Bred by the late Revie Harvey of Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, a stalwart of the New Zealand Iris Society and a breeder of some very fine irises of which 'Okarita' was one of her best Tall Bearded garden varieties. It was awarded the Begg Shield for the most outstanding New Zealand bred iris seen at a convention garden in Nelson, 1992.
'Okarita' is a strong grower with good plant health, very tall bloom-stalks that have a slight tendency to get a bit zigzaggy, and the height can sometimes be a problem around here with the strong nor-westerly winds that can destructively rush through the garden at bloom time, so needs to be planted in a sheltered spot. Good branching with a high bud count, colouration is clearly a self in the cool white colour range that is highlighted by a subtle green cast in the centre of the falls with just a slight flick of olive green striations on the hafts. Beards white tipped lemon. The high bud count gives very long sustained bloom period and makes 'Okarita' a great choice should you be looking for a good white iris with undeniable grace.
I was recently informed that Revie Harvey's 1999 registered Tall Bearded Iris "Spring Nuptials" a pink is also well worth a try.
2011 New Zealand Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.