Friday, June 12, 2009

Tall Bearded Iris IRWELL ACE

Could a peony grower from the Manawatu explain just which “good authority” he is referring to when he recently publicly stated : “I have it on good authority that the wrong ID of the Begg Shield Iris was entirely the fault of the hybridiser”?
His poorly informed point of view demands the following retort:

In November 2008 at the Gisborne Iris Convention, 'Irwell Ace' an Iris bred by Ron Bush won the Begg Shield- or did it?
An article published in the Central Canterbury News (CNN) February 25th 2009 (see below) features a photo of an iris attributed to Ron and supplied to the CCN by a senior member of the NZIS who attended the Gisborne Convention as the Begg Shield winning Iris. I am sure you will agree it's not a flattering photo for whatever the variety might be, but it clearly shows that the iris depicted in the article is not the one in the scanned photo above from Ron's photo album, and it bears no resemblance to the Checklist description for this cultivar. The only logical conclusion one could make is that the Begg Shield winning Iris is not 'Irwell Ace'.
Apparently a Begg Shield iris is judged by a panel of THREE ACCREDITED JUDGES, yet none were able to spot the mistake. Even using the concept of 'Blind Judging', after an Iris has a prize awarded and a name is attributed to the winners, who checked that these are correct?
All of the six irises submitted to the Gisborne Convention Garden by Ron Busch in 2006 were labelled and were registered in 2007, so descriptions were available well before the time of judging in 2008. In fact the registrations of these Irises were published in the NZIS booklet #172 June 2007, and perhaps that was the start of the problem. 'Irwell Ace' published on page 11 is listed as 'IRWELL LACE' and for this iris it seems it all went downhill from there.
One would have to think that this situation is nowhere near 'Gold Standard' and that this group has got this situation horribly wrong, but it gets worse.
I have been reliably informed that the Iris pictured below in the CCN article was divided and auctioned for very high prices at the Convention as 'Irwell Ace' so now how many Irises are growing in New Zealand gardens with potentially the wrong ID. There are other questions that need answering. What has happened to the real 'Irwell Ace' that was sent to the trial gardens? Was that also sold and auctioned as well? And under which label could this iris now growing?
Seriously, which would be easier? Having the patience, the knowledge, and years to hybridise an Iris that is good enough to be registered, or growing an Iris in a garden with the correct label for just 2½ years? The big problem here is the complete disrespect shown to a Top New Zealand Hybridiser. All of which should get the,"I make a point never to read the Heritage Irises blog but a friend happened to point out............." brigade trying to justify their flaky position on this matter

Listed below is the checklist descriptions of all the Irises submitted by Ron Busch to the Gisborne Convention Garden.

IRWELL ACE (Ron Busch R. 2007). Sdgl S1490-1205. TB, 31" (91cm) ML. S style arms and F. gold. F. ½" purple brown plicata border, gold brown edge, purple brown shoulders; beards yellow. Parentage unknown.
IRWELL COURAGE (Ron Busch R. 2007). Sdlg. 01587-2149. TB 40" (102cm). M. S.lemon, red purple midrib and blush at base: style arms yellow, purple centre; F. Red-purple, ¼" paler edge, yellow shoulders; beards bronze. Parentage unknown.
IRWELL ELEGANCE. (Ron Busch R. 2007). Sdgl. E925. TB 36" (91 cm). M. S. wine red; style arms orange and wine red; F. velvety wine-red, ⅛" plain wine red border,white veining in throat; beards red orange. Parentage unknown.
IRWELL QUEEN (Ron Busch, R. 2007). Sdlg. 986-9932. TB, 40" (102 cm), M. S. and style arms orange; F. orange ground, cinnamon brown plicata markings overall, pale pink edge; beards orange. Irwell Supreme X Unknown
IRWELL QUEEN’S DRAMA (Ron Busch R. 2007). Sdgl. M1552-0283. TB. 38" (97cm), M. S. Orange; style arms light purple, orange edge; F. Apricot, 1" wide band of red-copper spotting; beards orange bronze. Parentage unknown.
IRWELL SUCCESSOR Ron Busch, Reg., 2007. Sdlg.K29. TB, 36", (91 cm), M. S. Yellow flushed gold; style arms gold; F. Purple plicata markings on yellow ground, lemon edge, cinnamon shoulders; beards lemon to yellow. Parentage Unknown

The above article with thanks and courtesy Central Canterbury News
Click on any photo to view a larger image


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