PUMILA THE GEM photo taken in the Morning Sun a couple of hours ago. This Iris was first introduced 1933. Often miss-labelled or confused with I.kochii. The neighbor came over at 6.30am to help shift the cattle and found me lying on some sacks taking photos of dwarf irises including the above, sure had his head scratching for a while!
Stevens Bros Catalogue 1949-1950, Wanganui, New Zealand.
This is a little rich red purple of our own raising which we offered in our bulb catalogue some years ago.
It resulted from crossing the old blue germanica of Europe with a red purple dwarf chamaeiris .It has the additional merit of blooming almost all year round, giving several major displays, the first being in very early spring. Ten Inches 1/6
Waterson's Iris Garden, Wanganui 1960-61 Wanganui, New Zealand.
An old favourite which not only flowers in very early spring but has bursts of blossom off and on throughout the whole year. In early spring it contents itself with the height of a true dwarf being then only about 6 inches high, with flowers in proportion but later in the year the stems often attain a height of 12 inches. The colour is a light pure purple. Extremely vigorous. 2/6
As a registration by Jean Stevens was not apparent the following registration occurred ;
AIS Checklist 1999
WANGANUI GEM (registered for Jean Stevens, deceased, by Bay of Plenty Group, 1999). MDB. Stem 6-8", (15-20cm), M & RE. S. dark mauve; F. purple; beards white, tipped yellow; slight fragrance. Summer bloom taller, branched. Purple chamaeiris X Madonna. In commerce in NZ since circa 1930 as “The Gem"
Thanks to a senior member of the Auckland Iris group for sending me a 1953 photo of 'The Gem' taken by Mrs Iris Bradford-Smith growing in her Remuera garden which was used as part of the ID process. I have always considered the older the photo the better the provenance. I will continue to list and label this iris as PUMILA "THE GEM"