Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tall Bearded Iris "OLD BLACK MAGIC "

"That old black magic has me in it's spell."

I was very pleased to be given this Iris by Julie May of The Iris Garden when I was last in Christchurch working. Photo taken as the early morning sun casts its rays across the garden creating the bright light and long shadows making the iris sparkle.
Black is the stand out colour in any plant variety and whilst most 'Black' irises have a purple or red tone a true black is not that far away. I like the colour a lot and having just checked the database of plants growing at home I see that there are 49 black varieties listed with 3 new varieties to arrive this year, twenty one of these varieties have been hybridised by Schreiner's.

The well respected 'Perry Dyer' writes in his Contemporary Views 1994-95.
"My favorite of the hundreds of reselect's which l evaluated in Oregon was one of the highly advanced blacks: Schreiner Seedling #AA401-A (now named "OLD BLACK MAGIC", a 1996 introduction). The saturation is as deep as that of 'Hello Darkness' (Schreiner) with waved horizontal falls. Beards are also black, discreetly tipped mustard. More sultry than shiny, and the overall plant habits and quality of stalks will surely make this seedling yet one more player in the Schreiner's family's quest for the 'ultimate black'."

From Schreiners 2002 Iris Lovers Catalog
Coal black color and mysterious yellow beards. Although smaller flowered, it makes up for size by producing a plethora of buds (8-12 per stem) Add the pleasant scent of sweet raisins and you have an irresistible combinationThe introduction of the Iris BLACK FOREST in 1945 was the beginning's of the magnificent Schreiners legacy of hybridising top class, Black and Dark Violet Irises which continues today with their 2009 introduction ' DRACULA'S KISS', their first red bearded dark Iris.

AIS Checklist 1998 
OLD BLACK MAGIC Schreiner 1996 EM 36" 91cm Lightly ruffled coal black self; beards yellow; pronounced sweet fragrance. Midnight Dancer X Back in Black HM'98, AM'00

'Old Black Magic' is available in New Zealand from The Iris Garden, and Amazing Iris Garden. In America it is available of course from Schreiner's, but Generally in America all one has to do is google this variety and find there are many sellers of the iris, such is its popularity. 

Click on any photo to view a larger image.
Photo Credit and Copyright Iris Hunter

1 comment:

  1. I just love that black Iris. It really is black! I dindn't know it would come in that colour...




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