Friday, March 9, 2012

Tall Bearded Iris 'DECADENCE'

Different? You Betcha! I could of joined the crowd and posted a catalogue shot of 'Decadence' but decided the above photo was a better selection as it accentuates the extraordinary ruffling and lace that have become the hallmark of this iris. Everything about it is extravagant from its bright apricot standards to the band of apricot around the rich red-purple falls that are enhanced with bright tangerine beards, very showy and an excellent parent. Grows with a robust vigour and high health in my garden.
In 2011 'Decadence' was awarded the 'Wister Medal' its the highest award given by The American Iris Society to a Tall Bearded Iris, but because of the AIS eligibility rules it is not allowed to be considered for the US Dykes Medal,(perhaps Australia could do that). Up to and including the year 2010 'Decadence' makes an appearance in the first cross parentage of 90 registered irises and my understanding is there is a lot more to come in 2011 registrations so the genie is well and truly out of the bottle

Tempo Two Iris and Daylilies Catalogue 2004-2004
DECADENCE (Blyth 04 Aust.) M 38". A heavily ruffled and lace creation. The standards are golden apricot with a faint rose midrib flush. Stylearms are creamy apricot ; falls are like plum burgundy with a creamy apricot edge. Beards are tangerine. Now and then in an Iris breeding program, a seedling will emerge that will blow your socks off. Such was the case with Decadence. From its maiden bloom, we knew we had something that was very exciting, despite the fact that its first stem only had 3 buds, and it would not set seed and the pollen also set very few pods. However on its second blooming, it showed itself to be an amazing Iris, not only in its growth, but count and floriferousness, but it had set pods and its pollen also proved to be very fertile. When its first seedling bloomed, they were equally amazing in the variability and of unusually high quality with very few rejects. This does not normally happen with Iris crosses as most seedlings are discarded. After three lots of seedlings have bloomed, we have some 100 or more retained selections and many more to flower in coming years. Its first grandchildren have bloomed and they are quality plus. It is an excellent grower and seems to be very resistant to disease as are most of its progeny.(Temple of Time X Louisa's Song.) Sdlg. No. H83-G

Contemporary Views, Perry Dyer– 2005/2006
 DECADENCE (Blyth 2004) is well-named, with a devilishly inviting combination of golden-apricot standards atop tapestry falls with varying degrees of depth in burgundy, wine, bronze, and mahogany, with edging the color of the standards, encapsulated in deep ruffles and lace. It held its own in cold, wet weather in both Oklahoma and Portland, retaining richness of color and with sufficient substance to keep itself together, when others in similar color combinations fell apart.

AIS Checklist 2001
DECADENCE (Barry Blyth, R. 2001) Sdlg. H83-G. TB, 38" (96 cm), M ; S. creamy apricot, faint rose midrib flush; style arms creamy apricot; F. light plum burgundy, 1/4" creamy apricot edge; beards tangerine; heavily ruffled and laced. Temple of Time X Louisa's Song. Keppel 2004, Tempo Two 2004/05. HM 2006,Walther Cup 2006, AM 2008, John C. Wister Memorial Medal 2010.

Reports from America I've received are that 'Decadence' has a tendency to rot and blooms have trouble opening in some Northern and North Eastern States gardens where winter temperatures are harsh and it isn't unusual for ice to form around rhizomes which causes many problems, especially rot. There are also some reports that it also isn't at home in the hot/humid south. I would also note that I can find no comments explaining these potential problems by commercial growers that supply Rhizomes into these markets.
Recently in January this year there was a discussion with a disappointingly strong xenophobic bent on Iristalk regarding 'Decadence' which visitor to the blog can view by clicking here. The simple and obvious solution for these folks is 'next time try making a quality judgement by selecting a variety that suits your environment and maybe you will be rewarded with less stress coupled with great results !!! Hardly rocket science is it' ???'

Huge hat tip to Barry Blyth for having his great sense of adventure in Hybridising, the iris world is a much more brilliant and interesting place because of it.

Available this season in New Zealand from, Amazing Iris Gardens,South Pacific Epiphyllums and Mossburn Iris Gardens, links left hand column above

Photo from my 'Early Morning Series' where the play of early morning sunlight makes it the best time to be in the garden with a camera. Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter


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