Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tall Bearded Iris "DARKSIDE"

The great thing about Bearded Irises is that just about anyone can grow them, so for the new and even the more accomplished Iris Growers, 'Darkside' is a 'must have' and is generally sold for very reasonable prices. My recommendation is at the very least, to put this Reblooming Iris on your wish list.
The large silky rich and ruffled dark purple black blooms with purple ebony beard, has a distinct purple base to the leaves.(PBF). A vigorous and utterly reliable garden iris which excels in full sun. Whilst the photo below is not great,In fact its a bloody shocker, and will post a better shot this bloom season (see above)  it does show why this iris has a prominent planting in our gardens, and for at least three weeks it is one of the best knockout clumps. Yes that Progenitor of the great Schreiner Blacks, 'Black Forest' is in the back ground pedigree on the Pod side and amazingly Jean Stevens' introduction 'Black Belle' is in the pollen side a few generations back.

The SUN BELT AWARD, given to the Best Proven Variety (i.e., one that has been on the market at least 4 years; this year’s winner had to have been released prior to 1986): DARKSIDE (Schreiner 1985). A great, quality complement to the Contemporary Award winner, ‘Silverado’, this is the ultimate in a very advanced line of Schreiner irises that consistently have choice progeny. Even in the Blanchard garden, where Miss Kitty had salvaged what was left of the June flood last year and replanted as late as November, ‘Darkside’ produced tall, well branched stalks this spring. Broad, blocky flowers are purest deep violet (approaching black) with light to moderate ruffling and a silk sheen. The overall form is even better than the very fine ‘Titan’s Glory’ (Schreiner) or ‘Dusky Challenger’ (Schreiner). Exceptionally vigorous, a consistent bloomer (obviously, if it bloomed in Blanchard this year!), and strong, telephone pole stalks that will not fall over in Okie winds, even with 3 or 4 of its large blossoms open. It makes for a good garden iris in the clump, too, as the 3 to 4 branches are modified candelabra. What is most impressive is that, even though the flowers are huge, it has backup buds that open in a proportionate size and with good bloom sequence.

AIS 1989 Checklist
DARKSIDE (Schreiner’s, R. 1985). Sdlg. R 114-A. TB 34" (86 cm) ML. Ruffled rich dark purple black; purple ebony beard. J 969-A: ((Night Song x A 588-A) x (Y 1608 x Matinata)) X Titan’s Glory., Schreiner’s 1985.) Honourable Mention 1987 Award of Merit 1991

Available in New Zealand from Julie May at The Iris Gardens Christchurch, and from Wendy Begbie at the Amazing Iris Garden

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

1 comment:

  1. We have this in our garden, and love it for its very dark purple color. It is also strongly scented with something that I think of as an "iris scent" (sort of perfume-y... not unpleasant, and distinctive).

    I am not an iris expert by any means, just a hobby gardener (with an interest in vegetables, herbs, clematis, and daylilies), but it seems to me that (similar to daylilies) many irises are lacking in the fragrance department.


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