RHS Names & Numbers
Linda Mann asked:
: Is there some pattern to the color numbers that you or someone else can tell
: us? Like, does each group go from light to dark or something? For
: does 75B Rose Purple, 75C Phlox Purple, 75D Rose Purple go from light to
: or vice versa in the 75 color?
Yes. The shades go from dark to light on each card. In fact, if you don't have
the charts, the most useful tidbit to remember is that on each card the "A" chip
has the most intense color and the "D" chip has the palest with "B" and "C"
chips falling somewhere in between.
: And for another instance, does 75B Rose
: Purple. 76C Lilac, 77A Violet Purple, 78A Imperial Purple or Petunia Purple,
: 79A Plum Purple go from red purple to blue purple? With 87D Aster Violet
: being most blue purple?
No. The point of this exercise was to show the complexity of the system. The
colors are not arranged and numbered around a simple color wheel. To my eye the
Rose Purple of 75B has a touch of grey, while 76C is a clear lilac. Although
77A is bound between 78A and 79A, it is much lighter and brighter than either of
them. It's NOT safe to make any assumptions within a color group -- and the
distinctions are not always as clearcut as you might expect between groups.
Card 87 is in the Violet group rather than the Purple group, so its Aster Violet
chip does have less red that the others mentioned -- but you'd probably be
surprised at just how close it is to some of the chips in the Purple group.
It sounds like we need to drop back & talk about the color groups a bit. (The
RHS charts use the term "group", I used "family" when I put together my
spreadsheet because my goal was to tie RHS charts to more common terminology.)
In the order the cards are numbered and bound into the fans:
Chips in the Yellow group, for example, may have:
Some green -- but not enough to qualify as Yellow-Green
Some orange -- but not enough to qualify as Yellow-orange
Some grey -- but not enough to qualify as greyed yellow.
IOW, any chip in the Yellow group is predominantly yellow -- but that's all you
can say without looking at it.
I use my color charts a great deal, but I'm not suggesting that everyone needs a
set. RHS color codes alone are not sufficient for registration. Most of the
color descriptions used in registrations are subjective and, because relatively
few of the color chips that match iris have names, a registration may have a
generic color name and an RHS code for clarification.
For example, RHS 187A is a dark greyed-purple that does not have a name but to
my eye it's dark burgundy. If it's the closest match, my description is
something like "burgundy-black beard, darker than RHS 187A". If you have the
cards, curiousity may compel you to look at chip 187A. If not, I hope that
"burgundy-black" will conjure up the appropriate image.
The proverbial "Bottom Line": if you don't have a set of the charts, just
ignore published RHS numbers.
Sharon McAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org)