Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Courtesy 'THE GARDEN', 30th June, 1900.

The Garden, New and Rare Plants, June 23, 1900.
This is certainly one of the most distinct of the german or Flag Irises. We welcome it heartily as a good variety for woodland and border. The flowers are large, fragrant, and handsome in colour, with light purple standards and deep velvety falls, the broad rich yellow marking running into the depth of the flower relieved the other shades. Shown by Mr. Amos Perry, Winchmore Hill, London. Award of Merit. Royal Horticultural Society, June 19.

The Garden, June, 1900.
This is certainly one of the most distinct of the German Iris. We welcome it heartily as a good variety, the flowers are large and fragrant and handsome in colour.

Horticultural Advertiser, June, 1900.
One of the most handsome we have ever seen in this class, the falls being a rich purple almost black, with light purple standards. A profuse bloomer.

Quality Gardens, USA.
When we saw this wonderful dark blue we said, well------- dollars as a lot to pay for an Iris root. But this one is certainly a beauty. American public look out for this one at Bronx Park, New York.

Country Life, June, 1900.
Quite distinct, the flowers of sweet fragrance and boldly coloured.

The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California The Iris, Illustrated Catalog, 1914
The Standards in This Group Range from Lavender to Purple.
Black Prince. Standards intense deep violet-blue; Falls, velvety purple, edged lighter. Very beautiful. Stock rare.

The Gardeners Chronicle, May 28th, 1921. Irises of the Future, W. R. Dykes.
At the other end of the season something might be done towards prolonging it by using the late flowering 'Black Prince'. Seedlings of this tend to retain the late flowering habit, and there is a large dose of I.variegata blood in 'Black Prince', forms with yellow standards are sure to appear among them. It remains for the hybridiser to get rid of the stunted stem, the crowded inflorescence, and the ugly form of the flowers, with their erect, widely separated standards.

Kelways and Son, The Royal Nurseries, Langport, Somerset, England.  Catalogue of Hardy Perennials and Colour Borders  1929-30
Black Prince, one of the best, the latest to open and the deepest of all in colour; purple-blue, deep blackish purple with white markings at the throat. 2½ ft. 1/6 each.

AIS Bulletin No.6, 1922. Description of Varieties, Part I.
Bicolor, VR-V. (d). Perry, 1900
Brief. S. erect, lavender violet; F. velvety dark anthracene violet with narrow edge of pleroma violet;

stalk very short branched; growth weak; to 30 in.
Details. Beard short, yellow orange; haft white, closely reticulated.
Remarks. A. M. R. H.S.
Listed in America under the name of 'Black Knight', should not be confused with the form of germanica often listed under this name.

A H Burgess,Waikanae, Wellington. Irises 1927
Black Prince, A.M.R.H.S.- Deepest of all in colour. Standards purplish blue. Falls deep blackish purple with white markings at the throat. Not a good doer. Very Late - 2 ft.

AIS Checklist 1939
BLACK PRINCE IB-M-La-B3D (Perry 1900) Perry 1900; Farr 1912; Francis 1920; Wing 1920; Sheets 1928; Forbes 1938; Irisdale 1938; Wass 1938; Wild 1939; AAA 131; A.M.RHS. 1900. Shown by Perry; Horticultural Directory and Year Book, 42: 60. 1901; J.R.H.S. 25: xciii. 19 June 1900; The Garden. 57: 497. 30 June 1900, Illustrated;

 Above is the correct image of Amos Perry's 'Black Prince' published in 'The Garden' 30th June, 1900 and is referred to in the 1939 Checklist .This photo also clearly shows why W.R. Dykes described 'Black Prince' as an iris with crowded inflorescence, flowers of an ugly form, with erect, widely separated standards, he also mentioned that it was short, with stunted stem'Black Prince' was also reported by others as a slow grower, flowers with a  distinct contrast between the standards and the falls and a very distinct light margin on the falls which the photo shows the later two descriptions well. 

Phil Edinger stated in an recent email to me "everything circulating in the US as 'Black Prince' is 'Othello'."

I originally used photos on this post which with the help of some research I recently completed proved the iris used to be totally wrong. The images were of the variety 'Othello'.
This having to adjust ID's of Historic Irises I am sure will happen more and more as the coming deluge of old publications are digitized, which in turn will open up a treasure trove of history helping to confirm beyond doubt that we got it right, or in my case confirm that I got it wrong.

Clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Copyright Iris Hunter


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