The very late blooming 'Nina Levett' is often confused with a earlier blooming iris which grows at about the same height named, 'Pink Advance" this was bred by Jean Stevens who described it in her breeding notes as, 'Better than Nina Levett, larger, standards wider petals and nicer pink, good haft, good branching, 4½ ft."('Nina Levett' was the pod parent of 'Pink Advance')
The Iris Society Year Book (BIS) 1942 page 24.
NINA LEVETT (Raised by Miss.P.Levett,NZ) A.M. 20th June 1941.
Vigorous and of rapid increase with erect, glacous-green foliage, 24 inches tall.Flower stems 48 inches tall erect, somewhat zigzagged,8-flowered.
Flowers extra large, stiff and well proportioned.Standards domed approaching Imperial Purple (33/2) Falls pinched, a tone of Imperial
Purple between (33/1 and 33/2) Veins distinct, brownish on haft.Beard Orange. Flowering for ten days from 18th June. (J.B.Dumas X Aurelle.)
(All Reports for Iris trial's at Wisley tend to be very descriptive and accurate)
NINA LEVETT (Miss P. Levett, R. 1939). TB, VL, B1L; (...) X (J.B. Dumas x Aurelle). Orpington. 1939,
Stevens Bros Catalogue 1937-38
"A lovely tall pink of regal carriage.The large flowers are an even shade of lilac pink, and are carried on well-branched 4 1/2 foot stems. Exceptionally vigorous."
'As the years went by the quality of their seedlings kept improving, and the flowering season became even more exciting than hitherto. About 1935 they flowered a large new seedling of a bright lilac pink which they named Nina Levett after their mother. This was introduced in England by Orpington Nurseries who sent plants to the Wisley Trial Grounds. In 1941 Nina Levett was given an Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society'.
It would not be unrealistic to state that the few irises growing in New Zealand as 'Nina Levett' are wrongly labelled and I am somewhat reluctant to post New Zealand bred Irises on this blog as it leads to a deluge of 'look-a-like' irises, and some not even remotely 'look-a-like' irises, listed for sale on the internet as the real deal, and it it is not in anybody's interest to add to the existing large pile of very expensive miss-named irises that live in the cyberspace known as 'Trade Me'!!!! New Zealander's interested in heirloom irises need to have a confidence in their ability to Identify Irises and not merely accept that because an Iris was received or purchased with the name given it is true to label, after all these are New Zealand raised Irises, surely we should have some idea of our Iris heritage!!!!
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Photo credit and Copyright Iris Hunter