Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Historic Iris 'ALCAZAR'

When first introduced Alcazar had clearer color, more vigour, more adaptability, better branching, bigger size, better substance, and better disease resistance than its contemporaries. At the time nearly every other garden iris of its day was diploid, Alcazar was one of the first garden tetraploids, having a chromosome count of 2n=48. The significance being when introduced it represented a great advance over other garden irises of the time, and this is due in no small way to Alcazar's, I.trojana parentage.

G. G. Whitelegg & Co, Chislehurst, Kent,Catalogue of Irises 1921
June Flowering Irises, General Collection.
ALCAZAR (Vilmorin).-One of the handsomest bearded Iris in cultivation, strong constitution, stout much-branched stems, bearing many gig.mtlc flowers, standards soft mauve flushed bronze, (F) brilliant purple, rich orange beard. F .C.C .. R.H.S ..... .... . . . ......... .. each 2/6

The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California.Choice Iris 1921-1922.
Squalens Group; The standards are clouded shades of copper, bronze and fawn.
Alcazar. S. lavender-violet; F. velvety purple, with bronze veinings. Beard raw sienna color. Handsome, Very large flower and tall grower. Each, 75c.

Les Iris Cultivés,  1922.
choix de 100 variétés
Alcazar (Vilmorin 1910) Divisions sup. violet clair, div. Inférieures violet foncé.

Treasure Oak Nursery, Mays Landing, New Jersey, Catalog of Select Iris and Peonies, 1923.
The Best and Rarest of the Iris.
8.9 ALCAZAR. (Vilmorin 1910. C., RHS. and NHF.) $1 00
Trojana X (squalens x -)? .
S.-Light mauve.
F.-Deep purple (Cotinga Purple) bronze veined at the haft.
One of the very handsome dark purple Irises of fine type and to be highly recommended as a specimen plant. Its growth is good, producing tall, strong, and widely branched flower-stalks bearing large blooms of waxy texture. The foliage is well retained throughout the winter and the plant flourishes under the most adverse soil conditions.

Frank W. Campbell, Detroit, Michigan. Rare Iris, 1923.
The Rarest and Best Iris Gathered from all the Introducers.
ALCAZAR (Vilm. 1910) S light mauve, F deep purple, haft bronze veined. Large waxy textured blooms on well branched stems. $1.

Cayeux & Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1923.
Alcazar (Vilmorin 1910) S. clear blue, F. deep violet. Tall grower. Iris of great merit.

Perry's Hardy Plant Farm, Enfield, Middlesex. New June Flowering Irises, 1924.
General Collection
Alcazar. One of the most magnificent of the older varieties, stout branching stems, bearing a profusion of well-built flowers; S, light bluish-violet overlaid bronze; F, deep purple with a bronze veined throat. 1/6 each.

The Sam Carpenter Gardens, Oswego, Kansas. Irises-Peonies-Gladioli-Dahlias, 1925
89-ALCAZAR, T. B. (1910)-S. light bluish-violet; F. deep purple with bronze veined throat. A very striking flower. 42-inches.----------- ------ 30c.

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Deuxième Série, 1925-1926.
Iris Vivaces Hybrids, Série Générale.
Alcazar (Vilmorin) Très grandes fleurs à divisions inférieures violet foncé, les supérieures violet clair, styles larges, jaun$atres. Plante très haute et vigoureuses, à floraison hâtive.

U S Department of Agriculture Farmers Bulletin 1406, January 1926.
Garden Irises B. Y. Morrison.

For example, Black Prince is a variety which is notorious for its lack of vigor, and Princess Victoria Louise is so vigorous that it becomes almost weedlike in its increase. To illustrate the other point, the variety Gajus may be chosen as an example of the varieties which make small rhizomes, so that a clump may be much divided and contain many blooming points and yet come within a small area. The Alcazar variety makes large rhizomes that bloom a freely as those of Gajus but which appear to be less floriferous because clumps of equal size produce fewer stalks of bloom. This apparent difference is somewhat offset in this case because Alcazar bears flowers several times larger than those of Gajus, but this is not true of every variety which grows from large rhizomes.

CORNELL MEMOIR 100 Study of Pogoniris Varieties Austin W.W. Sand July 1926.
Alcazar (Vilmorin, 1910)Color effect light hortense violet, velvety pansy-violet bicolor viened on bronze haft; size large; form long; open, oblong ; flowering habit free ; tall bearded class ; height 32 inches ; branching wide at center or above; A flower of extra substance ; firm texture ; slightly crêped surface ; good fragrance; An outstanding specimen plant, with very large well balanced flowers and excellent foliage.
S. Light mauve or hortense violet, shaded deeper in the recesses of creped parts ; carriage cupped, arching ; blade obvate to fiddle-form, notched, undulate, ruffled and frilled, revolute, slightly crêped ; size2½ in. wide, 3 in. long. F. Deep velvety pansy-violet, the bronzed wide outer half becoming olive- yellow along the beard, veins ending abruptly with beard ; carriage drooping ; wedge shaped to oblong, slightly convex ; excellent velvety texture ; Minor parts ; beard coarse, dense, projecting, conspicuously broad, orange-coloured ; half broad flat ; reticulations broad, broken, widely spaced ; style-branches broad, over arching, light violet bronze on the margin ; crest bronzed, large, fringed ; pollen plentiful ; spaced flowers scarious, inflated. Growth vigourous ; increase rapid ; habit open to regular ; foliage stiff, leaves broad, deep glaucous green ; 4 blooms open at once, floriferous ; stalk erect, angular, with 9 or more buds.
Trojana parentage. awarded a certificate of merit by the National Horticultural Society of France in 1909, and a first-class certificate by the Royal Horticultural Society, London in 1916.

Iris Fields, West La Fayette, Indiana. Iris of Quality, 1926.
89  ALCAZAR. (Vilm. 1910). A very large vigorous bicolor. S. slaty bluish violet; F. deep reddish purp1e. We consider this the equal of Lent A. Williamson and one of the three best of the older varieties...........................................................$0.35.

Lee R. Bonnewitz Catalog,Van Wert, Ohio, A Descriptive Iris List, 1926.
ALCAZAR (Vilmorin) This is one of the best Irises in the world, and we do not believe we will have enough stock to fill all our orders, for its is an excellent value at the price. S. Light bluish-violet.  F. deep brilliant purple, with bronze-veined throat. We have never heard of a disappointed customer, even when the price was $ 1.00. Two or more rhizomes at 30c each, five or more rhizomes at 25c each.

Carl Salbach Berkeley, California, Irises Catalog, 1926.
Alcazar (Vilmorin). 89-S. mauve, F. dark purple. The bronze and yellow at its center add to the beauty of this large, vigorous, well branched variety. 3½ ft. 50c.

A.H.Burgess and Son,Waikanae, Wellington New Zealand 1927.
One of the largest and handsomest Irises in the collection; a strong grower and most profuse bloomer. Standards light bronzy violet; Falls long of a deep velvety purple. Mid-Season 3½ft. 2 shillings and sixpence.

Leamon G. Tingle, Pittsville, Maryland. Tingle's 1927 Catalog of Nursery Stock
8.9. ALCAZAR (Vilmorin 1910). A giant flower. One of the largest and most gorgeous in coloring. S, light blue, flushed rose, F, rich velvety crimson-purple, heavily marked at base. 30c.

Indian Springs Farm, Baldwinsville, New York. Iris Catalog, 1927.
ALCAZAR (Vilmorin 1910) 8.9. A very large, vigorous bicolor. S. slaty bluish-violet, overlaid bronze; F. deep reddish-purple, with a bronze veined throat. 42 inches. Very similar to Lent A. Williamson, and one of the finest of the older Irises.
35 cts. each; 85 cts. for 3; $3.00 per doz.

Lee R. Bonnewitz Catalog,Van Wert, Ohio, Peonies and Irises Catalog, 1928.
ALCAZAR (Vilmorin) The standards of this variety are light blue-violet, and the falls are a brilliant purple, with bronze veining on the throat. It is one of the largest of the bright coloured varieties and blooms early in the season. Recommended for both size and beauty.

Shenandoah Nurseries, Shenandoah, Iowa.Peonies Iris-Lilies & Bulbs, 1929.
Iris Germanica.
ALCAZAR, (Vilmorin 1910) 8.9. S, light bluish-violet, F. brilliant purple. One of the largest of the bright colored varieties. 36 inches............ $1.20.

The Orpington Nurseries Co. Ltd., Orpington, Kent. Irises 1930.
Alcazar (Vilmorin 1910). F.C.C. R.H.S - One of the handsomest bearded iris in cultivation, strong constitution, stout much-branched stems, bearing many large flowers, S. bright deep aniline blue, F. rich deep velvety violet-purple, heavily reticulated at the haft, with a prominent yellow beard. Very tall. Early.

Irises grown by Robert Wayman, Bayside New York 1930-1931 Catalog
ALCAZAR 86-87 Vilmorin, 1910 42 inches. FRAGRANT. The Cornell Test Gardens rate this as one of the best ten (10). It is a gigantic flower, symmetrical in form, stately in its bearing, beautiful in colouring and delightfully fragrant. The standards are soft violet to orchid and of a glistening silky texture. the falls are rich velvety crimson-purple with a white throat heavily veined bronze. There is a bright orange beard and amber style arms. Certainly it does not leave much to be desired.
50¢ each ; 3 for $1.25 ; 6 for $2.00 ; 100 for $25.00.

Royal Iris Garden, Frazer, Pennsylvania. 1932 Catalog.
ALCAZAR (Vilmorin 1910). Well branched blue purple bicolor.It and L. A. Williamson are the first tall large Irises to bloom,and should be in every collection. Both are strong growers and sure bloomers.

Harrisons Nurseries, 410 Albert Street, Palmerston North.  Bulb and Iris List, Autumn 1933.
General Collection.
ALCAZAR - Standards (S.) light bluish violet, Falls (F.) dark purple, with bronze and yellow throat. Very large ; a favourite.................1/6.

Carl Salbach Iris and Selected Seed Catalog, Berkeley, California, 1937.
ALCAZAR. Dark Violet with lighter standards. Vigourous. This is one of the older varieties which has been good enough to hold its own against the onslaught of new originations. Very showy. Early mid-season. 36 inches

You might think what has a French bred Iris got to do with New Zealand's Iris heritage?Above is a scan of page of Jean Stevens Stud Book 1925 Crosses which shows the use of Alcazar plus many other French and British Irises, Jean used in her early breeding programme. Some of the Irises listed I have recently referred to and featured on the blog and the entries indicate how important these irises where to the start of New Zealand's bearded iris breeding Heritage.

Above Photo's of Alcazar were taken blooming in a abandoned section next to the Masterton Railway Station thriving among the weeds and neglect.
Whats Truly amazing is the fact that one so called 'senior irisarian' in this neck of the woods has misidentified ALCAZAR and named it I.trojana and another in South Auckland has sold ALCAZAR to people as WINSTON CHURCHILL.

AIS Checklist 1939
ALCAZAR TB S3D Vilmorin, 1910

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©. 

1 comment:

  1. hello, just stumbled across your blog in my so far fruitless search to find what i believe to be the iris that grew in profusion beneath a 50ft privet hedge in the garden we moved to when i was 3yrs old. The house i grew up in was a 1930's bungalow surrounded on all sides by a well planted garden which to me was an escapists paradise. Now in my forties i feel the need to reconnect with that time, through the flowers and plants that seemed to be there just for me..So going by your information i reckon Alcazar would of been the iris to plant back when that house was built, it certainly looks just how i remember, bearing the closest resemblance that i've come across so far, though, don't have room for a fifty foot display lol nevermind, and thanks for your info


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