Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tall Bearded Historic Iris "CASCADE PASS "

Returning home from Wellington and to my delight a solitary stem of the ridiculously early blooming 'Cascade Pass'. Not another bloom stalk in this garden to be seen but I did note that the are a couple in other gardens at home where the irises are starting to set bloom stalks, amazing really, we are still 9-10 weeks away from Masterton's Iris Show. Note the frost damage at the tips of the standards in the Photo.
A large white iris with slight ruffling and olive veins which start on the hafts,and cascade down the falls. White tipped beards touched with bright yellow towards the back. Flowers are scented. Now historic and 39 years old it is still an outstanding garden variety.

Fertile "Cascade Pass' is unusual as nearly all whites come from a cross of two whites or the cross of a white and a blue and only occasionally do good whites come from the breeding lines of other colours. Cascade Pass pedigree Bang X (April Showers x Molten) which are all Tom Craig introductions and are detailed as follows. 'Bang' is a Cedar red brown. The yellow and white fancy plicata 'April Showers' was crossed with 'Molten' a rosy brown violet blend and the resulting seedling became the pollen parent of which the colouration is not described. That aside and quick browse of the checklist, the most likely source of the white is from 'Los Angeles' which is few generations back in 'April Showers' genetics, but I'm only speculating.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1975, Number 218.
Nineteen from Region 15 Sanford Roberts.
Two ladies from the San Diego-Imperial Counties Iris Society have  given us two fine introductions in the past few years. The late Mrs. Ruby Cooper combined Bang X (April Showers x Molten) and gave southern California the large, ruffled white CASCADE PASS that blooms all year in these parts. It is usually exhibited from January through the late June iris shows and then comes right back for the November shows. Lois Weaver gave us the lovely Pacific Coast Native NATIVE JEWEL--a most enjoyable wide, light lavender.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July 1975, Number 216.
Saturday: Pilley, Oak Trail, and Cordon Bleu gardens. Rena Crumpler, Virginia.
CASCADE PASS, Ruby Cooper '72. I had not seen this last one before but it was very white and cool with deep gold beard, white tipped, and some green and a hint of lavender in the throat.

AIS Checklist 1979

CASCADE PASS (R. Cooper, R. 1970). Sdlg. 68-1 B X (A S X M). TB 45" (116 cm) M & RE. S. white; F. white with light yellowish green midribs; strong yellow-green markings on shoulders and throat; beard deep gold in throat, tipped white; very pale purple wash in entire throat. Bang X (April Showers x Molten)., Cordon Bleu 1972.

Clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Photo Credit and copyright Iris Hunter


  1. You have posted wonderful picture of flowers that is appreciated. Keep it up the good work.

  2. It always amazes me how plants in places with a similar climate can vary so much. We are at a similar latitude to you here in Tasmania, and my Beardies are only just waking up from their winter nap. Some of the taller ones, like 'Hampton Gold', are putting out long new growth, but nothing like what you have shown above. Lovely photo too. I look forward to following your blog.

    Cheers, Simon


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