Friday, October 17, 2014

French Dykes Medal winner JEAN CAYEUX

Don't you just love the blends, they are the chameleons of the tall bearded irises and when viewed in the early morning sun they become the custodians of the changing light. Jean Cayeux is a stand-out example of this colour class;

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1930,"New Irises in France", R.G. Walter.
At Messr. Cayeux et Le Clerc's Nurseries.
This is a very distinct Iris of unusual colour. Good size flowers of neat shape with flaring falls. Very much the colour of wet sand ; cafe-au-lait is also a close description. The spike is too crowded. An outstanding colour from an exhibition point of view, but not sufficiently effective in the landscape. 

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1930,"Notes on French Irises", Olive and Percy Murrell.
At Messr. Cayeux et Le Clerc's Nurseries.
4368 (Jean Cayeux )
A most distictive Iris with perfectly formed flowers. The color is most unusual, and may be described as a pale Havana brown. The falls are semi-flaring and have a slight blue flush at the tip of the beard. The spikes are not particularly well branched. This is hardly a garden iris as the colour is too subdued, but for all that is a beautiful thing as an individual plant.

Cayeux et Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1931.
Jean Cayeux. Cayeux 1931. A most distinct and unusual coloured Iris of an uniform self tone effect "café au laité or clear havane tone with a golden shine enlighting this strange new colours. Flowers of good size and fine form with flaring falls. Strong brached spike. Certificate of Merit of the SOCIETE NATIONALE D HORTICULTURE DE FRANCE and W. R.  DYKES Memorial Medal for the finest new Iris of the year 1931.

Courtesy BIS Yearbook 1931

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1932, Number 45.
Comments on Varieties, Sherman R. Duffy.
The judging seemed to center about Mrs. Douglas Pattison's Quality Gardens at Freeport and at Mrs. Kellogg's Over the Garden Wall in Hartford. A number of judges took advantage of the fine collections in both places to rate the newer irises. In both gardens the irises were as well grown as it seems humanly possible for them to be, some old timers under the best of culture being almost unrecognizably good.
Mrs~ Pattison had, as usual, a comprehensive collection of the cream of foreign novelties and a carefully selected list of American originations. Of the foreign importations, the outstanding' ones were Jean Cayeux and Marquita, both Cayeux irises. Jean Cayeux, a French Dyke's medalist, was the most unusual color note seen this year, a clear brown self of good height, size and stem, with no trace of purple apparent in its bloom and a golden undertone. It should be a very popular iris when well distributed as there is at present none that I know of quite like it. It is a worthy Dyke's award iris.

Mrs. Douglas Pattison, Quality Gardens, Iris, Freeport, Illinois. Iris 1933.

JEAN CAYEUX (Zhan Ka-yuh') (Cayeux 1931), M, 38"
Without doubt the most outstanding foreign introduction of recent years. The flowers are of fine form, well distributed on good stalk. The color is a self tone of pale Havana brown, shot with a golden glint and a little touch of blue at the end of the beard brings out the delicate beauty of the flaring falls. An enchanting new color...........................$35.00
Dykes Medal S.N.H.F. 1931
Certificate of Merit S.N.H.F. 1931

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.....
Jean Cayeux
This is the most beautiful iris we have ever flowered in our gardens. Likewise, it is one of the most unusual in color—a soft, smooth light buff, described by some as "coffee colored" and hy others as Havana-brown. The form is perfect, as the accompanying illustration shows, and the size is larger than average. In our garden it was splendidly branched, over three feet tall, and flowered over a long season. Jean Cayeux has been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the French Horticultural Society and won the Dykes Medal in 1931 for the finest iris introduced that year. Very limited stock this year.
Each $20.00

BIS Yearbook frontispiece 1934 & Quality Gardens 1933 Catalog.
Thanks to both publications.

Williamson, The Longfield Iris Farm, Bluffton, Indiana. Iris 1936 Catalog.
Jean Cayeux (Cay 1931) Dykes Medal 1931, C.M., S.N.H.F. 1931. One of the most outstanding introductions of recent years. The well formed frilled flowers are a pale brown shot with gold; a touch of blue at the tip of the beard brings out the lovely colouring.

National Iris Gardens, Beaverton, Oregon, 21st Catalog, 1937.
 (Cayeux) 38". The most outstanding color introduction of recent years.Flowers are semi-flaring and slightly frilled, of a pale Havana brown, shot with a golden hint. Dykes Medal winner in France.  A.M.in America.

Carl Salbach Berkeley, California, German or Bearded Iris Catalog, 1937. 
JEAN CAYEUX Beautiful blending of Havana or coffee brown, with golden glint. Considered one of the finest iris even imported from France, including among its many laurels the W. R. Dykes medal. Mid-season. 34 inch.  $3.00 ; 3 for $8.00

Schreiner's Iris Garden, Riverview Station, St. Paul, Minnesota. 1937 Catalog.
JEAN CAYEUX (Cayeux 1931) L. 34". 
An outstanding iris in the copper section - the Dykes Medal winner in France in 1931. This full-petaled flower with its slight suggestion of a frill, has a pleasing grace and opulence of form.Its novel tones of light havana brown with a lustre of golden biscuit-tan show up at their richest in the slanting rays of the early morning sun. 

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Plantes 1938.
Jean Cayeux (Cayeux 1931) Divisions supérieures café au lait, divisions inférieures havane légèrement éclairé au centre. Fleur magnifique. Certificat de mérite de la S.N.H.F.

Photo Parc Floral de Paris

Oakhurst Gardens, Arcadia, California. Iris 1939.
JEAN CAYEUX. The most outstanding color introduction of recent years. The semi-flaring and slightly frilled flowers are pale Havana brown shot with gold. 38 in.

The Australian and New Zealand Iris Society Quarterly Bulletin, No. 6, September 1949.
An Answer to a frequently asked question : How and where to buy Iris. The Editor.
Darker Blends (Copper, Browns, Tans, Bronzes, and Copper tones)
Australia. JEAN CAYEUX (Cayeux France) A perfect Havana brown ; 2/6

The Orpington Nurseries Company, The Nurseries, Orpington Kent, 1949 Catalogue.
Our collection of Irises is the finest in this country, including practically every variety of merit, old and new.
Jean Cayeux (Cay 1931) One of the finest irises raised in France. Subtle and unique, it is a lustrous Havana-brown self suffused and overlaid with gold. Well branched and a good grower, it still holds it’s place among the top flight irises. 3ft; Dykes medal 1931; AM AIS 1936.

Rene Cayeux, 124 rue Camille-Groult, Vitry-sur-Seine, près Paris, Seine. Iris Catalogue, 1955.
Jean Cayeux. M. Hauteur 1 m. Une variété célèbre par sa couleur unique et tout à fait inhabituelle, havane doré à peine nuancé lilas aux sapales. Par ailleurs la fleur est bien formée et les hampes très ramifiées. Toutes ces qualités font de cette plante une variété nécessaire dans toute collection à jour.

Jean Cayeux, Poilly-Lez-Gien, Loiret (France) Iris, Hemerocalles, Pivoines, 1961.
Jean Cayeux. M. Hauteur 1 m. Célèbre par sa couleur unique et tout à fait inhabituelle, havane doré à peine nuancé lilas aux sépales. Par ailleurs la fleur est bien formée et les hampes très ramifiées. Variété nécessaire dans toute collection à jour.

AIS Checklist 1939
JEAN CAYEUX TB-M--S4M (Cayeux 1931)
Cayeux 1931 ; 1938; Year Book IS (E.) 79. 1930; Flower Grower, 22: 6, 274. June 1935 %: Year Book IS (E.) frontispiece %% ; Peckham 1938 ; Rowan 1938 ; Charles Wassenberg, 1938 ; (PHRYNÉ) X (BRUNO X EVOLUTION) ; C.M., S.N.H.F. 1931 ; Dykes Medal France 1931 ; Bulletin S.N.H.F. 5th Ser. 4 : 309. 25th June 1931 ; A.M. A.I.S. 1936 ; Bulletin A.I.S. 63: October 1936.

Unlocking the history of French Irises and exposing the varieties and their incredible beauty is an advantage to all Iris Historians as these varieties had a huge impact on the iris world and its history. There are large list in both New Zealand and Australia catalogues of French Irises and a lot will still be growing as unknown varieties in gardens in both these countries just like they are still growing in America, Canada, England, Germany, the Czech Republic, such are their status, longevity and beauty.
 Without getting too carried away let me say this when garden tourists visit Paris they have expectations to see the Irises in Paris gardens to look like the irises in those impressionists paintings of Monet, and lets face it how many people do you know that are off to visit Europe and the beautiful gardens there, have told you "I'm of to Paris to see Barry Blyths or Keith Keppels modern irises"............................................. well none actually.
There are only a few historical iris collections worldwide, and collections of French Historic Irises are an even smaller group of these collections, so to have a authority as important as The Parc Floral de Paris that has a commitment to continue to grow and preserve these historic iris beauties, is something we can all be incredibly thankful for. Make sure the next time you visit Europe that the 
Parc Floral de Paris becomes one of your 'must see' gardens!!

As always clicking on the above images will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Major Hat Tip and "Merci beaucoup" to Nathalie Faivre a member of the staff at 
Parc Floral de Paris for sharing with you the amazing photos of 'Jean Cayeux', to Catherine Adam for her direction and help with the French language, catalogue listings, and of course for sharing with you all the amazing  information, also to Phil Edinger for his digging out the 'The Iris Year Book' of 1934 its much appreciated. 
My heart felt thanks goes to the contributors who wrote their descriptive comments in the above Year Books, Bulletins and Catalogues which has contributed immensely to the the knowledge and more detailed history of Irises.
Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission  Nathalie Faivre or Catherine Adam is strictly prohibited.

Photo credit and copyright Nathalie Faivre © .

Reproduction in whole or in part of this article without the expressed written permission of Heritage Irises  is strictly prohibited.


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Friday, October 10, 2014



May 27 ,1876.

Among hardy perennial plants there are certain kinds which, on account of their showy character in general, or of their striking forms and habits, rank among the aristocracy of flowers, rendering them well worthy of very special and general culture. Among such are, for instance, the Phlox, the Peony, the Larkspur, and most decidedly the many most strikingly interesting varieties of Iris, which, to be more appreciated, only require to be more generally known. Their sword-like leaves, and large beautifully formed flowers, produced in great profusion, embracing such a variety of colour and rich pencillings, give them very much the same position among hardy perennials that Orchids occupy among indoor tender plants. Besides, they are of the easiest culture, thriving in almost any soil, and equally at home in comparatively swampy grounds by the lake or pond side, and in the ordinary mixed border. Small portions of their fleshy prostrate rhizomes, if once planted and left to take care of themselves in a great measure, soon increase into large stools, yielding hundreds of interesting blossoms. They are, more, over, so perfectly hardy, that the severest weather of this country does not injure them. Naturally, they do best in a rather heavy moist soil, but they also succeed in any soil well worked and manured when planted.

There is now an almost endless variety of Irises, and for the information of these persons who may desire to form a select collection of them, the following list may be found useful : —

 amabilia, pale blue, lower petals velvety. purple, reticulated with white— very abundant bloomer ;

Antiope, metallic blue, lower petals violet, pencilled with pale straw;

Arlequin Maliarias, white, feathered and edged with violet, lower petals purple, reticulated with white;

Arnols, violet, suffused with bronze, lower petals rich velvety-purple, reticulated with orange and white;

Augustus, azure, blue, lower petals pure violet, reticulated with white ;

aurea, chrome yellow, lower petals paler yellow, reticulated with sulphur ;

Bocage, pale lavender, lower petals purple, feathered with white ;

Bridesmaid, white, suffused with lavender, lower petals pencilled with reddish lilac ;

Chameleon, indigo blue, flaked with purple, lower petals pale violet, reticulated with white ;

Comte de St. Clair, pure white, tipped with violet, lower petals beautiful purple, reticulated with white;

Cordelia, rosy lilac, lower petals rich rosy purple, margined with white ;

Cytheree, lavender blue, lower petals light purple, veined with white;

Darius, chrome yellow, lower petals purplish-lilac, reticulated with white ;

Dr. Berenice, coppery-brown, lower petals ruby. purple, reticulated with orange and white ;

Exquisite, bronzy-sulphur, lower petals rich purple, veined and margined with sulphur, bearded with golden yellow ;

Fairy Queen, white, feathered and grained with purple;

Gideon, yellow, lower petals crimson. purple, heavily veined, and reticulated with sulphur and white ;

Hericart de Thury, chrome yellow, lower petals brownish-crimson, veined and reticulated with sulphur and white;

Imogene, bright lavender, lower petals soft azuro blue, centre white ;

Jacquesiana, reddish-bronze, lower petals crimson, reticulated with yellow and white ;

La Fristosse, primrose, lower petals crimson, heavily reticulated with yellow and white ;

Leopoldine, yellow, lower petals purple, margined with sulphur yellow, heavily striped with white ;

Madame Chereau, white, all the petals beautifully edged and barred with violet;

Pacquit, purple, with light centre, lower petals reticulated with while;

Poiteau, white, suffused with lavender, lower petals rich purple, reticulated with white ;

Racine, primrose, suffused with lilac, lower petals rosy-purple, reticulated with orange and white ;

spectabilis,velvety-purple, shaded with black ;

Unique, white, lower petals purple, heavily veined and margined with white ;

Victorine, satiny, white, blotched with purple, lower petals violet, purple-veined, and reticulated with white;

Walner, azure.blue, lower petals light purple, veined with white;

The thirty kinds named above are really splendid varieties; and, being hardy plants that can be purchased for about 18 shillings per dozen, any one who adds them to his mixed borders of hardy plants cannot fail to derive much pleasure and interest from them.

D. THOMSON, in "The Gardener." 

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, no exceptions. 

Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©. 

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris CHERRY GARDEN

Every spring the iris growers in New Zealand await the opening of the first iris flowers in their gardens. Sometimes, even when the last snow is still on the Mountain Range the little miniatures poke their little heads through and shout out with joy. From the minute that the first flowers appear you know that in just a few short weeks you will be in the middle of peak bloom. Hallelujah!!!

Bennett C Jones, Portland, Oregon. Introductions for 1967.

CHERRY GARDEN-Sdlg. #M134-1 (CAPTAIN GALLANT X pumila Y9C Randolph). Red from purple side, velvet smooth. HC 1966.........$5.00

Richmond Iris Garden, Hill Street, Richmond, Nelson. Bearded Irises 1971-1972
CHERRY GARDEN- Completely a red self, smooth and glowing. A wonderful Iris.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1971, Number 203.
Median Varietal Comment, Bee Warburton.
When our editor asked me to write some varietal comment, he sent me an example of the sort he wanted, which was in line with the popular motto, "Be Kind." This emphasizes the delicate balance involved in such published description since giving praise where it is not due is anything but kindness in the end. The ancient gambit is to name the good points of the iris, and then follow with the damning BUT. Or one may praise with abandon one quality which is truly good, and damn the mediocre with silence or the classic faint praise. This requires more tact than even the best judges can always muster............
CHERRY GARDEN. (Jones). Registered as pansy purple, but seems more on the red side; a superb glowing color with beard an exact match. Flowers tend to grow a bit large.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1972, Number 204.
Flightlines ; Varietal Comment, Leda Christlieb, Kansas.
CHERRY GARDEN, SDB, again lovely red velvet, with the terminal bloom too large; later ones in proportion.

Mission Bell Gardens, Melba and Jim Hamblen,  South Roy, Utah. Iris for 1973.
CHERRY GARDEN (B. Jones 1967) M, 15in..
Rich red from the purple side with velvet plush texture. Fine form and vigorous plant. Sensational!! (Capt. Gallant X Randolph pumila 9C) Cook-Douglas Medal 1972.

Riverdale Iris Gardens, Minneapolis,Minnesota. 1980 Price List.
Showy purple red. Cook-Douglas 1974.

4~ Square Iris Gardens, Eau Claire,Wisconsin, Cold Climate Iris, 1982.
CHERRY GARDEN (Jones 1967) Pansy purple self. (more to the red side)
(The reason I have include these short and to the point listings is that the catalogue states 'plants are grown in a very harsh climate. Temperatures from -40°F in winter and up to 100°F in the summer. Coupled with the harsh climate is a short growing season, all of which strongly indicates 'Cherry Garden' is a very hardy iris.)

AIS Checklist 1969
CHERRY GARDEN (Bennett Jones, Reg. 1966) Sdlg. M134-1. SDB, 15" (38 cm), M
Pansy purple (Wilson 928/3) self. Captain Gallant x pumila Y9C (Randolph). Jones 1967. HC 1966, HM 1968, JC 1968, 1969, AM 1970, Cook-Douglas 1972.

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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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Historic Tall bearded Iris QUEEN OF MAY

Attributed to John Salter and in the previous post Peter Barr listed 'Queen of May' in his 1874 collection, so I just had to pull some information together to highlight one of the great treasures and possibly one of the great natural hybrid's of the pallida line. It was Milan Blazek who stimulated my interest in this Iris when many years ago we discussed his trip to Yugoslavia to see the vista of natural iris hybrids growing wild. (I must write to Milan to see if he could send the photo of a basket of his pickings of 'Wild Irises') This was a similar journey that William Dykes made in April 1913, and he wrote about his finds titled 'A Dalmatian Iris Hunt' which was published in the Garden Chronicle in 1913. I have always remembered the passage were Dykes found a cliff in an area he called 'the Ombla' in a limestone formation high above a river facing south-west which was covered with wild bearded iris plants, and observed some irises were almost, if not quite, as pink as 'Queen of May'.
The Garden, 29th August, 1874.

Bearded Iris (I.barbata) Commonly called German Iris, Peter Barr.
I. pallida (Reich.). - Standards, dark lavender, passing to light lavender ; falls, purple, passing to light purple.
Queen of May. - Standards and falls, rose-lilac.

Laurel Hill Nurseries, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Select List new Hardy Alpine Iris, 1903.
Extra Fine Varieties-of Iris Germanica.
Queen of May, a most delicate self rose pink.

Garden Life, April 2nd, 1910. Irises for Amateurs.
An interview with Mr. W.R. Dykes. 'The most Beautiful Flags'.
The best pinks are Queen of May and Her Majesty.

Choice Flower Seeds
, Miss Emma V. White; 3010 Aldrich Avenue South,Minneapolis, Minnesota.1914
Iris, The Poor Man's Orchid, Iris Germanica,(Tall Bearded Iris).
QUEEN OF MAY. Soft rose lilac, almost pink, a color rare among Irises. Medium.

Farr's Hardy Plant Specialities, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Fifth Edition Season of 1915 and 1916.
Iris Germanica—Pallida Section
The Pallida varieties are all tall, strong growers, with very wide foliage, highly ornamental at all times. They have the largest flowers of all, and are very sweet-scented, with the fragrance of orange blossoms.Very handsome shades of blue, lavender and purple.
QUEEN OF MAY. A lovely soft rose-lilac, almost pink; beautiful. 32 in.

The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California.The Iris 1914.
PALLIDA GROUP. There are some very choice varieties found in this group, with their delicate opaline colors. There are the lighter tints of blue, bluelilac, lavender, rose-lilac, mauve and lavender-purple, as also the darker shades. Most of them have large flowers with tall flowering stems. The plants make a fine appearance with their tall, broad foliage. The flowers are very fragrant.
Queen of May. Soft rose-lilac. Very beautiful. 32 inches.

N. A. Hallauer. Webster, New York. Select List 1918
Queen of May Soft rose lilac, almost pink.

The Gardeners Chronicle, September 10th, 1921. Home Correspondence, Unusual forms of Iris flowers
 I cannot help thinking that Mr. Weathers (see p. 85) will find that the experience of most growers is not the same as his with regard to unusual forms of Iris flowers. At any rate, my experience has been that among the hybrid bearded Irises flowers with two, four, or five parts instead of the normal three are extremely common The well-known Queen of May is a constant offender in producing four-sided flowers, and among seedling Pallidas it is not at all unusual to obtain a plant which is apt to produce flowers in which all the petals drop and appear to be fails. The worst instance that I have known of this multiplication or deformity of the parts was a flower of the plant usually known as Iris sisyrinchium which had no fewer than ten falls.
W. R. Dykes.

Les Iris Cultivés,  Actes et Comptes-Rendus de la 1re Conférence Internationale des Iris tenue à Paris en 1922
choix de 100 variétés.
Queen of May (Reine de Mai) (Salter avant 1859). Rose clair.

The Longfield Iris Farm, Bluffton, Indiana. 1923 Supplement to 1922 Catalogue
7.4 Queen of May ( 1859) PYC  30 in. .25c
It should be noted 'PYC' is from the Longfield Iris Farm classification written by Paul Cook and he described this as "a brief but somewhat detailed color description may be given of any variety by taking in their descending order the letters designating the main color group and subgroup or groups within which such variety falls";
In this case, PYC describes Queen of May as a concolorous blend in which pink predominates.
Group: P. Pink
C. Concolorous (Lohengrin)
F. Bicolored (Windham)

Y. Blended with yellow
C. Concolorous blend.[Ref 1]
F. Bicolored blends (Her Majesty)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

A.H.Burgess & Son, Waikanae, Wellington. Bearded Flag Irises 1924
QUEEN OF MAY.  Standards lilac; Falls Purplish rose. Very Handsome. 2½ft. 2/-

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Plantes 1925.
Iris Vivaces Hybrides (Iris des Jardins)
Série Générale
219 Queen of May. Demi-hâtif. Toutes les divisions d'un beau rose clair légérement lilacé ; coloris unique ; robuste et florifére.

Cornell Extension Bulletin 112, 1925.
Bearded Iris A perennial suited to all Gardens. Austin W.W. Sand.
Queen of May (Salter 1859). Color effect a reddish phlox purple veined self. Standards light phlox purple to brighter Chinese violet. Falls reddish phlox purple, veined brownish red of the lighter outer haft. The beard is fine, rather sparse, yellow, and orange tipped at the base. The purplish styles bronze at the edge. The plant is of moderately vigorous growth and has medium yellowish-green foliage. The moderately tall, high-branched flowering stalks are freely produced and well furnished with good-sized, sweet-scented blossoms. This is an older sort, outstanding for its pink color mass. Rating 74.

Lee R. Bonnewitz Catalog,Van Wert, Ohio,1926.
QUEEN OF MAY. (Salter)
A light lilac-pink variety which is very popular in the middle west.
Two rhizomes at 30c each ; five or more rhizomes at 25c each.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1923, Number 7.
Description of Varieties, Part II.
QUEEN OF MAY 74 (22)
Self, V-R. (m). Salter, 1859
Brief. Rose to lizeran purple; stalk short and high branched; growth vigorous; 33 in.
Details. Very fragrant; Standards arched; Falls drooping; haft white reticulated magenta.
Remarks. Probably the, parent of many of the modern "pinks" but it does not carry its hue at all generally.

AIS 1939 Checklist
Queen of May, TB M R7L (Salter, before 1859)
Floricultural Cabinet and Florist Magazine,1859; Ware 1873; Garden Chronicle 1878;Florist and Pomologist 1884; Garden Chronicle 1894; Dr Macoun, Canada; M. Van Waveren and Sons 1907; Farr, 1912; Francis, 1920; Wing, 1920; Garden Chronicle 1926; Sheets 1928; George Bunyard& Co, 1938; Ray V. Moss, 1938; Tip Top Gardens, 1938; Charles F. Wassenberg, 1938;
AM RHS 1891, Shown by Kelway. H.C. RHS 1916

Trials of Bearded Iris Royal Horticultural Society, notes  Class V c. as 'Self coloured varieties with falls and standards pale red purple. This class contains the "pink" Irises and is rapidly increasing in size, but there is room for really first class varieties in it still.No dwarf varieties appear in this class.

[Ref 1]
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
con·col·or·ous   adjective
Colored the same throughout.


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 Catherine Adam for sharing with you all the amazing photos of 'Queen of May'.

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

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014



29th AUGUST, 1874.


My collection of this section of Iris has been pronounced  to be very complete. It numbers upwards of 200 varieties, from which I have selected those enumerated. The better to understand my descriptions, I furnish a wood- cut, by which it will be observed that one half of the petals are erect - these are called standards; the other half droop - these are called falls, while the small tongued parts of the flower are called petioloid stigmas, under which run the "beards." The flowers in this section are all large and handsome, and more or less beautifully mottled in the standards and reticulated in the falls, the beards ranging from delicate primrose to orange, and the petioloid stigmas frequently materially enhancing the general effect by colour and contrast. I mention this, as in my descriptions I have not attempted to take in all these points, but deal with the colours which strike the eye on first looking at the flower. There is no flower, however, that so improves by examination. At first sight its beauty is equal to that of an Orchid, but, on closer examination, I have no hesitation in saying it possesses points of interest surpassing those of the finest epiphyte. In colours there are the richest yellows, the intensest purples, the most delicate blues, the softest mauves, and the most beautiful claret-reds. There are whites and primroses, and bronzes of every imaginable shade ; indeed, language fails to picture the beauties of this flower ; and, consequently, my descriptions fall far short of the reality. And this will be readily understood when I state that there may be found in almost any one of the flowers from ten to thirty different shades, all harmonising and blending in the most perfect manner imaginable. Those who have not used this Iris for surrounding artificial lakes and ponds, or for growth in the flower borders, shrubberies, and woodland walks, should do so ; for, wherever a large quantity of cut flowers is required from May to July, these plants, when established, will yield them bountifully ; as, with good cultivation, they increase in size annually till they attain large proportions, each plant yielding from fifty to a hundred spikes of bloom.

I. germanica (Reich.). - Standards, blue; falls, purple.
     " violacea. - Standards, purple ; falls, dark purple.
     " alba (Florentiua). - Standards and falls, white.

The above are the first of the barbata section to flower, and, being distinct from each other in colour, and flowering at the same time, produce a fine effect early in May, and furnish a striking contrast. The following species and varieties come into flower as the above are going out of bloom ; and it may be worthy of notice that Aphylla embraces the species plicata and Swertii, and the section is remarkable for the flowers having a frill-like appearance - an effect arising from the multitude of coloured transverse lines running round the margin of the standards.

Forms of I. aphylla (Bot. Mag.).- Standards, creamy white, margined with dull lilac ; falls, white, margined with lilac.

 "  Beauty. - Standards, white, margined with lilac; falls, white, the upper part reddish-lilac.
 "  Bridesmaid. - Standards, very pale lavender; falls, white, margined with lavender.
 "  cœlestina. - Standards, lavender-blue, mottled with deeper lavender ; falls, white, margined with lavender-blue.
 "  Gazella. -Standards, red-lavender, mottled with white ; falls, white, edged with purple.
 "  Madame Chereau. - Standards, white, margined with blue ; falls, white, margined with blue.
 "  striata. - Standards, white, margined with lavender ; falls, white and lavender.

I. amoena (Sweet). - Standards, white, tinged with lavender; falls, white, slightly margined with lilac.

 "  Alice Barr. - Standards, white ; falls, white, tinged with lilac.
 "  Ariadne. - Standards, white, mottled with purple ; falls, crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Alvarez. - Standards, white, mottled with purple; falls, crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Calypso. - Standards, white ; falls, mottled with purple and white.
 "  Comte de St. Clair. - Standards, white ; falls, crimson- purple, reticulated with white.
 "  Clio. - Standards, white ; falls, crimson-purple.
 "  Donna Maria. - Standards, white; falls, white, tinged with lilac.
 "  Duchess de Nemours. - Standards, white ; falls, purple, mottled with white.
 "  Duchess d'Orleans. - Standards, white; falls, crimson-purple, mottled with white.
 "  Glorietta. - Standards, white, slightly tinged with lilac ; falls, white, heavily tinged with crimson.
 "  Incomparable. - Standards, pure white; falls, crimson- purple, reticulated with white.
 "  Juliette. - Standards, white, tinged with lavender ; falls, violet-blue, tinged with white.
 "  Morpheus. -Standards, white, tinged with lavender; falls, violet, heavily mottled with white.
 "  Poiteau. - Standards, white, tinged with lavender ; falls, very rich velvety-crimson.
 "  reticulata alba. - Standards, white ; falls, purple-crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Sir Garnet Wolseley. - Standards, pure white, slightly margined or flaked with purple ; falls, velvety-crimson, very heavily reticulated with white.
 "  Unique. - Standards, white ; falls, violet-purple, reticulated with white.
 "  Unique Surpassed. - Standards, white, tinged with lavender ; falls, deep crimson, edged and reticulated with white.

I. neglecta (Bot. Mag.), - Standards, lavender ; falls, upper part red- lilac.

 "  Agathe. - Standards, white, margined and mottled with lavender ; falls, white, margined with lavender.
 "  Alice. - Standards, pale lavender ; falls, rich purple, mottled with white.
 "  Alonzo. - Standards, lavender ; falls, purple-crimson.
 "  amabilis. - Standards, lavender-purple ; falls, rich deep crimson.
 "  Aspasia. - Standards, white ; falls, purple-crimson, mottled with white.
 "  Aspasia Variety. - Standards, white ; falls, dark purplish crimson, mottled with white.
 "  Atropos. - Standards, lavender-blue; falls, rich velvety crimson, upper part mottled with white.
 "  atro-purpurea. - Standards, deep purple ; falls, very deep purple.
 "  Bocaze. - Standards, decided lavender; falls, purple, mottled with dark lines.
 "  Cameleon. - Standards, rich blue ; falls, light crimson.
 "  Clara. - Standards, lavender ; falls, rich purple-crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Clarissima. - Standards, purple, shading to blue; falls, rich crimson, mottled with white.
 "  Cleopatra. - Standards, light lavender; falls, velvety purple- crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  De Bois de Milan. - Standards, light lavender; falls, rich crimson.
 "  Fairy Queen. - Standards, white, flaked with purple-blue ; falls, purple-blue, heavily reticulated with white.
 "  Fantasie. - Standards, lavender-blue ; falls, purple, mottled with dark lines.
 "  Florence Barr. - Standards and falls, delicate lavender.
 "  halophylla. - Standards, lavender-blue ; falls, red-lavender.
 "  Harlequin Milanais. - Standards, white, tinged with lavender; falls, rich crimson-purple.
 "  Indigo. - Standards, purple ; falls, deep velvety purple.
 "  Irma. - Standards, lavender; falls, crimson-purple, heavily mottled with white.
 "  Monsieur de Seble. - Standards, deep lavender-blue ; falls, lavender-purple.
 "  Nationale. - Standards, purple-blue; falls, rich velvety crimson.
 "  Penelope. - Standards, white, variegated with lavender; falls, white and lilac, reticulated.
 "  purpurea. - Standards, purple ; falls, dark purple.
 "  reticulata. - Standards, pale lavender ; falls, rich velvety crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Rowlandiana. - Standards, lavender-blue ; falls, Light purple, upper part reticulated with white.
 "  ruberissima. - Standards, red-purple; falls, claret.
 "  Sultan. - Standards, lavender-blue; falls, very rich velvety crimson-black.
 "  Tatie Barr. - Standards, lavender-primrose ; falls, pale purple.
 "  Victorine. - Standards, white, mottled with blue ; falls, rich violet-blue, upper part mottled with white.
 "  Virginie. - Standards, lavender; falls, rich velvety crimson, lined with white.

I. pallida (Reich.). - Standards, dark lavender, passing to light lavender ; falls, purple, passing to light purple.

 "  Assaurez. - Standards, rich red-purple ; falls, claret.
 "  Astarte. - Standards, purple-lilac ; falls, rich crimson-purple.
 "  azurea. - Standards, azure-blue ; falls, violet-blue.
 "  Daimatica;. - Standards, lavender-blue ; falls, lavender, tinged with purple.
 "  Duke of York. - Standards, light claret ; falls, dark claret.
 "  Garibaldi. - Standards, rose-lilac ; falls, rose-purple.
 "  Maerisart. - Standards, mauve ; falls, purple-crimson.
 "  Madame Pacquitte. - Standards, rich claret-red ; falls a deeper shade of claret-red.
 "  Queen of May. - Standards and falls, rose-lilac.
 "  Raphael. - Standards and falls, deep lavender-blue.
 "  Rowlandiana purpurea. - Standards, deep lavender; falls, purple.
 "  rubella. - Standards, red-purple ; falls, deep red-purple.
 "  speciosa. - Standards, red purple ; falls, rich crimson-purple.
 "  variablis. - Standards, light purple; falls, deep purple, both fading off to slate-lavender
 "  Waluer. - Standards, deep Lavender-blue; falls, purple, mottled with white.

I. squalens (Reich.). - Standards, primrose-bronze; falls, crimson- purple, reticulated with white.

 "  Arnols. - Standards, bronze-purple ; falls, rich velvety crimson.
 "  Bossuet. - Standards, sulphur-bronze ; falls, crimson, heavily reticulated with white.
 "  Cerbere. - Standards, lavender-bronze ; falls, crimson-purple, reticulated with white.
 "  Dr. Bernice. - Standards, coppery-bronze ; falls, very rich velvety crimson.
 "  Folgerie. - Standards, yellow-bronze ; falls, crimson-brown, reticulated with white.
 "  Hericart de Thury. - Standards, bronze-primrose ; falls, red- brown, reticulated with white.
 "  Hugh Block. - Standards, primrose-bronze; falls, reticulated with light purple, white and brown.
 "  Icarus. - Standards, primrose-bronze; falls, purple-crimson,reticulated with white.
 "  Innocenza. - Standards, blue-lavender, tinged with primrose ; falls, decided lavender.
 "  Judith. - Standards, bronze-primrose ; falls, dark crimson-purple, reticulated with white.
 "  Julius Cæsar. - Standards, yellow-bronze ; falls, rich velvety crimson.
 "  Lady Jane. - Standards, brown-bronze ; falls, crimson-bronze.
 "  Lady Seymour. - Standards, lavender; falls, white and purple mottled.
 "  Lady Stanhope. - Standards, bronze -primrose ; falls, rich velvety crimson, narrowly margined with yellow and reticulated with white.
 "  La Prestiose. - Standards, glittering bronze ; falls, rich velvety crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  latifolia. - Standards, primrose-bronze ; falls, purple, mottled with white.
 "  lavendulacea. - Standards, lavender, tinged with primrose ; falls, decided lavender.
 "  La Vesuve. - Standards, blue, mottled with bronze ; falls, rich purple. crimson.
 "  Lord Grey. - Standards, coppery rose; falls, deeper coppery rose.
 "  Monsieur Cherion. - Standards, sulphur-bronze ; falls, crimson-velvet, mottled with white.
 "  Monsieur Fries. - Standards, primrose-bronze; falls, light purple.
 "  Mozart. - Standards, brown-bronze ; falls, purple-bronze and white mottled
 "  Mrs. Meston. - Standards, bronze-purple ; falls, rich purple.
 "  Pancratius. - Standards, primrose-bronze ; falls, pale purple.
 "  Phydias. - Standards, brown-bronze ; falls, rich deep crimson.
 "  Racine. - Standards, light bronze-purple ; falls, rich purple.
 "  Rebecca. - Standards, primrose-bronze ; falls, intense crimson.
 "  Rigolette. - Standards, bronze-yellow; falls, crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Solomon. - Standards, brown-bronze ; falls, rich crimson, heavily reticulated.
 "  Van Geertii. - Standards, purple. bronze ; fall, rich crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  venusta.- Standards, bronze-primrose ; falls, rich crimson, reticulated with white.
  "  Valneriana. - Standards, bronze-purple ; falls, purple, upper part reticulated white and bronze.
 "  Walter Scott. - Standards, bronze-yellow ; falls, rich brown-crimson.

I. variegata(Bot. Mag.). - Standards, rich yellow ; falls, rich crimson-brown.

 "  Abon Hassan. - Standards, fine clear rich yellow ; falls, yellow, mottled with crimson -brown.
 "  Adonis. - Standards, chrome - yellow ; falls, crimson-brown reticulated with white.
 "  Alcibiades. - Standards, yellow ; falls, velvety crimson.
 "  angustissimus. - Standards, rich golden yellow ; falls, velvety crimson-brown.
 "  Bergiana. - Standards, rich yellow ; fails, very rich crimson- brown.
 "  Chelles. - Standards, rich yellow ; falls, crimson-brown, heavily reticulated with white and yellow.
 "  Czarewitch. - Standards, fine chrome-yellow; falls, crimson- purple.
 "  De Bergii. - Standards, sulphur-bronze ; falls, velvety crimson, mottled with white.
 "  Dr. Bersine. -Standards, chrome-yellow ; falls, white and crimson mottled.
 "  Honourable. - Standards, deep yellow; falls, crimson -brown, reticulated with yellow.
 "  Humboldtii. - Standards, yellow ; falls, velvety crimson-brown.
 "  Louis de Cerise. - Standards, light yellow ; falls, crimson-purple, reticulated with yellow and white.
 "  major. - Standards, rich deep yellow ; fulls, crimson-brown, reticulated with white.
 "  Malvina. - Standards, yellow, tinged with bronze ; falls, brown and white, mottled.
 "  Mexicana. - Standards, fine chrome-yellow ; falls, crimson, reticulated with white.
 "  Mimico. - Standards, rich yellow ; falls, rich crimson-brown.
 "  Minnie. - Standards, orange-yellow; falls, crimson-brown, reticulated with white.
 "  multicolor. - Standards, rich deep yellow; falls, crimson-brown, mottled with yellow.
 "  Orphee. - Standards, rich yellow ; falls, white and crimson reticulated.
 "  Prince of Orange. - Standards, orange; falls, crimson-brown, mottled with white.
 "  Samson. - Standards, yellow ; falls, crimson, mottled with white.
 "  Sans Souci. - Standards, orange-yellow; falls, crimson, reticulated with yellow and white.
 "  spectabilis. - Standards, yellow ; falls, rich velvety crimson.

I. aurea (Rob. Regel). - Standards and falls, rich yellow.
I. flavescens (Sweet). - Standards, primrose ; falls, light primrose.
     "  Munite. - Standards, primrose ; falls, primrose, reticulated with lavender.
I. florentina (Reich.). - Standards, white; falls, white.
I. lurida (Reich.). - Standards, bronze-purple; falls, rich purple-crimson, richly scented like elder.
I. subiflora (Bot. Mag.). - Standards and falls, very rich deep purple.
I. sambucina (Bot. Mag.). - Standards, lilac-bronze; falls, rich purple-crimson, richly-scented elder.
      " major. - Differing from the above in height.


History huh, can not be beat it when it comes to definitive descriptions of the Antiquities. 

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tall Bearded Iris PISTACHIO

Melrose Gardens, Stockton, California. The Connoisseurs Catalog, 1978.
PISTACHIO (Ghio '74) Like the meat of the nut, this flower is a greenish amber, but there is a light blue flash on the falls quite unlike the nut.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July 1974, Number 214.

California Comments, Keith Keppel, You'll Wonder where the Yellow Went.
.......when you read this, for notes were made on very few. For some reason, this just didn't seem to be a year for spectacular yellows!

PISTACHIO (Ghio '74)-36: 2. On the single stalk we bloomed from a one year plant, the branching was just a bit on the high side. However, the yummy colored flowers of tannish-green-yellow made up for it. Nicely ruffled and well formed, although as the flower ages, the falls do seem to keep growing in length.

AIS Checklist 1979
PISTACHIO   Joseph Ghio, Reg. 1973. Sdlg. 69-115K. TB 36" (91 cm) E-L   Medium green self with slight yellow infusion; light green beard. Glenwood sib X ((Denver Mint x Oasis) x (Willow Wisp x Swami sib))., Bay View Gardens 1974. HM1975.

This iris is Green right?? NO!......... it is nothing like green its maybe chartreuse yellow, citron yellow, chalcedony yellow, or light viridine yellow but green??................ Nah. Anyway what is it with people that want an a green iris, why would anyone want a bearded iris to look like bok choy that’s been creatively abused.     ...................... Enough said!

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

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Friday, June 27, 2014


May 28th, 1921.


W. R. Dykes

IT is never easy to prophesy correctly, even if successful prophecy is little more than intelligent anticipation. The following notes, therefore, are intended less as an indication of the future than as possible suggestions.

Among the early bulbous Irises there seems little hope of new developments, unless we can hold in check the fungous disease which plays such havoc among the bulbs. If we could overcome and eradicate this, there would be no end to the delightful series of beautiful hybrids which might be raised by crossing the richly coloured, velvety-petalled I. Bakeriana with the other species. The yellow I. Danfordiae might also be used to give us entirely new forms.

The Juno species seem to suffer from an undeserved neglect, for there are few finer garden sights in April than a large mass of the glistening, sturdy foliage of I. bucharica, closely set with the large white and yellow flowers; while the endless variety of colouring to be found among seedlings of the gorgeous I. Rosenbachiana well repays the patience which is needed during the three or four years that the bulbs require to grow from seed to flowering size. The later bulbous Irises, comprising I. Xiphium, the Spanish Iris and the kindred species, seem to have fallen under a cloud, from which they will hardly emerge until some remedy is found for eel-worm in the soil, for this pest appears to be as fatal to Spanish Irises as it is to the Narcissus. If this can be overcome, the multiplication of the florists' varieties, both of the Spanish and of the Dutch Iris, will go on; but we cannot expect much from their combination with any of the allied wild species, though these are distinct enough in themselves. They do not seem to combine well either with one another or with I. Xiphium. Thus I. filitolia, when hybridised, loses its magnificent red- purple colour ; I. Boissieri has the long hairs of its beard shorn down to half their length; while the clear golden yellow of I. juncea becomes dull and streaky.

Of Oncoyclus and Regelia Irises I am distinctly more hopeful than there seemed any justification for being a few years ago. Experience seems to show that these must all be dug up annually about the middle of July. The rhizomes may then be left lying out on the ground for a few days, provided that the sun is not too incessantly brilliant and scorching. They should then be trimmed of their leaves and be stored away, preferably in perfectly dry sand, in a well-ventilated, dry place, until the first week in October. The rhizomes and the roots should, with this treatment, remain firm and be ready to start into root growth as soon as they are replanted in rich, well- drained soil. At one time it used to be thought that the soil must first be beaten and trodden down until it was almost as hard as a rock, but this seems unnecessary, in view of the way in which these Irises flourish in the loose sand of Haarlem and in the drier, but equally light, Surrey sands.

To my mind, the fault of the Regelia-cyclus hybrids that are already in commerce is that they are nearly all of them mere colour variations of the same type of flower. When we remember, however, how utterly different I.paradoxa is from I. susiana and from I. iberica, and how each of these latter differ from the aptly named I. acutiloba and from the rounded, self-coloured flowers of the purple I. Mariae and its yellow counterpart, I. urmiensis, I cannot help feeling that crosses with these species might give us new types. Evidence to confirm this exists in the pleasing results that have resulted from crossing I. acutiloba and I. Sari with I. Korolkowi. The former gives very floriferous hybrids with the extended falls of acutiloba and the prominent veining of Korolkowi, while the latter retains the shape of I. Sari and something of the colouring that won for that species the name of the Wolf Iris, I. lupina.
No hybrids have yet appeared of I. Hoogiana, the last discovered and most astonishing member of the Regelia section. Its unveined, self-coloured flowers of pale or dark blue- purple are so beautiful that it seems almost sacrilege to attempt to hybridise into them the veinings and dottings of the other Regelia and Oncocyclus species, with which there would probably be no difficulty in making crosses.
Nothing has, so far, been said about the great class of Pogoniris or bearded Irises, which to so many comprises practically all the Irises that they know. Here the tendency is to aim at increased stature and a more widely branching habit in the inflorescence, qualities which are obtained by using as parents I. trojana and other giant species, such as I. mesopotamica and I. cypriana, which have now become more widely distributed. Whether we should aim at self-colours or at variegation in the flowers is a matter of personal taste and it is devoutly to be hoped that no self- constituted body of florists will attempt to lay down strict canons on this or on similar points and then try to ensure that all our Irises should conform to these canons.
For garden ornament it is hard to find anything more decorative than self-coloured pallidas, which can be obtained in a long series of shades from a deep blue-purple to a pale pink. If pallidas are, as a whole, later than the so-called I. germanica, it is easy to obtain an early race by crossing I. pallida with I. Albertii, from Turkestan. The characteristic veining on the falls, which ends so abruptly and which is typical of the species, is not sufficiently prominent, except at close quarters, to spoil the effect of self-coloured flowers. At the other end of the season something might be done towards prolonging it by using the late-flowering Black Prince. Seedlings of this tend to retain the late-flowering habit, and, as there is a large dose of I. variegata blood in Black Prince, forms with yellow standards are sure to appear among them. It remains for the hybridiser to get rid of the stunted stem, the crowded inflorescence, and the ugly form of the flowers, with their erect, widely separated standards.

Among the Evansias something good might come from the crossing of I. Wattii, which does so well when planted out in a cool house. It ought to cross with I. japonica and possibly also with I. tectorum and I. Milesii, if these two could be forced into flower early enough. I. tectorum and I. Milesii seem themselves to be so closely related that it is surprising that all attempts to cross-fertilise them have hitherto ended in failure, though a combination of the large flowers of I. tectorum with the tall stem and sturdy foliage of I. Milesii ought to make a most effective garden plant.

Among the Apogons or beardless species there is still scope for much work in hybridisation. The members of the various groups of obviously closely related species hybridise fairly readily with one another, and it is also possible to cross members of different groups with one another. For instance, the Californian I. tenax will cross with the Chinese I. Wilsonii, and the hybrid bears curiously speckled, dull purplish flowers with a yellow ground. I. Douglasiana crossed with the Himalayan I. Clarkei gives a mottled, pinkish flower of no great merit, but, when crossed with the Chinese I. chrysographes, gives a beautiful flower of a crushed strawberry colour, with gold veining on the falls.
Those who will take the trouble to raise seedlings should turn their attention to the group of Californian species, of which it seems true in many cases that no two individual plants produce flowers of the same shade of colour. The variety to be found among seedlings of I. Douglasiana, I. tenax, and I. macrosiphon is endless, and, as the plants flower in two years from seed, no one need hesitate to embark upon their cultivation. The seeds should be sown in pots or pans, and the young plants are best grown on quickly under glass, so that they are large enough to be planted out in the open in their permanent positions in May if possible, or, at any rate, before midsummer. They should then grow rapidly and develop before the autumn into plants of sufficient strength to pass safely through the winter.

The Sibirica group has lately been extended by the new introductions from China, and all its members seem to hybridise readily with one another. Much may be done with the older and well-known species, I. sibirica and I. orientalis, for the large flowers and brilliant colouring of the latter can be readily combined with the tall stature and floriferous habit of the former, while 'the crossing of the white with the blue forms of either species will give seedlings a nearer approach to a true sky-blue than is found in any other Iris. The yellow Chinese I. Wilsonii will give a yellow ground to I. sibirica and to I. Delavayi, and the combination is particularly pleasing in the latter case.

Two of our native species, I. Pseudacorus and I. foetidissima, do not seem to lend themselves at all readily to hybridisation with others. I. Pseudacorus seems to reproduce itself with whatever pollen the flowers are fertilised, and nothing ,seems able to fertilise I. foetidissima except its own pollen. It is true that there exists a plant which appears to be a hybrid between I. Pseudacorus and its closest ally, namely, the American I. versicolor, but no record exists of the origin of the hybrid. Its sterility is some indication of its hybrid origin and its intermediate position between the two above-named species suggests that they were its parents.

Hybridisation is a fascinating pursuit, and enough has already perhaps been said to show that much remains still to be done among Irises, especially when we remember that crosses that have often been tried in vain may at length prove successful.

W. R. Dykes.

The above article has also been published in the book 'Dykes on Irises' compiled and edited by George Dillistone, a reprint of the contributions of the late W. R. Dykes to various journals and periodicals during the last twenty years of his life.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris, LIANNE

 A New Zealand Bred standard dwarf  iris from the '70's. Standards and falls are are a clean lime-wash apricot colouring with darker apricot brown veins around the beard which spill towards the falls . Great increase, and good health. If you can find it , buy it!! Lucy Delany contributed hugely to New Zealand's Iris breeding History registering 20 irises mainly dwarfs and median irises, and her amazing navy blue coloured siberian iris 'Moon Moth' is an absolute stand-out!.

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1974, Modern Trends in Dwarfs,page 93, Barbara B. Whitehouse.
The "ray" pattern is similar to the halo pattern but consists of longer veined like streaks of darker or contrasting colours spreading out over the falls around the beard and covering a larger area than does the halo, which is seldom no more than ¾ to ⅜ inch in length. Several very nice irises show this pattern..............................'Lianne' (Lucy Delany '73) light, gold-apricot with brown ray pattern.

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1983,Dwarf bearded Iris from New Zealand, page 97, C.E. C. Bartlett.
In the summer of 1981 I received ten rhizomes of some dwarf bearded irises from New Zealand
Lianne (Lucy Delany '72)  Sdlg X Orange Blaze. S.D.B. A most attractive little iris at the lower end of the S.D.B.range. Standards pale apricot gold, falls same with veined halo of brown around the white tipped orange beards. A good grower and increaser and the colour is rather unusual. Its quality is confirmed by it having received 4th place in the Vienna Trails in 1979.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Checklist 2014
LIANNE (Mrs L. Delany, R. 1972).   SDB, 11" (28 cm), EML.   S. light gold-apricot blend; F. same, heavily veined brown halo; white beard tipped orange.  Sdlg X Orange Blaze.   4th International Small Iris Comp. Vienna 1979.   Richmond Iris Gardens, 1972/3.

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Monday, June 16, 2014


Winter Olympics is an iris of excellent quality, an absolute classic, and a much deserved multi award winner. A very clean healthy grower with great clump forming vigour. Plenty of blooms held on strong stems that can withstand most weather conditions. A tough but beautiful Iris with great attributes  making a great  Iris for beginners. It is also very fertile both ways and sets pods easily.  Many irisarians and home gardeners are happy to have just one white iris but you can't lump me in with that crowd. I've said it before and I'll say it again, all gardens can never have enough 'White Irises', they give a balance that is unbeatable and after all nothing clashes with white.
Photo taken in the morning mist. The tiny water droplets in the mist make the light scatter which greatly softens the background giving a painted on canvas texture look. I quite like it!

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January, 1963. Number 168.
Northwest Impressions, Joseph Gatty.
Prior to meeting Tom and Opal I had heard nothing but good reports of their white seedling out of  POET'S DREAM X ELEANOR'S PRIDE. I was not disappointed. WINTER OLYMPICS, as this seedling is now called, and ready for introduction in '63, is a white-white that lacks nothing in perfection of form, substance or branching. A good fifty-foot row of this variety displayed remarkable non-variation in number of branches per stalk, buds, and plant vigor. However, it is the flower of WINTER OLYMPICS that remains with one long after viewing it-that large but graceful white flower that has lost none of the grace that too often disappears with size; its ruffled elegance coupled with substance that indicates it was bred to withstand the elements.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July, 1963. Number 170.
Iris Trek, 1963 Robert S. Carney. Observations of Irises irises which were performing nicely in the gardens visited before the convention in Denver, 1963.
WINTER OLYMPICS (O. Brown). An outstanding new white self with matching beard. Good form and beautifully branched. Said to be a good increaser.
William T. Bledsoe, Fayetteville, Tennessee
WINTER OLYMPICS, by Opal Brown, and WHITE PRIDE, by Dr. Branch. Both are very fine white selfs, and I compared them on four separate days to try to choose between them, so I have placed them in a tie on my
personal score. WINTER OLYMPICS has classic branching, four branches and a terminal. WHITE PRIDE has three branches and the terminal, but it seems to me to be ruffled in a slightly more appealing manner. Both are terrific.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July, 1963. Number 170.
They liked these in the Tour Gardens, Roy Oliphant, Berkeley, California
WINTER OLYMPICS (Opal Brown). This lovely ruffled white with a hint of cream and green, will hold up its head (or should I say heads-for it made an outstanding clump) in any company.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July 1964, Number 174.
Reports From Region 15-Southern California. WHITES. Mrs. Archie Owen.
WINTER OLYMPICS (Opal Brown '63). Flowers large, pure white with a white beard. The standards are ruffled and the falls heavily ruffled. Stalk sturdy and well branched. A beautiful iris especially when you see three
flowers at one time on a well-branched stalk.

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon. Iris Catalog 1965. 
WINTER OLYMPICS (O. Brown, '63) Each $22.50
Domed standards and extra wide falls with elegant ruffling are features of this sensational new white Iris. It was the leader in the "Judges' Choice" in 1964 and was likewise first among those which won the HM Award of the AIS last year. Will be hard to beat!

Region 14 Northern California, Nevada, Regional Bulletin, Fall 1966.
1966-An Iris Season in Review, Joe Ghio.
Another bloom season has come and gone. Without a doubt this was the finest iris season we have ever experienced in Santa Cruz.the growth was fantastic; the height and size of the blooms was unbelievable. The weather cooperated as never before. Generally, the days were rainless,windless, and mild. The first tall beardeds opened early in April and a few blooms were still around at the end of May. If only every year could be like this one! Wow!
WHITES; this was the year of WINTER OLYMPICS (O. Brown, '63). Planted here and there throughout our gardens, this tremendous Iris never failed to put on a fantastic show. Tall, well branched with fabulously formed flowers of pure white. An Iris which has everything one could wish. How can it fail to get the Dykes when it is eligible?

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1970,"The newer American Introductions ", page 63, R.A.Wise.
Winter Olympics (O. Brown, 1963). This new white self is highly rated in America and was the Dykes medal winner in 1967. The individual flowers are heavily ruffled with domed standards and extrawide semi-flaring falls. The stems are well branched and the bud count it is very high so that there is a tendency for rather too many flowers to be out at once, thus spoiling the appearance of the spike. The plant is a strong grower in this garden and contrary to some reports does not appear to be rot prone.

Browns Sunnyhill Gardens, Milton Freewater, Oregon. 1972 Iris.
WINTER OLYMPICS (O. Brown, '63) Beautiful white self including beard. Domed standards are ruffled and firmly held.Extra wide falls are intensely ruffled and gracefully arched. Large flowers of heavy substance. Near perfect branching. Fertile both ways. A M '66, Rees Award '66, Dykes Medal '67.

AIS Checklist 1969.
WINTER OLYMPICS    (Opal Brown, R. 1961). Sdlg. 9-5A7. TB 37" E-M. WlW.    White self; white beard. Poet's Dream X Eleanor's Pride., Brown's Sunnyhill Gardens 1963. HC 1961, HM 1964, AM 1966, JC 1964, 1965, Clara Rees Cup 1966, Nelson Award 1969, Dykes Medal 1967.

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