Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tall Bearded Historic Iris "GAY LIGHTS"

Gay Lights is an Iris that is reported to be uncommon in the Country of its registration (USA) yet this outstanding reverse bi tone, which is an unusual color tone is still available from three small commercial Iris growers in New Zealand who generally seem to be the home for back catalogue Irises (Long may they exist). This iris grows well in our garden, strong growth with good increase, blooming in a bed amongst the older browns like 'Inca Chief' and 'Frontier Marshall'. Can't say I liked it at first but growing with the browns and reds it certainly stands out. It was because the Jean Stevens introduction 'Watchfire' is in its parentage that originally kindled my interest in this variety.

Schreiner's Iris Lover's Catalog 1965
Superlative New Iris for 1965
GAY LIGHTS (Schreiner, 1965). M 34"
Here is an iris with a much higher novelty rating than our picture is able to depict. The standards are a silky, translucent coppery brown with a pronounced crepy, lacy frill at the tips. The falls are a glistening opaque yellow-gold of startling richness, attracting attention from 30 feet away. Lacy tips of copper and ad note of harmony to the golden falls. Iris are normally lighter in the standards and deeper in the falls, but Gay Lights reverses the customary contrast with striking effect. As a garden iris the popularity of Gay Lights seems assured. A clump of this gleaming novelty seems struck by shafts of sunlight.Sdlg.No. R-955-A

Photo enhancement courtesy
Schreiner's Iris Lover's catalog 1965

AIS Checklist 1969
GAY LIGHTS (Schreiner's, R. 1964). Sdlg. R-955-A. TB 35" ML. Y5. S blended copper-bronze; F lighter, rich molten-yellow without orange. ((Watchfire x Argus Pheasant) x Inca Chief) X Spellbound., Schreiner's 1965. HM 1966.

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Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter


  1. What a gorgeous variety! I'll have to watch for it here. I dislike lacing, but the colors are so wonderful. I thought it looked like a Kleinsorge, as it is similar in tone to Harvest Splendor, and sure enough there is that blood in it's background thru Inca Chief.


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