'Orange Empire' is one of the great orange Irises from the 70's which was widely used as a parent in the 80's. Thirty seven years have past since its registration date and its still an amazing looker.This variety is fertile both ways. The Maerz and Paul, Dictionary of Color, 1st edition colour determination of Saturn Red is a bang on description for this iris beard colour. Was not what I had imagined the colour to be, but thanks to colour charts and hybridisers references to colour names in the checklist all helps a lot.
'Cross Country Comments' Bulletin of the American Iris Society, No.223, October 1976.
ORANGE EMPIRE (Hamner 1974)
A vibrant orange of rather large size. It is a vigorous grower which is a quality welcome in this color class. Also it is a tireless bloomer and for me leaves more than ample increase for the next season. (Reviewed Francesca Thoolen)
AIS Checklist 1979
ORANGE EMPIRE (B. Hamner, R. 1973). Sdlg. 69-40. TB 37" (94 cm) M-L. Brilliant orange self; Saturn red beard; ruffled. (Sexton sdlg. x China Gate) X (China Gate sdlg. x Ole)., Hamner 1974.
Not commercially listed in New Zealand but still widely available in America from Angel Iris Farm, Blue J Iris, Bluebird Haven Iris Garden, Daylily Haven Iris Gardens, Exline Iris Gardens, Newport Naturals, Wanda Rezac Iris, and Wild Iris Rows.
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Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter