Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tall Bearded Iris 'DAWN REFLECTION'

Identifying Historic or any Iris for that matter is fraught with difficulty partly due to others or your own preconceived ideas, or information which is slightly off base. 'Dawn Reflection' has been one such journey, but I got there in the end as I gave up listening to people who have that uncanny knack of imagining irises into existence. Last growing season I was gifted all the irises growing in Wanda Williams garden and 'Dawn Reflection' was part of the gifts it was also documented as growing in the Williams Garden by Iris Convention attendees in 1956. The seedling # 1/U86 (Dawn Reflection) first bloomed for Jean Stevens in 1946, and her notes state " Rosy Plicata lightly toned 3½ ft.". Jean originally applied to have the iris registered as 'Pygmalion' but the name was turned down by the AIS registrar as 'Pygmalion' had already been used to register a Japanese Iris in 1938. The new name 'Dawn Reflection' was confirmed 4th June 1948. It was in March 1948 Jean sent by surface mail 3 plants of the seedling #1/U86 among others plants to Schreiners. 'Dawn Reflection' has its developing buds that have a barbers pole effect which is always that something extra. I have distributed this iris to others, so it now also grows in two Garden's in Auckland and two gardens other than my own in the Wairarapa so I guess you can say it is risk managed. For most New Zealand gardeners this would be the first time they have seen this iris that was originally introduced  by Jean Stevens in 1948.

Stevens Bros, Wanganui. Irises 1948-49 Catalogue.
DAWN REFLECTION (Stevens) Very lovely in its flared and waved form, of wonderful substance and gleaming texture, this new iris has a dainty grace which makes an instant appeal. It is a plicata, yet has two virtues which few plicata's possess, garden value as a clump, and a soft pink colour tone. The ground colour is ivory with the margins of the flaring falls softly stitched in pink. The waved standards are richly flushed and stitched rose pink. Excellently branched stems carry the huge blooms to a height of 3½ ft. 50 Shillings.

Schreiner's, Salem,Oregon,Iris Lovers Catalog,
DAWN REFLECTION (Stevens 1948) M 36"
This is the largest plicata I have ever seen and a prime favorite with garden visitors. The immense blooms, attractively flared and waved, have a ground color of glistening ivory,sparingly and precisely etched rose-pink on the falls and more generously suffused a bright lilac-pink in the standards. A sturdy iris of unusual delicacy, yet most effective in a clump. Branching and substance are ideal. $12.00

Salina Flower Farm, Salina, Kansas. Iris & Peonies Catalog 1954
Dawn Reflection (Stevens '48) 42". Soft Pink tone plicata on ivory ground.

Marble Iris Gardens, Grandview, Washington, Iris Colorama Catalog, 1961.
DAWN REFLECTION (Stevens 1948) M 36in. A very large plicata with immense blooms attractively flared and waved. It has the ground colour of glistening ivory, sparingly and precisely etched rose-pink on the falls and more generously suffused and etched a bright lilac pink in the standards. It is very effective in a clump.

AIS Checklist 1949
DAWN REFLECTION TB-M-Y8L (Stevens-W.R. N.)R: 1948

I have displayed two photos of 'Dawn Reflection' which shows slight colour variation and also shows the difficulty in capturing the colour soft pink. Above photo thanks to Bill Edington. For the colour 'Rose Pink' refer Ridgway 249.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I like to do, too--compare photo and descriptions of the same plant from various sources. How I love the internet.


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