Friday, February 15, 2013

Intermediate Bearded Iris 'RASPBERRY BLUSH'

'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" .
It's a 33 year old Iris that is still been sold in the current catalogues of main stream Iris nurseries idicates just how popular it is with the Gardening Public. This is unusual to say the least especially in the US of A where catalogue variety turnover is at its highest. 'Raspberry Blush' is still catalogued today by Schreiners another great indication of the high regard this iris is still held.  Awarded the Hans and Jacob Sass Medal in 1981.

Mission Bell Gardens, Mr. and Mrs.J. R. Hamblen, Roy Utah. Iris for 1976.
1976 Introductions. Intermediate Bearded;

RASPBERRY BLUSH. ML, 20". Raspberry pink with deeper toned spot in falls and beards matching spot. Ruffled, well-formed flowers on strong stalks. Pretty Karen small sib X Dove Wings. #M70-22C. HC '75. ..................... $10.00

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1980, Number 239.
Varietal comments from Tulsa
What You Should Have Seen, Ron Mullin.
The IBs were in full bloom for the convention, and I agree with the many who commented that Hamblen's RASPBERRY BLUSH stole the show.

Tempo Two, Barry and Lesley Blyth, East Road, Pearcedale, Victoria, Australia, Season 1983-84
RASPBERRY BLUSH (Hamblen '76 USA) IB ML 20". Ruffled well formed raspberry pink with deeper toned spots below pink beards. We love this one (Pretty Karen Sib x Dove Wings) HM '77, JC '77, AM '79. Sass Medal '81..................... $7.50 

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.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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. Stocked in a Central Otago nursery - originally under the name of Willowbank Pink as I thought the original name was - but due to the help of diligent iris identifiers I have found out it is Raspberry Blush.
    A smokey pink - lovely iris - always popular.

  2. Love the article and photo. Plus your site has a very beautiful design.


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