though some of them, more especially fœtidissima, will do fairly well there. If you feel that that you are bound to obey the injunctions of the vade mecum of gardening by which you swear, and which tells you that Irises are the things for "woodland walks " and "shrubbery borders," choose some open glade into which the sun can pour, and not the dark recesses of some leafy cavern. To put the best and handsomest forms, however, in any other position than in the warmest and sunniest spots of the open border is, to my mind, downright wickedness.
They all of them like rich soil, full of decomposed vegetable matter. The coarser and stronger forms will feed on even rank manure, but to the more delicate ones this is almost poison ; and all of them, indeed, thrive all the better if their food is given to them in a well-digested form. If it is thus well digested they can hardly have too much of it.
As regards moisture, they vary a good deal. I have already insisted on the necessity of water for Pseudacorus, and many of the spuria group thrive best in the damp. Others again, as Monnieri, hate the damp, at least, in winter, and will stand very considerable drought in summer. The conditions which would suit the majority would, I think, be comparative dryness in winter and an abundant supply of water in summer.
Unfortunately, this is the very reverse of what they generally meet with.

They also vary a good deal as to the nature of the soil they like best. Some, such as the spuria group and the longipetala group, like a deep, somewhat stiff, but rich loam, and their long, thong-like roots reach down for an amazing distance. The sibirica group, as also the virginica group and tridentata, have finer, fibrous, matted roots, and are partial to a lighter, looser soil, which, however, must be proportionately richer in vegetable matter. Hence many of these are grateful for the gift of peat.
Let me end by speaking of one great drawback to these beardless Irises. By far the greater part of them die down completely in winter ; and wise are they to do so. Who in the November weather, which has come upon us, does not envy them I Who would not gladly now go into winter quarters, if he could be sure that he would awake strengthened and refreshed as soon as the bitter half of May were over? But their brown withered leaves makes them in the late fall and early winter an eyesore to those who like to have a garden, but who do not love flowers. I mean the people who insist on having a good " blaze of colour," and do not care how the colour is obtained ; who, but for the fashion of the thing, would, if they dare speak the truth, be found to be equally content whether the colours were made up of delicately-wrought flowers and leaves, or machine-made "dummies" of rag and paper. Such people are generally governed by a demon called "tidiness," who arms them with instruments of mischief called "shears" and " rakes," and sends them, when the winter days come on, into the border to "tidy it up." Such people ruthlessly cut down the ripening foliage, just when the loss of the green summer tint shows that the goodness of the leaf is passing into the root ; they tear away the dead leaves, and rob the plant of that wrapping with which Nature strives to shelter next year's shoots and buds from the winter blasts ; they scarify and scratch the soil, lacerating the tender fibres, of which the plant stands so much in need ; they make the surface smooth, carefully removing every scrap of loose nourishment that is lying about, and leave the ground so that the early winter rains may flatten it into an almost polished surface well-nigh proof against all mellowing influences ; and having wrought all this wreck, call it order. Whoever wishes to cultivate Irises, or, indeed, any other flowers for the sake of the flowers themselves, must early recognise that Nature is untidy — that dead leaves and a rough soil are the winter forerunners of the summer's bright foliage and abundant bloom. Whoever is unwilling to leave the foliage of the past summer untouched, so that when it has served its purpose the worms may carry it below to enrich and lighten the soil ; whoever is unwilling to let his border soil remain rough and open, so that the rain may pass through it, and the gases of the atmosphere be absorbed by it, and the crumbling hand of frost loosen it ; whoever is not ready, when occasions demand, to see his border covered all the winter with " untidy " mulching of rich but inelegant " muck," should not take up the culture of Irises. They, like other plants, are meek and unresenting ; they will strive to bloom in spite of all his bad treatment ; but he will never enjoy the profuse beauty which is the reward of proper treatment.  F.

[Ref i]  I must not enter into this point here, but there are many reasons for thinking that the curious tuft of hairs on each of the three outer petals or " falls," which we call the "beard," is a comparatively late introduction, the first Irises which came into existence being, in all probability, plain beardless ones.

[Ref ii]  It may, perhaps, be worth while to remind the reader that the flowers of the Iris consists of the following parts : On the outside are the three outer petals or divisions of the perianth, which, since they generally hang or are bent down, are called " falls." Within these, and alternating; with them, come the three inner perianth divisions, which, since they are generally erect, are called "standards." In the centre of the flower the style splits up into three stigmas, each of which, broad, highly-coloured, and petal-like, spreads out and hangs over, or sometimes is closely bent down upon the fall opposite to which it is placed. Each stigma terminates in two triangular, often-toothed, sometimes large, sometimes small, flaps, the so-called crests, well shown in many of the ligures of the plate. The stigma, in overhanging the fall, gives rise to a sort of tunnel, sometimes with a wide, sometimes with a narrow, mouth, and on the outside of the stigma, at the base of the crests, just at the mouth of the tunnel, is a narrow ledge. It is on this ledge that the pollen must fall to fertilise the plant. Inside the tunnel, lying underneath each arching stigma, sometimes readily visible, sometimes almost entirely hidden, is an anther. All Irises have markings on the fall just at the mouth of the tunnel, for the purpose, apparently, of attracting insects ; and the insect, a bee for instance, in entering the tunnel for the purpose of sucking the nectar at the bottom of the stigma and fall, brushes against the ledge of the stigma, and deposits on it the pollen which he has gathered from another plant. The beard of the fall, which leads from the surface of the fall right into the tunnel, seems to be a device for compelling the insect to brush against the ledge.

[Ref iii] The form of the flowers, especially the stigna firmly reflexed over the fiddle-shaped fall, the ribbed capsule, the characters of the roots, and other features are most distinctly those of the spuria group, in spite of its leaves being, especially in the narrow-leaved form, narrower than the other members of the group.

[Ref iv]  If any " double-minded " florist wishes to have brought home to him the evil he is doing by his efforts to " double " flowers which Nature intended to be single, let him look at this vile ami ugly parody on a beautiful original.

[Ref v] The real I. tenuifolia, of Pallas, is something quite different.

[Ref vi] Orientalis is by many regarded as identical with Fischer's hæmatophylla. It is obvious, however, from Sweet's description that the latter is quite a different plant from the former. It is much shorter, smaller, and flowers much earlier. I have not yet come across what has satisfied me as Fischer's hæmotophylla, though I am anxious to do so. The feature which led Fischer to give it" the name he did— the red colour of the young leaves and shoots— cannot be relied on for diagonistic purposes ; very many forms have the young leaves and first shoots more or less red.

[Ref vii] Curiously enough, longipetala has an imperfectly developed rudimentary, but still very distinct, crest on the falls ; it seems to be a link between the beardless and the crested divisions.

[Ref viii] Curiously enough, longipetala has an imperfectly developed rudimentary, but still very distinct, crest on the falls ; it seems to be a link between the beardless and the crested divisions. In the Southern States there grows another form, which in Baker's list is called tripetala, and which, from Sweet's description, seems to be a delightful plant. It is more delicate than tridentata ; its leaves are narrow and linear, not as in tridentata, somewhat broad and ensiform. It is found in Florida, and, as far as I know, is not in cultivation in England at the present time. Its re-introduction is a desideratum.

Once again its a great privilege to feature Michael Foster with some of his earliest published thoughts on Irises. He is still a consummate authority on Irises and his writings open many doors to Irises of the past with his beautiful and unique descriptions.

A major hat tip to Phil Edinger for his succinct observations, and discussions which are always appreciated.

Clicking on the above images will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

British Dykes Medal Tall Bearded Iris GOLDEN HIND

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1931.
List of Prize Winners.
Yellow standards and yellow falls :-
C.O.M. : To Mr. H. Chadburn for the iris Golden Hind. It really is a startling bit of colour. Picture the deepest buttercup yellow and add the warmth of a faint tint of orange and you will have the tone that floods the whole of a very neatly-formed flower.Unfortunately, as shown it was very dwarf and although the judges recognised this might be due to it being a first year spike, they could not do more than give it the bare recognition of a certificate of merit on this occasion. See illustration, page 15. (below).

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, April 1935, Number 57.
Iris Observations and comments from the South. Sam Graham, Georgia.
Probably the greatest improvement was most noticeable in yellows. Happy Days, Lady Paramount, Alice Harding, Eclador, California Gold, and Alta California are all wonderful iris. A newcomer is Golden Hind' an English introduction. As I saw it in McDade's garden it was quite outstanding especially its color; the best I have seen in any yellow. Had it better form and taller stalk I could conceive of nothing finer in the deep yellows. It is one iris I must have.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July 1935, Number 58.
Iris Notes of 1935, Mrs Thomas Nesmith.
Golden Hind impressed me as a brilliant yellow of very deep tone, set off by the intense orange-yellow beard, but the flowers although 'well formed, are not large and the short bloom stalks are most disappointing.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1935, Number 59.
Iris Pilgrimage, 1935, Bruce C. Maples.
Golden Hind comes from England. It is a stylish flower and clump. No, it does not have a tall stalk but the whole thing, plant, stalk and flower is symmetrical and I could not gaze on the beauty of it and recognize any defects. A good ,warm yellow.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, February 1936, Number 60.
Report of Judges 1935.
Golden Hind
Judge 1. As dark a yellow as Pluie d'Or' when it first opens, that rich lovely yellow in Pluie's very heart. The beard is a very deep orange, almost tangerine, the flower a self without markings of good size, though not one of the largest. Nice bright yellow but soft and gracious.
Judge 2. In color this looks like the best yellow of deep tone yet produced in the tall bearded class but haven't seen the entire field. It has some deficiencies of form and height but they are not important in the general effect of this glowing flower.
Courtesy Yearbook I.S. (E) 1931.

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1936. 
Notes on Bearded Irises, H. Chadburn.
In the Autumn of 1926 I was the first purchaser of Iris W. R. Dykes. There were then only three plants available and the price was, I believe the highest ever obtained for an iris viz., £21. The following June, Iris W.R.Dykes flowered and I was not pleased with my purchase. It had been brought as the most wonderful yellow self that had ever been raised. Originally Iris W. R. Dykes was a yellow self, but by time it flowered for me the brown streaks had appeared, and the most impressive point about this flower was its size.
The blemish in Iris W. R. Dykes was the direct cause of Iris Golden Hind coming into existence. I would endeavour to produce a W. R. Dykes that was a pure self. This started my hybridising. Gold Imperial was the chosen mate, because it was the purest and deepest yellow I had come across. It also had to a certain extent, a crispness of substance. That Gold Imperial was made the seed parent instead of W. R. Dykes, I have no opinion to give. This particular cross does not germinate well ; only four seedlings came up, and Golden Hind was the only one that was pure colour. It was also the first iris that I was to exhibit. This cross was made every year and from a large sized seed pan, about 12 germinated, and if kept to the following year, there would be another 12. Usually the parts were robust, and soft rot the only enemy.
From this cross all colours appear. Pink, red and blue, and after five years of raising this seed, there have only been three worth retaining,viz. : Golden Hind, Mabel Chadburn and another very fine yellow, as deep as Hind, but with quite another character. This I do not expect to show as it has faults that may be eliminated with further breeding breeding. This seed as also produced all shades of yellow between lemon and that of Golden Hind. The fault which troubles me most in Golden Hind is that it continues to grow strongly until late autumn. It is then too advanced for the coming winter. This defect is inherited from Iris W. R. Dykes. Golden Hind is a strong grower and of rapid increase. It does not fade or bleach. The colour becomes deeper with age. It has a better constitution than Iris W. R. Dykes, but there is a tendency to increase too much. But by flower will be produced by planting a medium-size rhizome.
I am not using Iris W. R. Dykes any further as I have obtained what I require from it. And the faults of this iris are so definite that they should not be handed on to another generation.       Golden Hind is an excellent seed parent, but it will not accept pollen from Iris W. R. Dykes.
I raised the following cross :- G. P. Baker X Gold Imperial, Gold Imperial X G. P. Baker, 200 of each, my object being a good stalk and better coloured flower. Out of the 400 seedlings only three had satisfactory stalks. The colour and constitution of these three plants was good. They have now been crossed with Golden Hind and some will flower this June.

Iris Culture for Amateurs Country Life Ltd, 1937, L. F. Pesel & R.E Spender.
Chapter II, Bearded or Pogon Irises, Tall Bearded Irises.
The picture of another yellow Golden Hind, raised by Mr. Chadburn, which received the Dykes Memorial Medal in 1936, should be studied for the form of its single flower. It is a cross between W. R. Dykes and Gold Imperial (a very pure yellow raised by Miss Sturtevant), and the latter was used as the seed-bearing parent. It is a good and well-balanced flower with a smoothness that is highly attractive.

Wills Cigarette Cards Album Garden Flowers New Varieties 2nd Series, 1939. #18 GOLDEN HIND

Stevens Bros. Bulls, New Zealand. Catalogue of Irises 1938-39.
Novelties and Recent Introductions.
GOLDEN HIND (Chadburn)
This remarkable deep golden yellow which has created such a sensation in England. It is the deepest toned golden yellow in commence today. The constitution is vigorous and it is a quick increaser. 2½.ft..........................................................21/-

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon, 1938.
GOLDEN HIND Each $10.00
No yellow iris in commerce contains the deep buttercup tone of this English origination. There are larger new yellows, but certainly there are none so nearly the ideal in clear rich color. The tone deepens at the haft, due partly to the vivid orange beard. Stems seen last season were three feet in height and finely branched. While not a large iris. Golden Hind
is sufficient in size to merit a place amongst the most recent sorts.

 Schreiners Iris Gardens Riverview Station, St. Paul, Minnesota. Irises for 1940.
GOLDEN HIND (Chadburn 1934) M. 30"
One of the most colorful rich yellows, being a bright clear buttercup yellow. Not large, it has a richness and depth of color possessed by few of the very newest varieties. Floriferous and rapid increaser; stunning color.
$1.00 : 3 for $2.25

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1942.
Bearded Flag Irises-An Initial Thirty, F.Wynn Hellings.
2. GOLDEN HIND. A splendid yellow self, good increaser and regular bloomer, of good form and proportion, a good doer in all districts. The stem only just tops 3 feet; a few inches longer would be an improvement.

'Golden Hind' growing against the house at 'Greenhaugh'.

The Tall Bearded Iris,  Nicholas Moore, 1st. Ed. 1956. 
Yellow Irises.
Of the other yellows GOLDEN HIND is still a popular flower. It's raiser, Haworthe Chadburn, was a painter who preferred sombre and purple landscapes, but devoted his spare time to raising nothing but yellow irises. He bought W.R.DYKES when it was introduced in 1926, at the price of Twenty guineas, and from his many seedlings eventually produced GOLDEN HIND, a rich yellow of orange tone. Later on there were other offspring of this line, and the three final introductions bear comparison even with many later irises. MABEL CHADBURN is a rich lightly ruffled yellow, JOAN LAY a deep orange-yellow of particularly good habit for the garden, and the latest, GRACE TETLEY, a rich buttercup yellow with a slightly green tinge.

Irises, Harry Randall, Chapter 7, A Cavalcade of Colours. Yellow Irises.
After the appearance of Golden Hind (Chadburn 1934) there was not much scope for more intense colouring in the yellow irises but its seedling Mabel Chadburn (1939) had better form and won the Dykes Medal in 1941.

AIS Checklist 1939
GOLDEN HIND TB-E-Y4D (Chadburn 1934) Orpington 1934 ; Bunyard's Irises 1938 ; Schreiners 1939 ; Registered 1931 ; (GOLD IMPERIAL X W.R.DYKES) C.M., I.S. (E) 1931; Garden Chronicle 3rd Se. 89 : 457.  13th June. 1931 ; Year Book I.S. (E) 30. 1931 ; Silver Medal  I.S. (E)1934 ; Dykes Medal England Yearbook I.S. (E) 1934 ; A.M., A.I.S. 1937 Bulletin American Iris Society 66: 87, September, 1937 ; A.M., R.H.S. 1936 ; J.R.H.S., 62 : 3, 131. March 1937 ; Silver Gilt Medal, Chelsea ; F.C.C., R.H.S. 1939.

 This Iris and the story of its hybridiser makes it one of my favourites.Top photo taken a few hours after blooms had opened fully. Bottom photo shows darker colours taken in different location, different environment and different soil.  
In New Zealand  you find 'Golden Hind' growing successfully a lot in the ground beneath the eaves of older houses where the soil is a lot dryer than other parts of the gardens which has the effect of slowing 'Golden Hind's' rampant growth, and Mr. Chadburn covers this problem in the above 1936 article, 'Notes on Bearded Irises' . 
Its a high health plant with a light green foliageBloom stalks are generally just 30-32 inches in height. Blooms are sensational and hues become darker as the flower ages. Form also becomes more dog-eared with age. Fertile. 

More on Mr. Chadburn and his yellow Irises in a later post.

A Major hat tip to Lyyne Atkins, owner of the most amazing Greenhaugh Garden and Nursery for allowing me the freedom of her garden. 

Also a major hat tip to Phil Edinger for his succinct observations, and discussions which are always appreciated. 
As always clicking on the above images will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris IRWELL THANKSGIVING

Stunning Iris from New Zealand's late Ron Busch. For those who do not know I did communicate with Ron Busch regularly and in 2008 we discussed several of his about to be registered irises. One of the discussed was the iris 'Irwell Thanksgiving' and its pedigree. I have scanned Ron's handwritten notes regarding 'Irwell Thanksgiving' which indicate the genetic material used to produce the iris, and whilst not in the format of the official checklists it is hugely better than just a checklist entry 'Parentage Unknown'. 
The 2012 written prediction by one member in particular of the NZIS that Rons Irises "will pass into obscurity as unknowns" is quite frankly risible, and shows the predictors complete lack of knowledge and respect of Ron's Iris breeding history. (Maybe an apology will be forthcoming Peter?? You can write it in the comments if you like) 
Ron Busch Handwritten pedigree 'Irwell Thanksgiving', May, 2008

AIS Checklist, 2009.
(Ron Busch, R. 2008) Sdlg. 1733-3167. TB, 34" (86 cm), M
S. lemon; style arms lemon, purple midrib; F. rose purple, ³⁄₈˝ lemon border, white veins on shoulders, purple blush below lemon beard. Parentage unknown. Te Ohanga 2008/09.

2013 New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist
IRWELL THANKSGIVING (Ron Busch, R. 2008). Sdlg. 1733-3167. TB, 34" (86 cm), M. S. Lemon; style arms lemon purple midrib; F. Rose purple ⅜" lemon border; white veins on shoulders, purple blush below lemon beard. Involved Irwell seedling lines. ((Brookside x Honky Tonk Blues) x Snowspoon) X Ringo, Emma Cook, Latin Lover, Lula Marguerite, Velvet Robe, Laurie, Taholah.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Historic Tall Bearded Iris MARQUITA

One of the all time greats of French Tall Bearded Iris breeding. Carl Salbach summed it up when in his 1949 Catalog (some 18 years after it's introduction) he wrote the following regarding 'Marquita', "Described by one of the A.I.S. judges as 'One of the most unique of all… American should give it its highest award". Overlooked in the awarding of the French Dykes Medal because it was so late of bloom that most of the judges missed it."
Now that's impressive!!

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1930,
"New Irises in France, Irises seen at the Nurseries of Messrs. Cayeux et Le Clerc ", page 89,
Olive Murrell and Percy Murrell.
4383 (Marquita) This is an enormous Iris similar in colour tones to Minnehaha. The standards are apricot-yellow and the falls are streaked with red.

Cayeux & Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1931.
Marquita (Cayeux 1931) A strong plant, robust well branched  3 feet stems. S. very large, ivory deepening light yellow at the margins, large sulphur yellow styles, droping falls of same colour adorned with distinct ochraceous maroon lines running almost evenly from base to apex giving a striking novel appearance, this more pronounced on the first day, as the flower shade, it turn to a darker redder suffusion leaving an ivory white margin. A very attractive flower for its large challis-like standards and for the quaint drooping of the falls. Could be most valuable for breeding purposes as for landscape effect. Height 3 feet.

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1931,"Irises in France", page 42, G. L. Pilkington.
Marquita (4383) This is a most attractive variety, and seen flowering in mass was most telling. The flowers are of great size, and borne on 3 ft. stems with fair branching habits. The standards are of clearest ivory yellow, of the size "Helios" and the falls, which are hanging, are of a pale raspberry red with darker streakings. Whilst the flowers is in bud and early stages the standards have a pin line fringe of red around the edges. A "Helios" seedling. (To be sent out this year)

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October, 1933. Number 49.
Comments on 1933 Ratings, Sherman R. Duffy.
Marquita (Cay.) (87). Much more striking in a group than as a single stalk. The huge creamy standards set off by the red-veined falls can be seen across the garden. The judges applied their discounts chiefly to form and stalk.

Quality Gardens, Iris, Freeport, Illinois. Iris 1933.
MARQUITA  (Mar-kee-ta) (Cayeux 1931)
A very attractive new variety. A Helios seeding, it resembles the parent plant in its huge size and fine form. Standards clearest ivory yellow, falls almost the same shade with ruby lines running almost evenly from base to apex, as the flower ages the center of the falls turns red, leaving  a creamy rim edging the flower. A new thrill every day it blooms.
Certificate of Merit, S.N.H.F...................................................$30.00 

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon. Iris Catalog 1933.
TWO years ago American iris enthusiasts visiting in France brought home glowing accounts of three new seedlings produced by that master hybridist, M. Cayeux, of Paris. Of course he exhibited thousands of seedlings in his gardens, but three of them were especially fine and excited comment from every English and American visitor. As soon as we heard about them we promptly ordered a few rhizomes of each, and despite their long journey over the Atlantic and thence across the United States, they reached us in splendid condition and flowered beautifully the following May. These new irises, which will be released from Federal Quarantine about July 1st, are herewith offered for the first time in America.......

MARQUITA. A well named iris in brilliant luminous ivory yellow and ochraceous maroon. The standards are ivory deepening to sulphur at the base ; the falls are of the same color but are heavily and entirely lined with dark but brilliant maroon, giving to the flower a most striking and novel appearance. Limited stock. Each $12.00

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, April, 1934. Number 51.
Iris Memories, Edward Salbach.
Never have I found a surer way of judging the merit of a new iris than by waiting till long after the blooming season and then looking backwards to see which have remained in In my memory. Those that "stick," I can unquestionably consider as outstanding.The iris that I cannot definitely place or which seem only vaguely familiar are not generally deserving among the very best. In memory now, in the midst of winter, I can recall fifteen new iris that etched a place for themselves in my memory. These fine iris I place in my own personal honor roll of newest iris........................
MARQUITA - A huge variegata from France, with cream standards and falls lined light red, evidently derived from Helios parentage.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, April, 1935. Number 57.
Varietal Notes, 1934. M. E. Douglas, New Jersey
Marquita, I have seen in one garden each year for three successive years, that is, three different and widely separated gardens, and each time on a one year plant. I consider its color most distinctive and remember-able.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July, 1935. Number 58.
Iris Notes of 1935, Mrs Thomas Nesmith.
Marquita is a delicately beautiful iris and most unusual in color with its creamy standards and rose pink falls, the heavy venation seems to add rather than detract from the flower. It was a first year plant and the falls had a tendency to tuck under, but I have been told that when well established it does not have this fault.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October, 1936. Number 63.
The Annual Meeting, Eleanor P. Jones.
Mr. McKee's in Worcester was our first stop. In his garden of comparatively small extent we saw iris superbly grown and in splendid condition. Marquita, an introduction of Cayeux, seemed to draw everyone to it at once, very tall and of fine form with creamy yellow standard and falls of the same but striped with rosy~pink.

Stevens Bros. Nurserymen, Bulls, New Zealand, Catalogue of Irises 1937-38.
Novelties and Recent Introductions
One of the finest of the new French Introductions. Exceptionally large flowers of most unusual colouring. The standards are clear creamy yellow, frostily lustrous. The falls are cream, heavily lined rose pink that it seems more like a suffusion than a lining at the end of the petals. 3½ ft. 30/-

Williamson, Iris 1936, The Longfield Iris Farm.
Marquita (Cay 1930) C.M., SNHF 1932. Very large well rounded flowers of creamy yellow, the F pencilled or lined ruby from base to apex. Tall and quite distinct. 42inches.

National Iris Gardens, Beaverton, Oregon, 21st Catalog, 1937
MARQUITA  (Cayeux) 40". An enormous and stunning flower of deep rich ivory with F. so heavily striped bright maroon that they appear to be solidly colored to the ivory margin. It attracts attention because of the gigantic unlined standards which are much larger than the falls. A.M. 1936

Schreiners Iris Garden, Riverview Station, St Paul, 7, Minnesota. An Iris Lovers Catalog, 1937.
Marquita (Cayeux 1931) L.34". An amoena type in cream and watermelon rose.It is luminous cream standards. "silken,hushed, and chaste" are the last word in serene but warm exquisiteness. The watermelon-rose falls are veined rather than solidly colored. A very lovely iris.

Carl Salbach Berkeley, California, German or Bearded Iris Catalog, 1937.
Marquita. (Cayeux). One of he finest French Iris ever produced. A remarkable variety which should eventually find its way into the gardens of all iris lovers. Described by one of the A.I.S. judges as 'One of the most unique of all… American should give it its highest award". Overlooked in the awarding of the French Dykes Medal because it was so late of bloom that most of the judges missed it. Perhaps the largest of all variegatas, but so distinctly different in coloring from the average variegata that it hardly seems to belong under the same classification. Simply huge blooms, standards of clear creamy yellow, frostily lustrous and with falls of cream, but so heavily lined rose pink that it seems more like a suffusion than a lining at the end of the petals. Late. 42 inch. A.M. A.I.S 1936

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Plantes 1938.
Marquita (Cayeux 1931). Divisions supérieures énormes, blanc d’ivoire, styles très larges, soufrés. Divisions inférieures à fond ivoire tout réticulé et chargé de rouge fraise écrasée s’éclairant sur les bords en blanc jaunâtre. Hampe solide et ramifiée. Certificat de mérite de la S.N.H.F.

Robert Wayman Bayside, New York. Catalog for 1940-41.
MARQUITA (Cayeux 1931) Given an Award of Merit by the American Iris Society in 1936. If I were to select a dozen outstanding Iris from the thousands of varieties that have been introduced to date, Marquita would be one of the dozen. It is so unusual and so beautiful that it is always wanted by anyone who sees it in bloom, but this is the first time it has been offered at a moderate price. It is a magnificent French creation, that has given us something entirely new in Iris, for it is in a class all by itself. The huge flowers are of brilliant smooth ivory, with an eggshell finish, with brilliant ruby lines running almost evenly from base to apex of falls. As the flower ages the centre of the flower turns solid red leaving a cream colored border."

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon. Iris Catalog 1937. 
MARQUITA. A well named iris in brilliant ivory yellow, with ochraceous maroon veinings on the falls. The standards are ivory deepening to sulphur at the base, and so large that they constitute the major portion of the flower. Falls are of the same color, but entirely lined maroon. This very late novelty was one of the two or three most popular things among our visitors last season.Each $2.00; 3 for $5.00

Oakhurst Gardens, Arcadia, California. Iris 1939. 
MARQUITA  (Cayeux) A favorite from France. Huge flowers of creamy yellow with falls heavily lined rose-pink, blending into a water-color wash at the end of the petals. It never fails to attract attention to itself. 36 in

é Cayeux, 124 rue Camille-Groult, Vitry-sur-Seine, près Paris, Seine. Iris Catalogue 1951.
Marquita Un des iris les plus célèbres, toujours très demandé; grosse fleur à substance bien ferme, résistant aux plus fortes intempéries. P. ivoire, S. à fond rouge fraise écrasées bordé jaune clair avec streis également jaune bien différenciées. T. Hr 0,80m.

é Cayeux, 124 rue Camille-Groult, Vitry-sur-Seine, près Paris, Seine. Iris Catalogue 1952
Marquita. T. Hauteur 0m80.Un des iris les plus célèbres toujours très demandé. Grosse fleur à substance bien ferme résistant aux plus fortes intempéries. P. ivoire, S. à fond rouge fraise écrasées bordé jaune clair avec stries également jaune bien différenciées.

Cayeux, La Carcaudière, Route de Coullons, France. Iris Lover's Catalogue, 2014. 
Tall bearded -Late-season  - Height :8ocm- colour: Bi-Colour
Rightfully one of the most famous Cayeux creations. Ivory standards and strawberry red falls with a pale yellow edge and a number of creamy yellow stripes. Sunny yellow beards.

AIS Checklist 1939
MARQUITA TB-M-Y5L (Cay 1931) Cayeux 1931 ; 1938 ; Patterson 1938 ; Charles Wassenberg 1938 ; (..............X HELIOS) ; C.M. S.N.H.F. A.M., A.I.S. 1936 ;

AIS Checklist 1949
MARQUITA TB-M-Y9L (Cay 1931); Etc ; (SYMPHONIE X HELIOS (Cay)) ; etc.; (corr. and new data).

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Major Hat Tip and "Merci beaucoup" to my good friend Richard Cayeux for sharing with you all the amazing photos of 'Marquita' and to Catherine Adam without doubt the best 'go to person' regarding French Historic Irises.

Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission of Richard Cayeux is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit and copyright Richard Cayeux © .
Reproduction in whole or in part of this article without the expressed written permission of Heritage Irises is strictly prohibited. 

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris EARLY EMBERS

Back home for the weekend from my work in Christchurch, and this morning I walked the garden at first light one of the most enjoyable times of the day for me. Still a few weeks away yet for peak bloom which I will not be here for so it was a delight to see a New Zealand bred Iris shinning like a beacon in the garden. It's David Nicoll's 'Early Embers' which I have always had a lot of time for but only get to see it at it's best when the Nor-Westerly winds stay away in the early season.

Plant has good healthy foliage with average rhizome increase, medium size but proportional blooms, with bloom stalks height in our garden is around the 77cm (30") . Can't say I agree with the hybidisers description of the beard colour as just red its more of an orange-red. 
In cold weather standards can sometimes show some subtle signs of a rose purple colour that some 'iris experts' call virus flecking.  Most likely will never win an award as it is past its peak bloom by time the 'Iris Shows' come around, but it is a stand-out award winning Iris in our garden. Comes with a pedigree of Bill Maryott's stunning velvety maroon 'Cherry Glen' a great garden Tall Bearded crossed with Barry Blyths 1995 amoena  'Yes', a very early blooming TB that has long bloom season.
 'Early Embers' is  listed this year in the Nicolls 'Richmond Iris Garden 2014-2015 Catalogue' and I think it is still traded elsewhere so if you want a early blooming Tall Bearded that puts on a great show with the intermediates make sure it's on this season's Buy-It List!!.

Richmond Iris Garden, 376 Hill Street, Nelson. Issue #64, 2013-2014 Catalogue.
EARLY EMBERS E. Peachy apricot rose colours with a red beard.

2013 New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist
EARLY EMBERS D.B. Nicoll, Reg. 2004. Sdlg. D00T6-l. TB,36" (91 cm,), E. Standards, medium peach-apricot lightly infused with rose; style arms medium apricot; Falls, medium light, apricot-tan with a rose blush merging from the centre to light tan-apricot edges; beards red. Cherry Glen X Yes. Richmond Iris Gardens 2005/06.

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Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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