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Re: Mystery Iris

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Mystery Iris
  • From: John I Jones <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 15:36:21 -0700

on 5/18/01 1:30 PM, Cheryl Leigh Chamberlin at clc@cherylleigh.com wrote:
> Yes, my iris did look more blue in person than it did in the photo. I didn't
> get 12-14 buds on my stalk, more like three or four, but my irises are
> growing in whiskey barrels and desperately need to be thinned out.
> The rhizomes came from a friend in Dallas, whom I thought had
> been growing irises for a while. I don't know anything about most of the
> varieties she sent me, except their names. Every time someone posts an iris
> web site I go to look at the photos, hoping someone else has some of these
> cultivars. I've only found two- Silverado and Michigan Pride. The other ones
> I've seen are Sunny Days (in bloom now), Captured Beauty (one flower just
> finished blooming, waiting for the next bud on the stalk to open), Amigo
> (boy have I seen Amigo, that iris must increase like mad), Snow Goddess,
> Delirious (loved that), Bama Berry and either Spiced Honey or Spiced
> Custard. I'm assuming most of them are TBs.
> This is Captured Beauty...I hope.<G>

I guess it is time for one of my wet blanket acts. But this happens to be a
pet subject of mine. That is  - How you *can't* identify an iris by
comparing what you see in your garden with a picture you see in a catalog or
especially on the internet.

1. Most every iris will look a little different from one garden to another.
Some dramatically different.  This is mostly due to soil conditions, but is
also affected by lots of other growing and environmental conditions.

2. Film is an inaccurate medium. The blues especially often come out wrong.
Exposure can wash out a faint color wash, or turn a maroon brown to black.

3. Printing is an inaccurate medium. I have seen lots of pictures in well
known growers catalogs that are really way off, even from the way the plant
appears in their own garden.

4. Scanning a picture can and most often is really inaccurate in its color
representation. Fix it with photoshop, yes, but that introduces other error.

5. The way the picture appears on your computer monitor I guarantee is
different than the way it appears on someone else's monitor. I have two
identical monitors side by side on  my system and because they run on
different interfaces, the same flower appears radically different of each

The only way is to truly identify an iris is to say "Well, I think it might
be such and such". Then get a piece of  such and such from a reputable
grower and grow them side by side. Otherwise you run a high risk of
promulgating a misnamed iris as you give your extras away to people

There are over 50,000 named irises and many of them look almost identical..

John                | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.
For your Iris gift needs, visit the AIS Gift Shop at:

USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay)
Fremont, California, USA
Visit my website at:

Director, Region 14 of the AIS
Director, American Iris Society
Chairman, AIS Committee for Electronic Member Services

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