Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tall Bearded Iris HENRY SHAW

Named after Henry Shaw (1800--1889), a native of Sheffield, England who made his fortune in hardware outfitting trappers and settlers entering the Louisiana Purchase Territory via St. Louis. In 1859 he donated his 79-acre country estate for "all time for the public benefit ". This garden is today the Missouri Botanical Garden, and is the oldest botanical garden in continuous existence in the United States. Cliff Benson introduced the white TB 'Henry Shaw' in 1959. It is a pure white self with a green undercast that follows through and a flawless snowy white beard, winning an Honorable Mention from AIS in 1959 and an Award of Merit in 1961. With Snow Flurry in its pedigree it was more than appropriate that Henry Shaw, was the first winner of the Clara B. Rees Cup in 1965 for an "outstanding white iris". We purchased this heirloom iris many years ago from Lynne Atkins of Greenhaugh Gardens fame, now there is a garden to visit !!!

Cliff W Benson, Route 3, Baxter Road, Chesterfield, Missouri, Introducing for 1959.
HENRY SHAW (Cliffs of Dover x Marion Marlowe)
A heavy ruffled perfectly proportioned pure icy-white self with a snowy beard. Flowers are enhanced with cool green tones. Standards are domed ; Falls wide and foliage is vigorous and blue-green. The ruffling and corrugation runs completely around the broad and heavily substanced blossoms. Proving to be a superb breeder. Named in honor of the founder of the Missouri Botanical "Shaw's Garden". M. 38" H.C. 1958 NET $20.00

'Irises' by Harry Randall, Chapter 9 Famous Tall Bearded Parents.
A fascinating exercise for Iris breeders is to study the records and prepare pedigrees for their favourites. These can be an elaborate form adopted in our history books to press the ancestry of Kings, or in the simpler form adopted in the book of Genesis. Using the simple form, I can recall that Snow Flurry crossed with Katherine Fay produced New Snow. When this was crossed with the pale blue Cahokia it 'begot' Cliffs of Dover, which is been the most popular white in Britain for some years ; and when this was crossed with Marion Marlowe it gave Henry Shaw. From Henry Shaw came Arctic Fury which is producing some wonderfully fine seedlings of which we are certain to hear in the years ahead.
I do not claim nor could it ever be proved that all the good qualities of these five generations of seedlings came from Snow Flurry, and a few people would doubt my contention that they might neither have appeared in our gardens but for her influence. Three of those named above --
New Snow, Cliffs of Dover, and Henry Shaw-- have already won Awards of Merit in the United States, and their descendants will be considered for that honour when they have been on trial for a sufficiently lengthy period and in a wide range of gardens in different States.
The pedigree given could with variations, be duplicated very many times to show the beneficent effect of Snow Flurry on large numbers of modern Irises, and to indicate our indebtedness to Clara Rees.

'Irises' by Harry Randall, Chapter 12 Irises Already Popular.
Henry Shaw, Benson 1957, 36 inch tall bearded. Mid-season. Pure white self with snowy white beard. Green throat. Cliff of Dover X Marion Marlowe  

AIS Bulletin #166, July, 1962,'The Modern White Iris', page 10, Mr. Cahey E. Quinn.
HENRY SHAW is Cliff Benson's white offering for 1959. I think this is his best. As with most modern iris, it has excellent substance. The flower is also heavily ruffled, a pure white with a white beard. Proportion, balance, vigorous blue-green foliage-these are the features that make HENRY SHAW desired by everyone.

REGION 14, Regional Bulletin Northern California, Nevada, Fall 1962.
“Varietal comment”,  page 23, Donald L. Artz. 
Of the many fine whites available I find it hard to beat the not too widely distributed Henry Shaw (C Benson 1959).  It’s a large fluted white with excellent form, substance and branching.

Schreiners Iris Lovers Catalog 1964
HENRY SHAW C Benson 1959 M. 38" High style and chaste coloring mark Henry Shaw as a top-notch white Iris. Perfectly proportioned, the ruffling and the crimping runs completely around the broad and heavily substance petal. The buds have a greenish cast which sustains in the open flowers and gives a beautiful undercast. All white even to the beard. HM 1959, AM 1961

Gilbert H. Wild and Son. Inc. Sarcoxie Missouri Peonies-Iris-Daylilies 1967
HENRY SHAW  (Benson 1961)
38in. M. A heavily ruffled pure icy white self w with a snowy white tipped beard. The ruffling and the corrugation runs completely around the broad and heavily substance blossoms. A superb breeder for ruffled whites and blues. Named in honour of the founder of the Missouri Botanical "Shaws" garden.  HM 1959, AM 1961

Schliefert Iris Gardens, Murdock, Nebraska, 29th Annual Catalog, 1970
HENRY SHAW C Benson 1959............ $2.00
Perfectly proportioned. The ruffling and corrugation run completely around each heavily substanced petal. All white even to the beard. AM 1961 Rees Cup 1965

Jean Collins Iris Gardens, Cambridge Road, Tauranga
HENRY SHAW White, even to the beards. Older variety but still good........$1.50

Schreiners Iris Lovers Catalog 1982
HENRY SHAW C Benson 1959 M. 38"
A top notch white Iris of high styles ; all white even to the beard. Do not let the modest price demean the high quality of this splendid Iris. Our plentiful stock justifies the low price. AM 1961 $2.00

Bay Blooms Nurseries, Cambridge Road, Tauranga Spring / Summer 1996 Catalogue
HENRY SHAW All white, even to the beards. The ruffling and the crimping runs completely around the broad and heavily substance petal............. $5.00

AIS Checklist 1959
HENRY SHAW (C. Benson, R. 1957) Sdlg. 56-6. TB, 36" (91 cm), M
Pure white self, snowy white beard, green throat. Cliffs of Dover x Marion Marlowe. C. Benson 1959. HM 1959, AM 1961

Whites Irises are fickle to ID and most I do not even attempt to try, but it needs to be said that the current crop of 'Henry Shaw'  photos shown on 'Dave's Gardens' and the much vaunted for its accuracy 'Iris Encyclopedia wiki', are something other than their label. Let me explain, t
he much commented on stand out feature of the iris 'Henry Shaw' is it's snowy white beard, all the catalogue descriptions also thought this was special enough to mention, so if the beards on your iris includes some other colour, you would have to reach the conclusion that it's not 'Henry Shaw', it's the first stop to elimination and it's that simple. Next step the green throat.............................

Selling this year in New Zealand at 'Amazing Iris Garden' 

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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