This imposing and colourful iris had me baffled for a while as the photo that accompanied the Iris when it was purchased differed somewhat to the iris when it bloomed at home. A search on the internet came up with zilch, and the only available catalogue descriptions were from Bay Blooms (NZ) Spring/Summer catalogue 1998 which merely stated "This variety has been much admired. All over cream with a pink influence throughout", and a earlier Jean Collins Iris Gardens (NZ) catalogue had telescoped the description to just, "Cream with a pink influence", so not a lot of information overload here. Now as we all know a official checklist description apparently trumps all, but when you ID iris that old adage "Trust but verify" definitely applies, so conformation that we were onto a winner has come from the catalogue and Bulletin advertisement descriptions sent from America, a helpful addition to the knowledge base and are copied below. At 45 years old its colouration is still very much 'today'. Like Jean Stevens, George Shoop was one of the great master's of inbreeding using a limited number of out crosses in his breeding programme.
Blooming with a entrancing colour combination the plant has good vigour, and a iris that will continue to be much admired at home.
GEORGE A. SHOOP, Hybridizer, Portland Oregon. 1967 Introductions.
Gypsy Rings (Shoop 1967). EM. 36". A flaring, ruffled flower with pink standards and white falls with one-fourth inch yellow rim, and a pink-tangerine beard to add to its feminine charm. Well-branched. Fine grower. Gay Whisper X 59-6-1.
Bay View Gardens, Joseph J. Ghio, Santa Cruz, California. Iris 1969
The Elite Ones
GYPSY RINGS* (Shoop '67) Standards are soft pink and the falls are white with a yellowish rim. Unique...........$15.00
Schreiners, Salem,Oregon, Iris Lovers Catalog 1972
Gypsy Rings (Shoop 1967) EM. 36" A charming flared and ruffled iris with pink standards and white falls that have an attractive, one-fourth inch border of yellow and a pink tangerine beard to add to its feminine charm. With its beauty, unusual color pattern and model growing habits it is easy to see why this iris is so well liked.
Melrose Gardens, Stockton, California, The Connoisseurs Catalog,1973
Gypsy Rings (Shoop 1967). Pink standards flushed lemon along the ruffled edges and white falls with a wide yellow border all the way around; pinkish tangerine beards--and it all makes a really beautiful flower.
Jean Collins Iris Garden, Cambridge Road, R.D.1 Tauranga.
GYPSY RINGS Cream with a pink influence...........$2.00
BayBloom Nurseries, Cambridge Road, R.D.1 Tauranga. Spring and Summer Catalogue, 1998.
GYPSY RINGS. This variety has been much admired. All over cream with a pink influence throughout......$5.00
AIS Checklist 1969
GYPSY RINGS G. Shoop, Reg 1967 Sdlg. 63-18-1. TB, 36" (91 cm), E-M ; S pink; F white with 1/4" yellow rim; ruffled; pink-tangerine beard. Gay Whisper X 59-6-1. Shoop 1967.
The grower I purchased this iris from is no longer in business so I cannot help as to where you can buy it.
I have recently (yesterday) purchased another George Shoop 1960 vintage iris labelled 'Spanish Gift', reported to be a very bright apricot-orange coloured iris with a deep orange-red beard, hopefully another visual treat when it blooms so I'll keep you posted.
Big hat tip to Phil Edinger for the initial catalogue research from America.
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