HERITAGE IRISES

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tall Bearded Iris PRETENDER




 Pretender is Paul Cook's so called blue variegata that came to fame before his 'Progenitor' breeding programme.


Iris Culture and Hybridizing for Everyone. Wilma L Vallette, 1961.
A few diploid variegata had blue-violet or red-violet falls, such as Nibelungen, but most tetraploid variegata and have a reddish or brownish ones. The two exceptions are Decennial (Williamson ‘30) and Pretender. The latter came from two seedlings which both go back three or more times to Blue Boy [Ref 1] a chance seedling of aphylla, and Mr Cook is said to suspect that it's unusual combination of colours-yellow standards, violet falls-is due to some sort of interaction between genes from aphylla and variegata. Pretender is said to throw unusual seedlings, which though not too good, often have big splotches of people cover and the yellow standards, not all like a flecking caused by virus, which Mr Cook believes may also be due to aphylla-a belief strengthened when he learned that crossing Pretender with yellow or light blue pumilas gives violet or purple, showing any aphylla violet in it is not affected by pumilas inhibitor any more than that of dark violet aphylla itself. Decennial may also stem from aphylla, thanks to Mr Williamson's habit of using mixed pollen.

When we remember the clear bright blue in Snow Crystal and Blue Shimmer, which both stem from aphylla, and the blue beard adorning many of its descendants, it might seem worthwhile trying to combine it with variegata as well as blues. In them, the appearance of a violet or purple fall means that yellow is not beneath this "spot", which must be the case with Pretender, since even the light each around at spot is white, not yellow. Regardless of the fact that Louvois x dominant white gave 11 creams with white spots, as if spot was inhibited, the fact that with these few exceptions all variegata have red or brownish red "spots" shows that yellow is present beneath them, else the colour would be purple to violet not red. However, Pretender’s violet falls may not be entirely due to aphylla, as this tetraploid species could not possibly have been involved in the older diploids with purple falls-perhaps in them yellow failed to appear in the centre of the falls by natural segregation, the same as in variegata itself. 

Longfield Iris Farm, Bluffton, Indiana. Williamson Iris, 1952.
PRETENDER (Cook 1951). This Iris has proved to be the best of a series of seedlings Mr. Cook calls his "blue falled variegatas." The modified variegata coloring is both distinct and pleasing. Standards are soft medium yellow, without suffusion of other color; Falls are solid velvety purple with narrow margin of lighter color. Those who find the yellow and red of the usual variegata too harsh to use in the general Iris planting will like the more harmonious colors of this new bicolor. 35 inches. $12.00

Cooleys Gardens Silverton, Oregon. Iris for 1954
PRETENDER (Cook, 1951) Each $12.00
The best of a series of "blue-falled variegatas" from the originator of Amigo, Indiana Night, Pink Bountiful, Dreamcastle, Tranquil Moon and a multitude of famed varieties. Standards are soft yellow, falls solid velvety blue-purple with narrow lighter margin. Genuinely different ! 35 inches tall with large flowers. HM AIS, 1952.


Page 55, Schreiners 1957 Iris Lovers Catalog.
Courtesy Schreiners


Schreiner's, Route 2, Salem, Oregon. Iris Lovers Catalogue, 1957.
We are delighted with a most accurate reproduction on page 55. Marked boldly with two distinct color hues, yellow and violet, this iris is a standout for original coloring. H.M '52 A.M. '55 .....................................$7.00

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1953, Number 131.
Region 9 Varietal Report, Hurbert Fischer, R.V.P. III.
Notes taken during the 1953 Iris Season.
Pretender-an iris that is different with soft yellow standards and blue purple falls.

Varietal Comments from Region II
Mrs. Glen Suiter, Caldwell, Idaho
Pretender-A splendid, very different variety. Blue purple falls and yellow standards. Performing like a veteran on a first year plant. A stunner and no mistake.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1954, Number 135.
Region 9,Notes and Varietal Comment - Joplin Area
MRS. JAMES A. SAPP, Mo.
Pretender-A new race of variegatas-yellow standards and blue falls good.

Report and Varietal comments from Region 3.
Comments from J. Donavan Bolger, Morristown, Pa.
Amoena and Near Amoenas
Pretender - Pale yellow standards and deep blue falls edged yellow. Not too crazy about it.

Varietal report Hurbert Fischer, R.V.P. III.
Pretender (Cook) - Unusual and startling with soft yellow standards and velvety purple falls.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1955, Number 139.
Region Two, New York.
Mrs. W. B. Melnick.
In my own garden, Pretender stole the show, the first and last to bloom. It has medium sized flowers and tall stalks with good placement. There is lovely contrast between the bright yellow standards and I would almost say "purple" falls, though catalogs describe them as "blue".




AIS Checklist 1959
PRETENDER    (P. Cook, R. 1951). Sdlg. 7746. TB 35" M. Y4.    Yellow amber and prune-purple bicolor. Cook 1339 X Cook 5042., Longfield 1951. HM 1952; AM 1955.

[Ref 1] Blue Boy an Intermediate iris registered to Sir Michael Foster 1913.



As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Major Hat Tip and "Merci beaucoup" to Catherine Adam for her sharing with you the amazing photos of the historic Tall Bearded Iris 'Pretender'.

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 post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.




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Friday, March 25, 2016

ADVANCE NOTICE 'BLISS IRISES' THE BOOK



BLISS IRISES
FAMILY AND FLOWERS;
THE JOURNEY TO A NATIONAL COLLECTION


Anne Milner
Watercolours by Fern Harden


Anne Milner presents her family history intertwined with the history of Bliss s irises, which are now part of the Plant
Heritage family of National Collections of plants worth preserving.

The collection was featured in the second series of The Great British Garden Revival
on BBC2 in January 2015.

Bliss Irises combines family history and gardening in a unique and very personal journey. Initially triggered by interest in her great, great grandfather who built the Bliss Tweed Mill in Chipping Norton, Anne Milner discovered Arthur J. Bliss, a cousin of a grandfather, and his work with early 20th century irises. Having travelled to New Zealand and South Africa, Arthur had many adventures before becoming famous in the horticultural world for breeding and introducing Dominion , an iris that took the world by storm when it was first introduced in 1917. It has since gone on  to be found in the pedigree of hundreds of modern irises.
With stunning photographs, watercolours and line drawings throughout, the second part of Bliss Irises focuses on the flowers themselves and details the range of irises registered by Anne Milner s ancestor Arthur Bliss.

Bliss Irises will appeal to readers with an interest in irises, historic plants and family history, as well as those with a more general interest in gardening and horticulture.
ANNE MILNER learned her love of plants while helping her father in his garden as a child. She started researching her family history in the early 1980s and discovered her Uncle Arthur and his irises. She has no formal gardening training but has been enjoying gardening for over 40 years. 

TO BE PUBLISHED 28th August 2016
£14.99
ISBN 9781785892981
Distributor: Troubador Publishing Ltd, 9 Priory Business Park, Wistow, Kibworth, Leics LE8 0RX
BIC subject category : WMP Gardening: plants
Paperback 234x156 mm 256pp Portrait.


ADVANCE INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT ALICE GRAHAM
Tel: 0116 279 2299 Email: marketing@troubador.co.uk
TROUBADOR PUBLISHING LTD. 9 PRIORY BUSSINESS PARK, KIBWORTH, LEICESTER LE8 ORX

It is hoped that the book will be ready for sale at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in early July, where Bliss Irises will be sharing a stand (PH309) with Sarah Cook and her Sir Cedric Morris Irises. Please make sure you visit the Bliss Irises Web Site http://www.blissiris.co.uk

Reproduction in whole or in part of this image without the expressed written permission of Anne Milner is strictly prohibited. Book Image credit and copyright Anne Milner © .

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. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.



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Monday, March 14, 2016

Tall Bearded Historic Iris DEMI-DEUIL




    
 Demi-Deuil bred by Fernand Denis was eventually in 1931 placed on the American Iris Society 'Black List' one of the most crazy surveys in the Iris world, and in my opinion it was the iris equivalent of 'Burning Books'. It was a decade of 'Iris Shaming'.
William Caparne was so concerned with the American Iris Society encouraging the discarding of older Iris varieties for the best new varieties that started in "The Flower Grower" in 1919-1920. In his article 'On Discarding Irises' I think he summed up his concerns well in the following paragraph.
 There are various ways of looking at flowers, as at most things; 1st, by themselves; 2nd, in company with others; ,3rd, en mass; and each of these ways demands separate methods of mind. In the mass we can and do arrange colours to agree and to tell with effect. In a group, small or large, we had better do so, but the individual is at home to us and has all its points and characters available to be read, delighted in and conversed about. It is indeed very beautiful, but it by no means follows that these beauties either shine or are even exhibited in company. And, if you want them to, you must make special arrangements as you would for a concert performer; don't put him or her into a crowd with several other pianos going, and then discard him as over-rated, not up to the mark, etc. I think it is distinctly part of the business of the Iris Society to help people to see more beauty in things beautiful and in this connection it is well to remember the old saw that "the better is ever the enemy of the good and the best can kill both".

  Demi-Deuil is a iris of distinct character, is a strong grower and is still admired by growers with taste. Should it have been registered today there is a strong possibly it would be classified a Table Iris

Cayeux et Le Clerc, Quai de la Mégisserie, 8, Paris.
Demi-Deuil (Denis 1912).
Coloris distinct à fond blanc tigré et zébré violet pensée.

Lee R. Bonnewitz,Van Wert, Ohio, Peonies and Irises,1926.
DEMI-DEUIL (Denis)
We are told this French name means 'half-mourning' so you must not expect this Iris to contain bright colors. S. pansy-violet shaded copper; F. red-violet with white markings; yellow beard stippled brown.Two rhizomes at 45c each, five or more rhizomes at  40c each.

Carl Salbach Irises,Creston Road Berkeley, California,1926.
Demi-deuil (Denis). A very odd dark plicata. White ground almost covered with dull purple veins and dots. 50c.



U.S. Department of Agriculture The Farmers Bulletin
 Issued January 1926. Garden Irises.


Lee R. Bonnewitz,Van Wert, Ohio, Peonies and Irises,1928.
DEMI-DEUIL (Denis)
This Iris originated in France, has pansy-violet, red-violet and copper tones, and it's name when translated in English is "Half Mourning." It is valuable as a novelty only............$0.38

The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California. Choice Iris, Price List for 1921-1922.
The Largest Collection West of the Rocky Mountains and one of the Largest in the United States.
Introductions of English and French Origin.
Demi-deuil (Denis). S. amber yellow, heavily veined and dotted deep livid purple; F. white, veined and dotted dark dull purple. A dark Plicata of unusual color. Each, $1.00.

Bearded Iris Tried at Wisley 1925-1927, Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Class VI a (1)
Varieties with standards of shot shades, pale blue or lavender, the yellow being scarcely perceptible .
Planted in the General Collection
DEMI-DEUIL 26 inches. June.
 





AIS Checklist 1929.
DEMI-DEUIL TB-S8D (Denis 1912) Maron 1919; Denis 1920; Earl Woodward Sheets,1928; Class VI a (1) Journal Royal Horticultural Society, Trials January 1928; Commended, Royal Horticultural Society 14th June 1916; Journal Royal Horticultural Society,42; Parts 2 & 3,Trials.




As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Major Hat Tip and "Merci beaucoup" to Catherine Adam for her direction and help with the French language catalogue listing, and sharing with you the amazing photos of the historic Tall Bearded Iris 'Demi-Deuil'.

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 post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.




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Saturday, January 30, 2016

THE EVOLUTION of the BEARDED IRIS Arthur J. Bliss


THE GARDEN
November 5th, 1921.




THE EVOLUTION of the BEARDED IRIS

The very considerable developments, during recent years, in the characteristics of this 
fascinating flower are but the harbingers of even more extensive developments in the not distant future.


IMPROVEMENT in our principal garden flowers is always going on. At times it may be slow or even seem to cease, then, perhaps, a new species may be introduced, or it may be simply that a freer imagination is applied to the task, and once more the flower sets forth on its onward course towards that ideal of perfection which will always be just beyond. When a flower is in its most active period of development one is tempted to try to forecast its future. Not too far ahead, for that can be little better than random guessing. But for the immediate future we can have every confidence, and even certainty within limits, in the light of the knowledge that Mendel's laws have given us, and especially if we have records of the ancestry of our present varieties. In fact, breeding will some day become an exact science, and when all the characters of a flower have been analysed and their factors and their interrelationship determined (as Miss Saunders and Miss Wheldale have already done for the colours of Stocks and Snapdragons), flowers will be made to order. The Iris is now in such an active period of development. Let us roughly analyse its characters and see wherein has been the improvement that has made the Iris of to-day so greatly superior to the earlier varieties. We may then see perhaps what further possibilities there are on these lines in varying combinations, and gather suggestions of improvement in other directions that appear to have been so far neglected or overlooked.

We deal chiefly with the individual flower. For those whose ideal in the garden is masses of harmonious and contrasting colour the florist's ideals of perfection of the individual flower are no doubt scarcely understandable, but it is in the flower—its size, form, colour and substance— that the progress has been made. These are the essential characters—habit, height and freedom of flowering, though by no means negligible, are of secondary importance in displaying the flower to best advantage.

In freedom of flowering the Flag Iris of to-day is, perhaps, no better than the earlier varieties, and there are, indeed, some with the highest qualities of size, form and colour that are all too shy, but on the whole the free-flowering qualities have been at least maintained, and this is a notable achievement, since increased size and quality is so often accompanied with fewer flowers. There is, then, every indication that the Iris of the future will not only be as free flowering as those in the past but will surpass them.
The introduction of Trojana has given us generally a taller and wider branching habit, well adapted for specimen plants. The type of the older varieties, however, was often equally freely branched, but with shorter and less spreading side stems, thus holding the flowers closer, and these are more suitable for massing. The two types, as they each have their use, will be maintained side by side in the future, but the tendency is towards the wider branching habit, as it displays best the larger and finer formed flowers of the newer Irises.
The general height of Irises has also been increased, so much so that except for special positions 2ft. is a minimum, and the average is between 2ft.6in, and 3ft, The introduction of Ricardi, Junonia and Mesopotamica has produced still taller plants with noble spikes 5ft. high, but as yet the flowers are poor in form and colour, and the constitution of these varieties is so weak and uncertain that they are of no use for general cultivation at present. There is no doubt, however, that these drawbacks will be overcome in time and that the average height of Irises will be between 3ft. and 4ft.

It is in the individual flower that the greatest and most remarkable advances have been made. We must try to see what it is that constitutes this general improvement. There can be no single or exclusive ideal of beauty for any flower; but that there are some principles which, applied in various ways, will give several or many different types of beauty, each ideal in its own way, no one could doubt if they compare the best of the newer Irises with the older varieties. And I think that the main principle is symmetry or balance. A f.lower may be small or large, and its form may vary within limits, and yet it may be beautiful if perfectly proportioned. Again, in colour, the ultimate criterion of excellence seems to be richness and purity—harmony and contrast being much more elusive and indefinite.

Let us then sum up the qualities in the flower of the modern Flag Iris. Already it is, on the average, larger—much larger—than the older varieties, and so long as the symmetry and balance of the flower and its substance and colour is maintained no limit can be set, and it may be that even larger flowers will be attained. There are, however, already in existence flowers so large in comparison with the species that have helped to produce them that the work of the immediate future will be in perfecting the form of these giants and producing them in the full range of Iris colours (the pure yellow standard variegata type is still comparatively small) than in any appreciable increase of size. These include such varieties (to mention only a few) as Lent A. Wiliamson (the finest and largest American variety), Vilmorin's Magnifica and Ambassadeur, Hort's Ann Page, Yeld's Asia and Prospero. Denis' Mdlle. Schwartz, and my Titan, Cardinal and Bruno. Nevertheless, the Iris will eventually be larger even than these. In substance likewise there has been a very great advance, of which Dominion was the first and is still the most remarkable example. Many of even these largest-sized Irises have great substance and stand firm through sunshine or rain to the last. It may be noted also that this increase of substance is always combined with, and is probably partly the cause of, the richer colouring of these flowers. The only one of the old standard varieties that has anything like such substance is pallida dalmatica Princess Beatrice.

When we compare the newest with the old varieties, the most obvious improvement in the form is in the broadening of the segments. And it is the most important In this the old florists were right, but when they laid it down that the circular outline was the one and only ideal form they fell into the error of pushing things to extremes. For though it is true that a circle is the logical conclusion of the principle of broadening a surface in proportion to its length, beauty is not based on logical conclusions. The Iris, like all flowers has a distinctive form of its own with three upright standards and three either hanging or spreading falls. In the perfect flower these two sets of petals must be balanced One of the effects of the introduction of Trojana has been to give us oblong unbalanced flowers. Not even the beauty of colouring of Isoline can compensate altogether for its lack of refinement of form. This defect is now being bred out by mating Trojana hybrids with broad-petalled varieties, and in the near future we shall have perfectly proportioned flowers with all the size of Trojana and Macrantha. Such, indeed, are already in existence, and they demonstrate beyond question that size is no bar to refinement of form.


Mr. Hort's ANN PAGE and Mr Yeld's  PROSPERO
'The Garden' 1921.

The form of the standards still needs much improvement. They are always of less substance than the falls, but they should have enough to stand up stiff and not flop in hot sunshine. They should curve outwards from their base, meeting again at their tips. At present few Irises do more than approximate to this ideal, and 1 do not see any special tendency yet to an improvement in this direction. But when such flowers, having finely arching standards, are compared with those having flatter or overlapping or open or erect standards and it is realised how essential this character is to the beauty of form, its selection will be more carefully attended to in the future.

The falls are more nearly approaching perfection, in smoothness and in outline. Their disposition gives scope for varying types—the flat hanging, the rounded drooping, and the spreading or "flaring" (to use the American term). The standards with revolute edges displaying the interior of the flower is often an effective and beautiful type, especially when the style arms are of a contrasting colour, and this form strengthens the standards though it gives a narrower appearance to the flower. Even the type with open cupped standards is sometimes pleasing when it is accompanied, as it usually is, with broad-hafted spreading falls. All these types are being developed, but not, I think, with any definite selection. It is in the colouring that the greatest general advance has been already made, and yet it is also in colour that we may expect the most important developments in the near future.

The richness of the colouring of the falls of the most recent varieties and seedlings already in existence far surpasses anything seen in all but a very few of the old varieties, such as Jaquesiana or Maori King, and this richness is accompanied by a velvety or satiny surface which seems very likely to be due to their extra substance. This will undoubtedly be a feature of all Irises in the future. In all the self flowers we have, now, purer and brighter colours, but there is still scope in this direction, especially in deeper coloured self-violet pallidas, and these may be expected very soon. The range of colour is also extending, and colours are now beginning to appear (as in many other florists' flowers since the adoption of Mendelian methods in breeding) of art blends, soft and delicate in the standards, contrasting harmoniously with warmer, richer tones in the falls Vilmorin's Isoline, Mount Penn, Wyomissing and others of Mr. Farr's seedlings, M. Denis' Troost and Deuil de Valery Mayet, and, in deeper tones, Vilmorin's Opera are examples, and are being added to and surpassed.

Among other new colour developments may be mentioned Miss Sturtevant's Shekinah, a luminous yellow self of pallida form and habit, and Citronella with soft yellow standards and crimson veined falls, also of pallida size and form and exceptionally free flowering. From these it is only a step to a true yellow-ground plicata in fact, a slightly different but similar series of crosses such as produced these should produce it, and it may be even now in existence. Plicatas are now appearing in giant size and more perfect form, and with a wide range of margin colour and often finely spotted. Flowers with yellow standards and white falls are likely to appear someday. Crusader and Blue Bird show that we may hope for a flower at least as near blue as the Monspur or the Sibirica sanguinea hybrids, and though the crimson Iris is still far off, we may at least hope for a substantial advance towards it in the near future.

All these forecasts are, in the light of the knowledge that Mendel's laws have given us, well within sight. There are other possibilities, hints of which have been given by chance seedlings— that may perhaps be mutations—which may be realised some day but in the more distant future. I will mention but one. The seedling I have named Samite, a self-cream white, is remarkable in several characters, and I hoped to get new types from it, but all the more obvious crosses that I made were failures. 
One chance cross, however, most unexpectedly produced a series of seedlings, all of which were more or less of the Tigridia type, with small weak open standards and very broad falls spreading almost horizontally, and some with abnormally broad hafts that, together, almost formed a cup, as in Tigridia. Furthermore, the hafts are covered with comparatively large and defined spots. The resemblance to a Tigridia is certainly far away, especially in colour, but it is suggestive. And it is from such suggestions that our flowers give us that new types come rather than from our unaided imagination. At any rate, it is safe to say that for all the great improvements already, obtained the Iris is yet only at the outset of its career, and there are still infinite possibilities of its development.

A. J. BLISS.


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, August 11, 2015

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris BEYOND RICHES



'Beyond Riches' is an iris introduced by Alison Nicoll, Richmond Iris Gardens, New Zealand, and certainly has inherited the genes from the pod parent George Shoop's 'Prince George', with an extra large dollop of added zest and wow!!
 Standards are a lilac white with a distinctive gold edge, hafts are veined leading to a solid magenta purple with a mandarin orange coloured beard. Large slightly fragrant blooms on well branched stems, that carry a upmarket sophisticated bling look with a dash of Parnell. 
A very nice iris with good plant health, a sister seedling to the New Zealand Dykes medal winner, 'Atavas'.

Richmond Iris Gardens, 376 Hill St., Richmond
, Nelson, New Zealand
Specialist Growers and Hybridisers of Beautiful Bearded Irises Catalogue, Issue 62, 2012-13.
BEYOND RICHES: [A. Nicoll ’07] Standards, pale lilac blue with fine gold edge. Falls, Purple blend on magenta, white area around tangerine beards.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2015
BEYOND RICHES    (Alison Nicoll, R. 2007) Sdlg. A00T2-1. TB, 30" (76 cm), ML    S. light pale lilac-blue, fine gold edging; style arms lilac blue, darker lilac center, gold tips; F. rich magenta and purple blend, white area around beard, fine gold edging, gold and violet veins; beards tangerine; lightly frilled, ruffled; slight sweet fragrance. Prince George X Outrageous Fortune. Richmond 2007/08.


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, July 20, 2015

William Rickatson Dykes,THE BEARDED IRISES.



       THE GARDEN.
September 15, 1923

THE BEARDED IRISES
W. R. DYKES, M.A., L.-ès-L.


SOME weeks ago there appeared in these columns an article on Bearded Iris species, which summed up what was known of them about thirty years ago, at the time when Baker compiled his Handbook of the Irideæ The so-called species were described in the order in which they appeared in Baker's book, and in many cases the wording of the descriptions was identical.
Since 1892, however, much research work has been carried out, and our knowledge of the wild species of Iris and of natural and garden hybrids between them has grown very considerably. This growth has been made possible by the examination of the very numerous dried specimens of wild plants which are preserved in the various herbarium collections and by the cultivation of living plants from known localities. Thus we now know the difference between I. pumila and I. Chamæiris. The former has practically no stem and a long perianth tube between the ovary and the flower, while the latter has a stem which is at any rate always longer than the tube.

Colour alone is no guide to specific difference, and both these species may have either yellow or purple flowers. The curious thing is that in some localities there is apparently very little colour variation, while in others every plant seems to be different.
Thus I. Chamaeiris on Mount Coudon behind Toulon is all yellow or yellow flushed with brown, while at Roque-haute on the coast of Herault there is every variation. I. pumila in the Deliblat in Hungary is always purple, while on the Geissberg outside Vienna and on the Dalmatian coast near Zara and Sebenico there is infinite variety.

Many of the plants sold as pumila are in reality Chamæiris, but no one who has once seen the ripe seed-pods of I. pumila will ever again confuse the two species. The capsules are literally on the ground, broad at the base and tapering to a conical point to which is still attached the long, withered perianth tube and the remains of the flower. The ripe capsule splits open, not from the apex, as in I. Chamæiris, but below the apex, as in I. arenaria and in the species of the Regelia group.

I. Chamæiris is found only in South-Eastern France and in Northern Italy I. pumila in Austria and Hungary, Croatia, Greece and Southern Russia.

In Sicily there is a rather delicate species like a large I. Chamæiris, but with the long tube of I. pumila. It looks not unlike a natural hybrid between the two species, but it can hardly be so, because artificial hybrids between them are quite sterile and differ in some slight but well marked details. 
For some unknown reason Balkan Irises have sharply keeled spathes — the green or membranous sheaths in which the buds are contained. There are, in fact, quite a number of Balkan species with keeled spathes, which have counterparts in Western or Central Europe, in which the spathes are either shapeless or merely rounded. Thus I. spuria and I. graminea correspond to I. Sintenisii and I. Urumovii. In the same way the Balkan I. mellita and I. Reichenbachii correspond to I.pumila and I. Chamaeiris. Of both there are yellow and purple forms, which have been described as distinct species. Thus serbica and bosniaca are merely yellow forms of I. Reichenbachii, while balkana and Athoa are purple. I. mellita is dwarf like pumila, but has sharply keeled spathes and is the species of which one variety from Skutari, opposite Constantinople, is in cultivation under the name of rubromarginata. I. Reichenbachii has a stem from 3ins. to 9ins. in height and a comparatively short tube. I. mellita has a long tube and is nearly always stemless.






These four species, pumila and Chamæiris in the west and mellita and Reichenbachii in the Balkans, are never more than a foot in height, and the only other species which are certainly natives of Central Europe seem to be I. aphylla, I. variegata and I. pallida, of all of which there are many local varieties. All those who have grown them know how readily and persistently they all set seeds, while it is comparatively rare to see a pod on any so-called germanica, lurida, flavescens or sambucina, and rarer still to find more than one or two seeds in them.
I. aphylla, as its name implies, loses its leaves entirely in autumn ; so, too, do I. variegata and I. pallida to a very large extent. This is only what we should expect of plants which are natives of countries like Central Europe with a rigorous winter climate.
I. aphylla has a host of synonyms, such as biflora, bisflorens, bohemica, hungarica, furcata, etc., some alluding to its habit of flowering a second time in the early autumn, some to the branching habit of the stem, which forks characteristically below the centre, and others to the various localities in which it is found. It is characteristic, also, of I. aphylla to have spathes of thin membranous texture either wholly green or more or less flushed with purple. The colour of the flowers is usually a deep purple, though both yellow and almost white forms are not unknown.
I. variegata comes from Hungary, Croatia and the Balkans, and is the source of the yellow colour in our garden Bearded Irises. In the wild plant the standards are yellow and the falls more or less closely veined with some shade of brownish purple on a yellow or creamy ground. The spathes are green and remain persistently so, even when the flowers are fully developed.
In I. pallida, on the other hand, they are always wholly scarious or papery, even long before the buds emerge from them. It is interesting to remember that all such plants as sambucina, squalens, lurida and even germanica have spathes which are scarious in the upper part and green or herbaceous in the lower part, an indication that they are hybrids which owe their origin to a cross between a species with herbaceous spathes and a species with scarious spathes.
Another fact, which appears only to have come to light in the last ten or fifteen years, is that in the only two localities where I. variegata and I. pallida are both known to grow wild, namely, near Bozen in the Tyrol and on the Velebit Mountains above Carlopago on the Croatian coast, natural hybrids also occur identical with those to which such names as squalens and sambucina have been given. In such hybrids it is easy to see the struggle for mastery of the purple of pallida and the yellow of variegata. Moreover, it is quite easy to raise these hybrids in our gardens by crossing the two species.
I. germanica is frankly a puzzle. All we know for certain is that it has never been found undoubtedly wild anywhere. Moreover, it is extremely reluctant to set seed under any conditions, and it has a habit of making its new growth in the autumn, which would mean that its foliage would suffer in a continental winter and the plants remain flowerless, as they not uncommonly do even in this country in a season of late frosts and in exposed situations.
Again, there is not one germanica but several. The common form in this country is bluer than those we find in Southern France. The variety Kharput was sent to Foster from the town of that name in Northern Asia Minor and is naturalised near Srinagar in Kashmir, while atropurpurea grows in masses at Beaucaire, opposite Tarascon on the Rhone, and at many other places in the South. Moreover, it was found growing abundantly at Khatmandu in Nepal a hundred years ago! Three years ago I found an Iris growing high up on the rocks between the two arms of Lake Como, in a position where I felt sure it must be wild and not an escape from cultivation. When the plants, which I brought home, flowered they proved to be Kochii, but, unfortunately, they will not set seed, as we should expect them to do if Kochii were a wild species. No form of germanica has been known to reproduce itself from seed. The few seedlings that have been raised are all dwarf plants, resembling I. aphylla more than any other species.
Another puzzle about germanica is that each purple form seems to have a corresponding albino form. The so-called germanica alba is one, another even whiter was found growing by the roadside in Istria, while the well known florentina is another. This is the albino of a slender form of germanica which is used along with pallida in the manufacture of orris root near Florence. Streaks or patches of purple not infrequently occur in flowers of florentina and also in the other albino forms of germanica.
Florentina has nothing whatever to do with I. albicans, which is the albino of the Arabian I. Madonna. I. albicans and I. Madonna can easily be picked out of a collection in winter by their curiously twisted leaves and by the fact that the tips are always browned by the frost. Albicans has been transported all over the world as an ornament for Mohammedan graveyards, while Madonna was only discovered in, and introduced from, South-Eastern Arabia less than twenty years ago.
I. pallida has many local forms. Near Bozen it is a sturdy plant 3ft. high with a stiff stem and very glaucous leaves. In Dalmatia it is much more slender, with either green or glaucous leaves and flowers of every conceivable shade of purple, using that unsatisfactory word in its very widest sense. Ciengialti and Loppio are only two forms among a vast number to be found on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, and the so-called pallida dalmatica is almost certainly of hybrid garden origin and not a native of Dalmatia. It is much nearer to the Bozen form than to anything that grows in Dalmatia. Moreover, it very rarely sets seed and, when it does, gives a long series of variations.
Another old garden plant, flavescens, is similarly almost certainly of hybrid origin. It seldom sets seed and is quite distinct from I. imbricata, with which it has been confused. The latter is a plant from the south-western shores of the Caspian, and was once grown at Kew under the name of obtusifolia. The flowers are of a curious greenish yellow, sometimes streaked with purple, and the spathes are very large, green and inflated. In cultivation a purple-flowered form of it has appeared. Neither flavescens nor imbricata are found growing wild in the Balkans.
I. kashmiriana is a difficult plant to flower in this country. It wants a thorough roasting in summer, and has a purple counterpart, which seldom finds its way beyond the borders of Kashmir. The white form is used for decorative purposes by the natives, as is also albicans, and the purple form is as neglected as I. Madonna.
The so-called plicata can hardly be a wild species. It does not come true from seed, and it is not known to occur in the wild state anywhere. It seems rather to be a seedling or hybrid of I. pallida and is, in fact, a pallida in which there is some factor which prevents the purple colour from spreading all over the segments of the flower. The colour is confined to the veins and usually to the extremities of the veins near the circumference of the petals.
In Asia Minor and in the hill country to the north of Mesopotamia there are undoubtedly several little-known or unknown species of Bearded Iris. Specimens have occasionally been in cultivation, but never apparently for very long, nor has anyone tested their validity as species by raising them from seed. Moreover, the specimens seem always to have come from inhabited areas and not from regions in which it was obvious that they were wild plants. Probably, now that we are once more at peace with Turkey, it will be possible to obtain further specimens and to decide how many species there are.
At present the claims of I. trojana to specific rank seem undeniable. It has a tall branching stem, long, narrow pointed buds and comparatively narrow foliage. It is supposed to have reached the Vienna Botanic Garden from the neighbourhood of Troy, but it is obvious that a plant from such a locality might not necessarily have been a native of it if, as now seems probable, Irises were in cultivation as garden plants when Minos reigned at Cnossus in Crete about 1600 B.C. However, I. trojana seeds readily and reproduces itself with those slight variations in the tone of colour in the flower which we expect to find when raising a species from seed. It is probably to I. trojana that we owe the tall, branching habit of many of the newer hybrids. W.R.D.



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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Historic Tall Bearded Iris CLEMATIS and the British controversy.






THE GARDEN
June 4th 1921

NOTES OF THE WEEK

A New Iris to which we take exception. — The Bearded Irises of June have an old-world charm, and so long as this is preserved we have no fault to find with the hybridists, but there is a tendency on the part of some hybridists to develop the size of the flowers at the expense of grace and form.
There is one new variety to which we take exception — it is named 'Clematis' — in which the standards of the flower open out like the falls or lower petals. The flowers appear like those of a large six-petal Clematis. All six segments of the flower reflex horizontally. But why turn half a flower inside out ? And why produce a beard on petals on which there should be no beard ?Does not the Iris owe much of its charm to its beautiful curves and natural outline of its flowers ?


THE GARDEN
June 18th 1921

NOTES OF THE WEEK


A Champion for Iris Clematis. — A recent note has provoked a vigorous champion to defend Iris Clematis and the hybridist. We hope others will enter the lists, and that they will not all be on one side! It is very remote from our wish to belittle the labours of the patient and painstaking workers to whom garden-lovers owe heavy debts ; but it must be conceded that they do not always realise their own ambitions, any more than they invariably please the taste of all and sundry even when they produce what is evidently satisfactory to themselves But where taste is concerned who shall be the final judge ?
Anyhow we think an interesting discussion should follow our correspondent' s valiant defence of the criticised Iris.



THE GARDEN
June 18th 1921

IRIS CLEMATIS: THE TENDENCY OF HYBRIDISATION


THE exception taken to the above Iris in The Garden of June 4 is at once interesting and illogical. Interesting because it opens up the question as to where the aims of the hybridist should cease ; whether, for instance, a change of form in any particular flower is as permissible as a variation of colour. Illogical because it concludes that such change is not permissible, and argues from this conclusion, and also a purely personal objection to the form taken by this particular flower, that there is in it a lack of beauty. More illogical still is the suggestion that the hybridist is responsible for this particular variation of form. The point to which " exception " is taken appears to be that " the standards of the flower open out like the falls, or lower petals."

Does the writer really think that this detracts one iota from the beauty of the flower ? If so, he rules out of the scope of his admiration other Irises, both species and varieties, that possess the same characteristics. All the six petalled Iris Kæmpferi would be excluded. Neither Iris tectorum nor gracilipes would have a place in his garden. Surely he would not " take exception " to these, among the most admired of the whole genus.
Returning to the effect of hybridising,the development of the peculiar characteristics of Clematis was the very natural result of a very natural process. There was no intention, or effort, on the part of the hybridist to " turn half the flower inside out." The only artificial act was in conveying the pollen from one flower to another. Neither of the two parents showed the tendency developed in the offspring. Even the act of the hybridist was unnecessary. A chance seed from a bursting pod, in a garden where the science of hybridisation was unknown, might conceivably have produced the same results, and had 'Clematis' been a natural hybrid, collected in some far distant comer of the world, should we still " take exception " to its shape. If Nature chooses to make the interior of the standards more beautiful than the exterior, and then, in her wonderful economy, rather than waste her effort makes the standards reflex to show that interior, for what shall we blame her ? If there is any blame it is on Nature and not the hybridist, for she alone is responsible.

But there is a deeper and more serious suggestion in the paragraph referred to. The writer is willing to find no "fault with the hybridists," providing they preserve that indefinite, unprogressive and elusive attribute called " old world charm." If this is to be the foundation of judgement, it will eliminate from cultivation 99 per cent, of all the Irises, Sweet Peas, Dahlias, Roses, Carnations, Carrots, Potatoes, Cauliflowers and every other product of the modern garden. Chelsea Shows would be no more, and that bright little periodical 'The Garden' would either become a botanical catalogue of known species, or die from lack of material to fill its columns. Horticulture might survive for a time by collecting and distributing the weeds of the world, and the garden would become a very dull place, for if the "charm" is " old world " enough it would resolve the modern garden into a collection of species.
 




Please do not misunderstand me. There is something absorbingly interesting in a collection of species, whether of Irises, Roses or anything else, but who would care to go back to a garden of types ? Some months ago I remember the " Notes of the Week " in The Garden opened with a quotation from the pen of Mr. Eden Phillpotts : "Man has availed himself of the great laws of evolution in mightier matters than the Iris : but in no theatre of his unsleeping efforts has he created purer beauty, or wakened for the flower lovers, truer joy than among the bearded Irises of June."

The bearded Irises of to-day are just as much departures from the original species, in one way or another, as 'Clematis' is from its first parents.
Is not the whole scientific effort of the day directed towards developing the best and eradicating.the worst characteristics in every genus? 
It is not a question of developing " size of the  flowers at the expense of grace and form." Man cannot of himself breed a new form. Nature may do so by taking a hand in his efforts, but even she is bound by her own laws. She only reproduces unequally the good or bad attributes from remote or near ancestors. 
No one knows better than the hybridist how accidental some of his best results appear to him to be, and this despite all the laws of Mendel. 
Twelve seeds from a single pod may produce as many variations, and of them one may be half the size and one twice the size of the parent, and one only, as in the case of 'Clematis', may choose to assert itself as a variation of form, and the hybridist is impotent. He cannot even be assured that the form will reproduce itself from seed. 
The probabilities are that it will if Nature has endowed the new characteristics with strength and individuality sufficient thereto. 
If we take exception to a form adopted by one Iris because it reproduces the form of another, or even if we object to the form of one flower because it resembles that of another species, where shall we stop ? Orchids resemble butterflies and bees. Shall we " take exception " to the Orchids, or the butterflies and bees ?
Some of the characteristics that have been bred into the newer Irises are just as pronounced as this reflexing of the standards horizontally in 'Clematis'. Standards have been strengthened and elongated. Falls have been broadened and rendered horizontal or drooping, as the case may be. Stems branch low down where once they bore their flowers rigidly, alternately on each side of an erect stem. Colours have been mingled, and new colour shades introduced that have added infinitely to the charm of the Iris as a garden flower. So much is this the case that we are all in the position of the little girl who, when asked to describe the colour in an Iris, said : " I really cannot tell you what colour it is, but it's every kind of fairy colour."
All this is tolerated, together with the wave, in Spencer Sweet Peas, and other modifications ; and yet because Nature chooses to adopt a form a little different from the standard set up by man as the ideal, " we take exception."






It may be argued that Nature sometimes produces monstrosities, which is true ; but it is not in violation, but in pursuance of her own laws. The stronger characteristics of one parent may be reproduced in unequal proportions to the best of the other. The scientist may make mistakes in endeavouring to assist Nature by trying to impose on one variety the desirable characteristics of another, which may be due to his ignorance of what has gone before. Nature never forgets what has gone before. Mere size has nothing to do with beauty, in flower or animal. It is proportion that counts. The hybridist cannot " develop the size of the flowers at the expense of grace and form" unless Nature retaliates for some precious violation of her laws by producing inequality, and thus lack of proportion. The little Iris gracilipes magnified to the size of the largest Iris Kæmpferi would be just as beautiful if all its characteristics were equally magnified, nor would it be less beautiful than the finest Kæmpferi. We may admire diminutiveness, but smallness does not in itself 
constitute beauty. It is the little thing that reproduces perfectly the characteristics of the larger that attracts us. Therefore mere increase in size does not necessarily mean loss of grace and form. Little things are valuable when they are seen quite near. The largest flowers become smaller to the eye when seen in the distance. Who would reduce Iris Lord of June to the size it appears to be 20 yards. away ? Would they not rather have gracilipes magnified so that its beauty is not lost to sight at that distance ?
There is a very apt quotation from a well known author in his attempt to define beauty which is appropriate here : " Beauty is the moment of transition, as if the form were just ready to flow  into other forms." 

GEORGE DILLISTONE. 


THE GARDEN
March 24th, 1923.

MOISTURE LOVING IRISES

........This characteristic they undoubtedly derive from Iris setosa. It is interesting to note that the Bearded Iris Clematis, which almost certainly represents, a cross between a June-flowering Bearded Iris and a Kæmpferi form, not only has six petals all in the horizontal plane, but that all the petals bear beards.

THE GARDEN
April 7th, 1923.

CORRESPONDENCE
MOISTURE LOVING IRISES

...............How the Japanese have evolved their hybrids from the single- flowered wild form of I. Kæmpferi is not known ; but probably, as in many other garden plants, these double forms have merely arisen in cultivation without any admixture from another species. The same explanation applies without a doubt to the Bearded Iris Clematis. Seedlings of I. pallida not infrequently appear with some or all of the " standards " changed in form, and there is even extant a paper by a learned Professor of Innsbruck who seeks to prove that this flat form of flower is the archetype of all Irises. His whole argument is based on an I. pallida identical in shape with the variety I. Clematis. Mr. Bliss was the raiser of Clematis, and he will probably support the statement that I. Kæmpferi was in no way responsible for its shape. There is in fact, no authenticated hybrid between a bearded and a beardless species of Iris. — W. R. Dykes.

THE GARDEN
April 28th 1923

CLEMATIS- FLOWERED IRIS.

MR. DYKES in his notes on moisture-loving Irises, in your issue of April 7, refers to the origin of Irises of the type of the Bearded Iris Clematis in which all six petals reflex. So far as Bearded Irises are concerned, I. Kæmpferi has certainly nothing to do with the appearance of this type. The parentage of Clematis is Cordelia x Princess Beatrice. It was the only one of the batch of seedlings of the cross which displayed this form. Clematis is the most perfect example of this type that I have raised, but the form in varying degree of perfectness has appeared casually from many other crosses of Bearded varieties. It is probably a teratological form — a freak. I should not be inclined to agree with the learned Professor of Innsbruck that this flat form of flower is the archetype of all Irises, since it is the standards that are modified from the normal form, and in assuming the position of the falls they not only take up the special colouring of the falls but also develop (more or less perfectly) a beard. That is, the transformation is from a simpler form of petal to a more highly specialised. If it was a reversion towards an ancient type, one would expect that the transformation would be, on the contrary, from a more specialised to a simpler form. Therefore it is much more likely that the Crocus or Sparaxis form of flower was the original and most primitive form of the first Iris. But these Clematis forms, furthermore, raise interesting questions in heredity, since they do not appear to transmit according to Mendelian laws and, indeed, are not constant, flowers of quite normal form often appearing on the same plant, and even on the same spike as the Clematis forms. — A. J.Bliss.


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For more on Arthur Bliss Irises be sure to visit Anne Milner's National Collection of Arthur Bliss Irises web site. Listed in the above 'International Iris Links tab.


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. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©

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Historic Tall Bearded Iris CLEMATIS




Is flat form of the Bearded Iris flower the archetype of all Irises?? I think the augment has an enormous amount of validity. 'CLEMATIS' is an interesting Iris which today would be celebrated as a 'Flattie', but created some controversy in the 1920's. John Wister at the time the President of the American Iris Society had very strong views regarding 'Clematis' enough to make a note to himself to "throw it out of his own garden". The American Iris Society had real straitjacket views when it came to irises that did not follow their point of view on what constituted the form and look of a bearded Iris. The publishing of the Discard List in 1931 was a extraordinary low point in the "We Know Best Iris world". 
Arthur Bliss had 35 Irises including 'Clematis' entered on the discard list.
Its not like the form of 'CLEMATIS' flowers was anything new, Peter Barr showed an red coloured form of pallida with a clematis like appearance named 'MANDRALISCAE' (Collected Italy) which was given a certificate of Commendation by the Royal Horticultural Society at Hampton Court flower show in 1903, its plum colour was also noted for crossing.
Bertrand H. Farr in 1922 also registered an Iris of similar form which he named 'JAPANESQUE' and this was also listed on the AIS 1931 Discard List. 

The Iris 'CLEMATIS' is so interesting there is more information in the following post, I have tried to keep my research as comprehensive as possible.

The Gardeners Chronicle June 14th 1919
Nursery Notes
Irises at Colchester
  
A rather unusual form was seen in the variety Clematis, for instead of having a well-defined standard the segments hang down as in the falls and moreover, the standard segments have beards so that the flower must be regarded as an abnormality. The effect was that of a more regular flower than is usual in Irises, and it is from this fact that the name Clematis was given to it.


Cayeux & Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1923.
Clematis (Bliss 1917). Special variety. The shape of the flower is more like and exceptionnally fine I. Kaempferi or a large six petalled Clematis flower. All six segments of the flower are beardless and reflexed horizontally. Colour light violet with variable veining at the base. Strong growing. Has obtained a Certificate of Merit of S.N.H.F.when shown by us on May 1922.


Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1923, Number 7.
Descriptions of Varieties, Part II.
CLEMATIS 78 (9)
Self, veined. VR-V. (1). Bliss, 1917
Brief. Light lavender violet, both the falls and the horizontally held standards veined darker at the haft; stalk low and well-branched-;
growth vigorous; 30 in.
Details. Styles and F. flaring; beard white.
Remarks. Not distinctive until the standards open flat forming a clematis, or rosette shaped flower. Cert. S. N. H. F., 1922-.

Treasure Oak Nursery, Mays Landing, New Jersey, Catalog of Select Iris and Peonies, 1923.
The Best and Rarest of the Iris.
7.8 CLEMATIS. (Bliss 1917.) $2.00
Clear light violet. Segments in these blooms reflex horizontally, giving it a clematis-like flower or appearing somewhat like a Japanese Iris, an effect more novel than handsome.


The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California. Choice Iris, Price List 1924.
Some of the More Recent Introductions of Tall Bearded Iris
Clematis (Bliss). An open flower of pale violet, base of standards and falls veined darker. Very floriferous.
Each, $2.00.


Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1924, Number 10.
Practical Points, R. S. Sturtevant
ABNORMAL DEVELOPMENT
Analogous development occurs in other irises when the beard is transformed into a crest or ridge, when two flowers are closely superimposed or juxtaposed, and when the standards are held horizontally and develop the beards (very rare) and haft markings of the falls. This last occurs commonly in the varieties Clematis, Rosette, and Japanesque and Dorothea, Eldouard Michel, and others tend to this formation, often it is more, a matter of poor substance: rather than actual intention.


Rainbow Iris Gardens, Farmington, Minnesota, 1925.
CLEMATIS Unique. Shaped like an exceptionally fine Japanese iris or a large six-petaled Clematis. All six segments of the flower reflect horizontally. Color light clear violet with variable veining at the base. Strong grower, free flowering and fragrant.

Lee R. Bonnewitz Catalog,Van Wert, Ohio,1926.
CLEMATIS (Bliss)
S. deep lavender; F. deep lavender-purple with white reticulations at the base. Yellow beard. Strong growing, free flowering and fragrant. This variety has very much the form of the intermediate variety, Dorothea. Although it is an English Iris, it received an Award of Merit at the International Iris Show in Paris three years ago, but I am not altogether sure it deserved this high honor. It does, however, resemble the Clematis after which it is named.





American Iris Society

Discard List 1931.
BEARDED IRISES
Compiled by J. E,.Hill and E. A. S. Peckham
Explanatory Note
The varieties of Bearded Irises marked with the sign, $, in the Alphabetical Iris Check List 1929 as extinct or superseded, together with numerous additions, are named in this list.
The order of presentation, i.e., varietal name, class and authority for the name, and the abbreviations, are those used in the Check List to which the reader is referred for more complete information.
The classes in the Bearded group are abbreviated thus:
DB: Dwarf bearded.
IB : Intermediate bearded.
MB : Miscellaneous bearded. Hybrids between the species of the sections Oncocyclus, Regalia, and Evansia, and the species of the group Pogoniris.
TB: Tall bearded.
Care should be used in the application of the list. Of two varieties which have the same name only one may have been discarded. It is for this reason that the authority for the name is given. For example: Princess Beatrice - TB - Barr, is retained, Princess Beatrice - TB - Sal., a white blue feathered variety, is discarded; Fairy - TB - Ken., is retained, Fairy TB - Cap., is discarded, etc. It is hoped that the reasons for the preparation of the list will be respected and that ultimately discarded irises will not be grown.
Clematis-TB-Bliss

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, April 1932, Number 43.
ARTHUR JOHN BLISS
Irises Raised or Introduced by A. J. Bliss, by E. A. S. Peckham.
CLEMATIS caused much discussion because of its peculiar flat form and Mr. Bliss had to come to its defence as he was criticised for allowing it to be introduced. The color was a very clean, clear blue, much more a real blue than was the case in iris as known then and it made a good mass in the garden and so it had its defender, but the sticklers, for a particular form in irises were irate and said it was a cripple in exactly the same manner as discussion raged over BRANDYWINE, some upholding it for its blueness, others damning it because of its bad habit of having extra parts and trying to "go double." I do not mean that CLEMATIS had a doubling habit but the standards lying flat as they do gave an appearance not unlike the kaempferi hybrids we know as. "Japanese" iris.

A H. Burgess and Son, Iris Specialists, Waikanae, Wellington. 1936 Irises.
CLEMATIS - The shape of the flower is like a six petalled Clematis. Standards and Falls reflex horizontally. Colour, light clear blue, veined at base. Strong growing and fragrant. Mid-season.. 2ft. 

AIS Checklist 1939
CLEMATIS  TB-M-B3M (Bliss, 1917) Wallace 1917, Garden Chronicle 14th June 1919; John Scheepers Inc, 1920; Lee Bonnewitz, 1920; Earl Woodward Sheets, 1928; The Garden 85: 304. 18th June 1921; Novato Nursuries, 1933; Buccleuch Nursuries,1938; AAA Journal Royal Horticultural Society  137;
(CORDELIA X PRINCESS BEATRICE) , C.M., S.N.H.F. 1922; Journal Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France. 23; 218, June 1922; $ 





As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. Major Hat Tip to Anne Milner for her amazing photo's and catalogue listings.

For more on Arthur Bliss Irises be sure to visit Anne Milner's National Collection of Arthur Bliss Irises web site. Listed in the above 'International Iris Links tab.


Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission of Anne Milner is strictly prohibited.
Photo credits and copyright Anne Milner and Bliss Irises © .


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. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©



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