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Re: HIST: Polling for Survivors

Crimson King is found in many non-irisarian gardens
in my part of the SF bay area. On my noontime walk
through a neighborhood just north of UC Berkeley,
I counted three different gardens with Crimson King
(or something very similar) blooming. It's nice to
have blooming iris in the depths of what passes for
winter in coastal California.

(there's a Crimson King blooming in our backyard now too)

Indian Chief is becoming increasingly common in gardens
in Alameda, due primarily to my housemate Gesine giving
it to anyone who asks :-) It's a tough one - she acquired
her original rhizome from her long-dead mother's iris patch,
which had lain untended for over 20 years.

Straying off topic, I think I may be the victim of a
generation gap - all this "Thunder Road" talk has made
the completely different song of the same title by
Bruce Springsteen run through my mind :-)

San Francisco bay area, zone 9

ChatOWhitehall@aol.com wrote:


The Fall 2005 ROOTS arrived a couple of days ago and there is a piece in there by Phil Edinger speaking of his role in trying to clear up some varietal ID problems for the members. He noted that " 'Alcazar', 'Lent A.Williamson', 'Indian Chief,' and 'Alta California' [...] seem to be all over the country."

Now, I once asked the HIPS membership in ROOTS what they saw in the way of historic Irises growing in their part of the world, not in the gardens of the Iris folks as such, but in other gardens, or along the roadsides in the country, or near falling down houses or barns, or in the cemetaries, or in areas of urban decay, or vacant lots, you know, non-native Irises which tend to be sort of common in an area, and when seen are more or less taking care of themselves. I've always assumed there was at least one or two of these in most places, and the Iris folks might know the names of a few.

Maybe I was wrong, though, since I got virtually no response to that question as posed in ROOTS. But I'd still like to know, and maybe someone else would be interested as well.

Suppose, just maybe to prime the pump, I start with Edinger's four, and mention the names of some I'd consider possible candidates because they are pretty distinctive, pretty well known, and they got some circulation? Maybe someone will take a moment to tell me whether they have noticed any of these things around their neck of the woods.

Alcazar, Lent A. Williamason, Alta California, Indian Chief, Flavescens, I. pallida in one form or another, Quaker Lady, Mme. Chereau, Thais, Honorabile, Gracchus, Pumila Atroviolacea, Florentina, Swerti, Fairy, Albicans, Wabash, Crimson King, Sambucina, Mildred Presby, Loreley, Ola Kala, Miss California, Helen Collingwood, Accent, Rosy Wings, Louvois, Great Lakes, Shah Jehan, Her Majesty, Snow Flurry, Mulberry Rose, Ramses, and some pleasant two toned blue-violet of I. germanica.

There are others, of course. And any name would be interesting on a sleety day in February. Brain candy, as it were. But we could also think of it as documenting something.


Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA
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