'Raspberry Blush' is a standout Intermediate Iris. The standards are a soft raspberry pink and the falls are the same with a Raspberry flush on the falls coming ⅔ the way down. Beards a beautiful raspberry orange tone. A great early flowering iris that boldly announces in your garden that the Tall Bearded Irises are on the way.It should be noted that whilst the registered height of this iris blooms is 51cm or 20 inches but it is generally accepted that it grows a little less than this. The RHS granted 'Raspberry Blush' the Award of Garden Merit and notes its height in the RHS Plant Selector,"up to 40cm or 16 inches" .
A 33 year old Iris that is still been sold in the current catalogue of main stream Iris nurseries is unusual to say the least especially in the US of A where catalogue variety turnover is at its highest, yet 'Raspberry Blush' is still catalogued today by Schreiners in America a good indication of the high regard this iris is held. Awarded the Hans and Jacob Sass Medal in 1981. Flowering earlier than the Tall bearded Irises and later than the Dwarf Iris this class of irises add a continuance to the iris bloom season.Intermediate Irises are ideal for the smaller garden with borders that are narrower and require less space than what might be required for Tall Bearded Iris. They have similar growing conditions to Tall Bearded, full sun, good drainage, and a loose root run. If the area is windy, Intermediates because of their shorter growing height (16" to 27 ½ ") can be more appropriate for the conditions.
The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1990, “Shorter Bearded Irises in 1990”, page 61, C.E.C. Bartlett.
Still with the older varieties 'Raspberry Blush' (Hamblen '75) gave a good account of itself. This is a sturdy and reliable performer in pink with a raspberry fall patch. The form is good although the falls tend to be a bit square and strappy. A first rate garden iris nonetheless.
AIS Checklist 1979
RASPBERRY BLUSH (M. Hamblen, R. 1975). Sdlg. M70-22C. IB 20" (51 cm) M-L. S. raspberry-pink; F. raspberry on upper half, raspberry-pink on lower half; raspberry beard. Pretty Karen sib X Dove Wings., Mission Bell 1976. HM '77, AM '79, SM '81
Available in the US of A from Schreiners Iris Gardens , in the United Kingdom visitors can order from, Aulden Farms . Sold in New Zealand by The Iris Boutique
As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.