Monday, April 1, 2013

Tall Bearded Iris JANE PHILLIPS

I have always held this Iris in high regard, and was one of my first irises. It was purchased at a School Fair with no ID which undoubtedly started me on this mad journey of Iris history. What makes 'Jane Phillips' special is hard to put your finger on, perhaps it is it's carrying power and consistency or the trick it plays on the grower with its dark blue buds that slowly unfurl to become an entirely pale blue bloom. Not tall, but not as short as some critics would lead you to believe in their reviews below. Clean grey green foliage, great plant health with especially good increase. This year we have split a plant and have replanted, now we have a clump of 10 plants so in the coming years Jane will be back on a larger scale winning hearts again. Fertile both ways and is involved in the parentage of one hundred plus Irises.  Also has a New Zealand connection did you know? It was the pod parent of Jean Stevens ruffled light blue 'Foaming Seas' and also the pod parent for Lucy Delany's ruffled really creamy cream Tall Bearded 'Happy Jane' both of these grow at home.
If you need an Iris with great classic form and real class this iris could be the one. If you find it, buy it, I guarantee you won't regret it.

Fairmont Gardens, Lowell, Massachusetts,Irises, Hemerocallis, Hostas, Poppies, Introductions for 1950.
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves 1950) M. This beautiful blue is the child of the famous iris Helen McGregor that won the Dykes Medal in 1949. Deeper in color, but with similar form and substance, it possesses great color appeal. A very clear blue self with well domed standards, arched and smoothly finished, the semi-flaring falls are lightly fluted at the edges. Firm texture and exquisite color, it possesses that mark of distinction that is characteristic of so many irises bred by Dr. Graves and his able assistant, Edward Watkins. This iris has been tested in many parts of this country as well as in England and is high favor wherever grown. Excellent branching and sturdy growth. Stock limited. 

H.M. A.I.S. 1947. 38in..................................................................................$25.00

The Iris Year Book, 1951
A Selection of Higher-Priced Irises, by G.L.Pilkington and N. Leslie Cave.
List 3. Irises Costing over £1
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves) Similar to Helen McGregor but several shades bluer. And other beauty with similar failing, a stubby stem (TWO VOTES)

The Iris Year Book, 1952
Commentaries in Variety, by H. Senior Fothergill
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves) This shapely, pale blue Iris has now proved itself to be a very sturdy grower and a rapid increaser. It is not so expensive now, and really shows its owner that it is grateful for its board and lodging in a way which, unfortunately, not one in twenty of modern novelties is gracious enough to do.

Cooleys Gardens Silverton, Oregon. Iris for 1951
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves 1950)
A new light blue that is deeper in color than Helen McGregor, of which it is a seedling. It resembles its famous parent in form and size but because it carries more color it is distinct and worthy in its own right. We have seen no Iris which appears nearer true blue. HM AIS 1950. Each $20.00.

Courtesy Cooleys 1957 Catalog

Schreiner's, Route 2, Salem, Oregon. Iris Lovers Catalogue, 1952.
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves 1950) EM, 34".
If you revel in clear blue Iris here is one that will delight you. A seedling of the famous Helen McGregor it is somewhat deeper though equally as true blue tie. It probably ranks with Cahokia as one of the bluest Iris we grow.HM'50..........................................................$15.00

Lyon Iris Gardens, Van Nuys, California. Iris and Hemerocallis, 1955 Catalog.
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves 1950)
A clear attractive medium blue self, smooth in finish and beautifully formed. The large flowers with domed standards and semi-flaring falls are lightly frilled at the edges. Winter tested. 38".........................$3.00

Stevens Bros.  Bastia Hill, Wanganui. Irises 1955-1956.
  At last we are able to offer you this famous light blue descendant of Helen McGregor, which many New Zealanders, having seen in our trial gardens, or at the London Iris Show, have been waiting for- the bluest blue Iris! In offering novelties to our customers it is our obligation not to list a variety until we have a stock available to satisfy normal first year demand. It therefore follows that when, as in the case of Jane Phillips, we know the demand is going to be very heavy, we must wait an extra year so that there will be enough plants to go around. Of beautiful form and a heavenly light blue colour, Jane is an exceptionally large flower of great substance, and fully lives up to her overseas reputation. An Iris which will be the pride of your garden. 2 ft 9 in.............................................................42/-

The Tall Bearded Iris, Blue Irises, Nicholas Moore, 1st. Ed. 1956.
Dr Graves's later introductions, though they have surpassed AND THOU (1942) in blueness and in evenness of colour, have scarcely done so in other respects. Of these HELEN McGREGOR (1946) is the star. It is said, 'never has an Iris been so popular in its first year of introduction', and it is ruffled, voluptuous blooms have been described as having a film star beauty. A light clear blue, and several degrees bluer than most other light blues, it has captivated its admirers at shows, and in the garden it flowers with tremendous freedom. However, its beauty is marred by short, thick,podgy steam and poor proportion to its flowers, and the flowers themselves are apt to be too crowded. JANE PHILLIPS a later descendant, is somewhat similar, but is slightly deeper in colour and less blowsy in form, and has the ineffable advantage of the better branching and poise, a better plant in every way, but even this is too short for its big flowers.

Irises, Judith M. Berrisford, Garden Book Club Edition, 1961.
Choosing your Irises. Pale Blue.
JANE PHILLIPS (Graves 1950)  34", E-M.
If you want a stronger, yet still pale blue than, 'Helen McGregor', this is the iris to choose. Really a flax blue. Very similar to 'Helen McGregor' in everything but colour, and a stronger grower. Scented.

AIS Checklist, 1949.
JANE PHILLIPS (Robert J. Graves, R. 1946). TB, M B1M. 'Helen McGregor' x ('Pale Moonlight' x 'Great Lakes') Award of Garden Merit R.H.S. Highly Commended 1947, Honorable Mention 1950,  Award of Merit 1952. AIS.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©


Post a Comment

©2008 - 2016 HERITAGE IRISES. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying or storage of this website's content is prohibited without prior written permission. Terry Johnson in association with The Iris Hunter,What Have You Productions and 15 out of 7 Design.