Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tall Bearded Historic Iris "SHANNOPIN"

This photo of the iris "Shannopin" was taken growing in a garden of an old heritage house in Masterton at peak bloom time. 
My first association with this iris was as a NOID, found growing opposite a Butcher's Shop so I originally labeled it "The Butcher's Iris". This garden was small, directly adjacent to a tar sealed footpath and was overcrowded with rhizomes, buttercups and other plants, and had there been a competition for 'The best Iris surviving in a neglected garden' category it was certainly the clear cut winner. Flowers mid-late season. An iris of classic form, widely grown and admired in mainly older gardens of the Wairarapa District.
SHANNOPIN the iris was named after 'Shannopin's Town' which in the 1700's was a Delaware Indian Village located near the site of modern day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The hybridiser T. Lloyd Pillow was Pittsburgh's superintendent of Street and Sewer Department. The first of his three registrations was in 1939 a tall bearded iris NANTY GLO. In 1943 he introduced a tall bearded iris CONNOQUENESSING a native American word meaning "A Long way Straight". All of the names Lloyd Pillow used to register his Irises have an association with  'Shannopin's Town' or the associated Pennsylvania area.

Stevens Bros, Wanganui, Irises Catalogue, 1948-49. 
SHANNOPIN (Pillow 1940) An Iris of most unusual combination and very striking. Clear cream standards with lilac rose falls. Well branched with medium sized flowers 3.5ft

Schreiner's, Salem,Oregon, 1948, Iris Lovers Catalog.

SHANNOPIN (Pillow 1940) M 40" A striking iris and most original.Close to a cream and rose amoena. Clear cream ruffled standards with pink to rose cast falls, medium sized flowers.$1.25

AIS Checklist 1949
SHANNOPIN TB-La-W9M (Pillow 1940)Kellogg 1940 ect. (Redwing X Seedling)

If you love historic irises and you get a chance to purchase this iris don't hesitate. I guarantee it will be a iris you will never regret growing. No commercial grower in New Zealand, and the American Garden that I knew stocked it has now closed.

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter 


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