Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting it Right



An article in the AIS bulletin 353, April 2009 "Unsung Heroes of the Plant World" goes on at length espousing the advantages of joining a plant society - no doubt admirable thoughts. This blog has always promoted joining reputable plant societies.
But societies can undo decades of trust and creditability by promoting, selling or registering Irises with dubious names.
Take for instance a recent event. A lady (Who I shall call Mrs.B) from the district where I live attended an Iris show in Palmerston North in 2007. This show was sanctioned by the official Iris Society of New Zealand. The lady purchased an Iris labelled 'Beverly Sills’ from the sales table and was told the colour would be pink. Nothing wrong with this so far.

When she got home Mrs.B tipped the iris from its pot and was about to plant it when
another label was discovered which read ‘Sapphire Hills’.This is where I entered the frame. When Mrs B. rang me explaining the circumstances I said she now had a chance of growing either a really good pink or a really good light blue. Had it turned out that way it would have been an compromise as Mrs B. really wanted a Pink Iris but an acceptable result. Problem is when the Iris flowered it was a red brown blend (photo above) that no one knows the name. Mrs B. has now pulled the iris from the garden and is now looking for a nice pink Iris to replace it. There is now one really disappointed member of the public who when this Iris group is mentioned is not slow in coming forward and telling the story above. From what I have been hearing lately this is far from a one-off.

Where does the author of this article slot the above described scenario when he states, “ Societies promote the dissemination of accurate information and sponsor research to learn more. They are the reliable sources"?
The New Zealand club goes and publishes the same article in its own booklet just recently.

Maybe the editor included it as an example of something they could aspire to.



  1. It isn't just iris sales. I bought mislabeled daylilies at the local Daylily Show. Not a big outlay of money, just annoyance when the pretty pale daylily I bought had 'eyes.' I guess in their haste to get the sale together, members sometimes make mistakes. Most were exactly as labeled.

  2. had to laugh. I've tried to buy 'beverly sills' twice. The first time it was mis-labeled, and the second time, I am ashamed and astonished to report, I killed it! (too dry of a spot, I think). It is becoming quite an expensive pink!


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