Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Border Bearded Iris CRYSTAL BAY

Blooming today the award winning Border Bearded Iris 'Crystal Bay'. Described as a warm white with a neat medium blue border. Not sure if it is a plicata or is it what is now known as the 'Emma Cook' pattern?? Photo taken after a night of hard rain and cold temperature and shows 'Crystal Bay' resistance to inclement weather, and its ability to maintain its composure and star qualities. Not a great increaser but plants have good health.  Parentage includes Paul Cooks 'Kiss me Kate', Whole Cloth, Progenitor, and Jean Stevens 'Polar Cap'.
A mighty fine piece of Iris history to be growing at home.

Bennett C. Jones, Portland, Oregon. Introductions for 1966.
CRYSTAL BAY Sdgl.#B20-2 ((Kiss Me Kate x (Polar Cap x Progenitor)) X ((Polar Cap x Progenitor) x Whole Cloth)) Domed closed standards are warm white. Falls are warm white, bordered blue. Beautiful flower form and plant proportion- a true Border iris. H.C. 1965  26"............................................$10.00

AIS Checklist 1969
CRYSTAL BAY   Bennett Jones, Reg. 1965. Sdlg. B 20-2. BB 26" M. W1Bcm.    S white; F white with blue border. ((Kiss Me Kate x (Polar Cap x Progenitor)) X ((Polar Cap x Progenitor) x Whole Cloth))., Jones 1966. HC 1966, HM 1967, JC 1967, 1968, AM 1969.

As usual, clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Tall Bearded Iris LOYAL DEVOTION

This is a very early blooming Tall Bearded Iris which is always a worry as 'we at home' are still in the peak Nor-westerlies season. Just two days ago wind gusts of 170kph arrived then left and I spent the next days cutting up two large 8 metre olive trees that were completely levelled, so bloom stalks on tall bearded irises were completely out of their league, I am still finding horizontal bloom stalks.
Can't say this is my favourite time of the year coming back home to find mother nature has been so bloody ruthless, but as the saying goes 'every garden path has its puddle'.
'Loyal Devotion' with its appropriate name opened its stunning medium blue bloom this morning similar in colour  to 'Color Me Blue' (Schreiner '97) but a more earlier 80's classic form.
My understanding is that this iris was never well distributed internationally so its kinda a real surprise to have it growing in New Zealand and it has completely disappeared from New Zealand commercial catalogues which is a shame as early light blues that can endure strong winds are rarer than rocking horse droppings .

Contemporary Views, 1988, Perry Dyer. Tall Beardeds by Color Group; Light Blues.
LOYAL DEVOTION (Waltermire 1982) was as good as it has ever been; looking good in virtually every garden. I don’t know what the Spences have in that soil of theirs, but I have never seen ‘Loyal Devotion’ with such a true blue. The branching is rather close to the stalk, but the flowers open without touching the stalk, and it looks good on the show bench. The timing of the bloom sequence in a clump is especially good, assuring a long season of bloom.

Contemporary Views, 1992, Perry Dyer, Dark Horse Award Runner sup.
One of the bluest true-blues in the kingdom is the Tall Bearded LOYAL DEVOTION (Waltermire 1982), a pure, crystalline clearwater blue displayed on an acceptable stalk with good bud count. The entire flower is diamond-dusted, which further enlivens the flower. Plant habits are beyond reproach.

Bay Blooms Nurseries, Cambridge Road, Tauranga Spring / Summer 1996 Catalogue.
One of the bluest of the blues we have ever grown. Super ruffled light blue with excellent branching and good growth. Flowers early in the season.

AIS Checklist 1989
LOYAL DEVOTION   C. Waltermire, Reg. 1981. Sdlg. CW 77-2. TB 30" (76 cm) EM.     Ruffled light blue; white beard. Sapphire Hills X Full Tide., Contemporary Gardens 1982. Honorable Mention 1984.

As usual, clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter. 

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Historic Arilbred Iris ' WITCH DOCTOR'

It has rained a lot in the past few days with very strong winds. Checking the garden this morning the arilbred 'Witch Doctor' had unwrapped itself from its large buds to show us just how good looking Arilbred Irises really are. Most likely sterile. Beautiful and mysterious form, massive buds which are nearly as interesting as the bloom itself !!!

Rainbow Hybridizing Gardens, Placerville, California.
Lloyd Austins World Famous Iris Color Guide Book, 1959.
WITCH DOCTOR (Plough, 1955) E-L 28" A new giant that will be an eye stopper in any garden for it is like an improved Conquest. Standards blue lavender with buffy tan midrib. Falls from centre down are grayed-blue-lavender with buffy tan haft and heart. Beard yellow, blue at tip. Starts early and blooms for a long season. HM 1956 JC 1957 (Cream Sdlg. X Capatola)

Marble Iris Gardens, Grandview, Washington. Iris Colorama Catalog, 1961.
WITCH DOCTOR (Plough, 1955) E-M 28 in. Unusual, large onco of grayed blue-lavender with a buffy tan haft at the heart. Has a tendency to bloom early and conitnue for several weeks. This is one of the largest Iris we grow. H.M 1956

The Aril Society International Illustrated Official Checklist 2006
WITCH DOCTOR OB- (Gordon Plough, R. 1953). Sdlg. 47-6-5. AB, EC, 28" (71 cm), EL. Lavender gray blend. TB sdlg. X Capitola. Iris Test Garden, 1955.Honorable Mention 1956, Judges Choice 1957, Clarence G. White Memorial Award,1960.

As usual, clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Pacific Coast Iris Seedling

Scattered along the west coast of the United States are eleven species of irises, probably derived from the ancestor of the 40 chromosome Sibericans, and able to breed both with their cousins across the Bering Strait, and with each other.

Wherever these Pacific Coast Natives Irises meet they form hybrid swarms, some of which have been given species names in the past.   As is the way with gardeners, growers soon saw that there was a wide genetic variety within these species and began planned crosses.  New Zealand’s own Jean Stevens was among the first to start planned crossing, looking for better colour and form.

In the past thirty years these irises have changed considerably, with an expanded colour range, bigger flowers, some ruffling as well, alot under the influence of Joe Ghio, better known as a breeder of bearded irises.

These plants do not grow well in areas with cold winters – in fact they hardly grow there at all – but in milder regions they offer tremendous potential, flowering early in the tall bearded season, and breeders have been hard at work in California, Washington and Oregon in the United States, and in other temperate areas of the world.

They grow especially well in New Zealand and a number of enthusiasts have been crossing among seed originally sourced from the Society for Pacific Coast Native Irises.  The editor of the SPCNI lives in a neighbouring town and I recently had a look through his seedlings and was taken with this burnt sienna hybrid with vivid purple markings. 

As usual, clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris 'WILD WESTY'

'Wild Westy' another show stopper from one of New Zealand's premiere Hybridiser of Median Irises , Noel Lapham. Plant was generously included as a bonus plant in an iris order from Mossburn Iris Gardens. Interesting bloom colour combination, and flowers with substance are held on stalks well above the foliage. If you have a New Zealand Iris collection this iris is a must have.

Mossburn Iris Gardens,Mossburn. New Introductions, 2006 Catalogue.
WILD WESTY  N Lapham, 2004 SDB. standards pale pink purple tinge,Falls peach-violet with tan veining, beard white tipped vibrant orange.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Checklist 2013
WILD WESTY, Noel Lapham, Reg., 2004. Sdlg. Orange Tiger B/P-2. SDB, 13″, (32 cm), M. S. pale pink with purple tinge; F. peach and violet overlaid with tan veining; beards white tipped vibrant orange. Parentage unknown. Mossburn Iris Gardens 2006/07.

As always clicking on the above images will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter. 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Intermediate Bearded Iris PINK REVERIE

'Pink Reverie' is an eloquent statement of strong pink with a distinct Apricot Salmon band on the edges of both the standards and the falls, all  accented with bright and daring Saturn Red beards. Classic form, silky texture, slightly ruffled, flared fall and substance supreme. Good increase and great health. 'Pink Reverie' in my opinion will go down in iris history as one of the all-time great Intermediates in the colour Pink, and as an added bonus it reblooms!!! Not bad for a 45 year old don't you think??
Thought I would also include below the listing from Richmonds, famous for their loquacious variety descriptions.

Mission Bell Gardens, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Hamblen, Roy Utah. Iris for 1973
PINK REVERIE    (A. Brown, '69) E. 22in. Ruffled and flared coral pink with a slight orchid influence. Beard Saturn red. (Pink Pride X Self).

H.M. '71..............................................$2.50
Richmond Iris Garden, 376 Hill Street, Nelson. Issue #63, 2013-2014 Catalogue.
PINK REVERIE    (A. Brown, '68) Re-bloomer. Dark Pink.......................................$8.00

AIS Checklist 1969
PINK REVERIE   A. Brown, Reg. 1968. Sdlg. M 1205-3. IB 22" E. O1P.    Pink self with slight orchid influence, ruffled; bright saturn red beard. Pink Pride X Pink Pride., Brown's Iris Gardens 1969.

Available in New Zealand from Richmond Iris Gardens this season
Clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Iris Evansia, Iris Japonica, Crested Iris, BOURNE GRACEFUL

Medium size flower which is deep lilac-blue with strong orange-yellow signal surrounded by old gold to dark violet flecks and a violet border around the white signal area. The flowers are borne on distinctive green stems that become darker towards the bottom, but the plant itself has no canes. The long glossy leaves are ribbed and coloured purple at the base (PBF)

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1975,"An Iris Japonica Seedling", J.R.Ellis.
From pollination's of the Ledgers variety of Iris japonica with pollen from the plant recorded as the Capri form of Iris japonica ( B I S Yearbook 1966 page 138) a vigorous hybrid has been obtained which has been registered as 'Borne Graceful'. For the last two years this hybrid has been grown in a cool greenhouse where it has flowered profusely from the end of March to the beginning of June. The flowering spikes reaches a height of 4 feet and the flowers which are 2
½ inches to 3 inches across are pale mauve in colour with a deep yellow crests surrounded by deep mauve spots.
Cytologically, the hybrid has approximately 61 chromosomes and this is the highest chromosome number recorded in Evansia irises. The parental species, Ledgers variety and the 'Capri form' have a 54 and 31 chromosomes respectively and the higher chromosome number in the hybrids stems from the fact that neither parent forms are cytologically true species. Ledgers variety with 54 chromosomes has been reported by Chimphamba (Cytologia 38:501-514, 1973) to have a triploid chromosomal constitution and in crosses with I.cofusa give gametes with different chromosome which range from 24 to 30 chromosomes (unpublished data). The 'Capri form' of I.japonica was also by Chimphamba to have a chromosome complement indicative of hybrid origin. It is highly sterile because of meiotic difficulties, but produces a few functional pollen grains which, in all probability have not been reduced in chromosome number. An unreduced gamete with 31 chromosomes from the 'Capri form' together with a 30-chromosome gamete from Ledgers variety have almost certainly combined to give the hybrid 'Bourne Graceful'.

I have used the B&W photo taken by the hybridiser,this was published in the BIS Yearbook in 1975
then I changed the photo taken in the garden today to B&W to confirm ID .Click on collage to enlarge.

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1975, '1975 Registrations'.
BOURNE GRACEFUL    Jack R. Ellis, Reg 1975. Evansia  I. japonica.  Ledgers variety X I. japonica Capri form. Very pale mauve with darker mauve spots around yellow crest 42 " height. April-June in cool green house. A.M.,(J.I.C.), S.C.,C.M., 1975 . 

AIS Checklist 1975
BOURNE GRACEFUL   J. R. Ellis, Reg 1975.  SPEC 42" (107 cm) E-M.  Very pale mauve with darker mauve spots around yellow crest. I. japonica var. Ledgers X I. japonica var. Capri., British Iris Society 1990.

Clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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