Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tall Bearded Iris "LADY FRIEND"

A Colour sometimes described as Toasted Watermelon, Lady Friend is an Early flowering Iris carrying an abundance of bloom is a robust grower and increase is outstanding.Lady Friend is the result of Joe Ghio's long-standing and continued pursuit of the elusive Red Iris.  The evolution of the RED iris is far from complete. Becomes another reluctant iris labelled as Historic in 2010.

Keith Keppel 1982 Catalog, Irises.
LADY FRIEND (Ghio 1981) Indian Territory X Countryman Vigorous garnet rose self with tangerine red beards...$16.00

Bay View Gardens 1982 Catalog
LADY FRIEND (Ghio 1981) Glittering garnet ; a new colour debuts to the Iris galaxy. Tall, well branched, very vigorous, and quite early ..$20.00

Cooleys 2000 Iris Fanciers Standard Reference Book.
LADY FRIEND (Ghio 1981) E. 38"
A unique garnet rose flower. It is a prolific bloomer and is fast to increase. This plant will soon produce a rosy bid or garden. HM 1983, AM 1985

IRISES A Gardeners Encyclopaedia, Claire Austin.
Iris 'Lady Friend' (J. Ghio 1980) The ruffled flowers are hard to describe. The colour is a sort of pink red or perhaps is the breeder describes it garnet red. The beard is are bent orange. Height 97 cm 38¾ inches Bloom; very early to early-season.

IRIS,Flower of the Rainbow, Graeme Grosvenor.
Lady Friend (Ghio 1981) approaches red from the dark pink side, being a garnet rose or garnet red in colour and quite distinctive with its soft coloured beards. The flowers are large and of reasonable form. They are carried on excellent, strong spikes with about seven well spaced flowers that bloom early and continue through the season. Spikes will reach 95 cm in height and are able to hold up well in all weather. 'Lady Friend' is a superb garden Iris in every way, It is healthy, vigorous and quick to increase, seems unperturbed by soil or climate conditions and is an outstanding performer in mild climates. It also re-establishes very quickly and will perform very well on a first year planting. It is an Iris that seems never to fail even when treated quite harshly. 'Lady Friend' is from interesting breeding, Indian Territory X Countryman and although I know of others who have been able to achieve nice seedlings from it, I have been unable to obtain much of quality. When it first released it was thought that 'Lady Friend' would open the door to a range of reds from the pink side, but this has not happened. 'Lady Friend' is an excellent show Iris and has been champion at the NSW Region of the ISA show in Sydney.

AIS Checklist 1989
LADY FRIEND.(Joseph Ghio, R. 1980) Sdlg. 76-126-O. TB, 38" (97 cm), VE-E ; Garnet red; red beard. Indian Territory X Countryman. Bay View Gardens 1981. HM 1983, AM 1985.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo Credit and Copyright Iris Hunter.


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