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Re: Mystery heritage irises

>Chris writes:
>I wonder if our most learned irisarians on the Iris List could give me their
>conjecture as to what this iris described below might be. This letter was
>written by Reid M. Pinchback presently of  Plymouth, Massachusetts.
>Just post the information and I will forward him the answers as he is not on
>the Iris List. My thought is that they are what is known as Dutch iris. What
>do you all think...
>Thanks in advance. Here is his letter to me:
>Here is a challenge for you, particularly since I don't have
>a picture of the iris I'm looking for.  Even slim pointers
>to help me in my search would be appreciated it.
>There is a kind of iris that was planted in a house I lived
>in as a kid (in Vancouver, BC), and I've been trying to find
>that iris for my home.  I know that the irises grew from
>bulbs because I had to weed those flower beds; they were
>definitely bulbs.  From a picture in a tiny Taylor's book
>on bulbs, I'm pretty sure that they were English irises
>(I've never seen a Spanish iris so I haven't ruled them out
>yet); I haven't yet seen a Dutch iris quite like the one
>I'm looking for. I've hunted for hours through catalogues
>and web pages and one or two specialty books written about
>irises, and have yet to find a source for English irises;
>I was hoping you might have some suggestions for sources.
>My step-father just called this iris a "florist's iris";
>the major color of the petals was a medium blue mixed with
>a touch of purple (ultramarine?), with some yellow (and-white?)
>patterning towards the center.  The result was a bit like the
>Siberian iris "Caesar's brother", also a bit like Iris
>setosa.  Each stalk was very thick and strong, produced I
>think 2 or 3 reasonably large blooms.  The plant was probably
>about 2 feet high, maybe a little taller.  Given that the rest
>of the property contained plants that would be thought of
>heirlooms, possibly brought over from England, the iris I'm
>looking was probably available before World-War II, maybe even
>before World-War I.  If you have any ideas from my description,
>I'd be interested in hearing them.
>Thank you very much for your time.
> P.S.   If it helps, I'm pretty sure that this
>this bulb flowered during the early/mid summer. I think that
>the blooms continued for a couple of months, though my memory
>is faint on that point.  The lot was situated in Burnaby, a
>"suburb" of Vancouver.  The lot had several inches of decent
>topsoil, but beneath that was probably a deep layer of
>extremely dense clay.  The iris bed received almost full sun
>from the south for part of the day, was completely protected
>on southwest-to-west by the house, would receive filtered light from the
>east-to-southeast through the fence, had a bit of
>winter shelter on the north side by a fence and other taller
>plants. The bed didn't get particularly water-logged or
>particularly dry.  The irises produced a fair number of tiny
>seed bulbs, so overall the conditions must have agreed with
>this species/variety.
>name: Reid M. Pinchback e-mail:  reidmp@mit.edu
>home: Plymouth, Massachusetts (US hardiness zone 6b)
>previously of: Kitchener, Ontario
>Christopher Hollinshead
>Mississauga, Ontario  Canada  zone6b
>AIS(Region 16), CIS, SSI
>Director-Canadian Iris Society
>Newsletter Editor-Canadian Iris Society
>e-mail:  cris@netcom.ca
>CIS website:  http://www.netcom.ca/~cris/CIS.html
Surely sounds like the English iris family , which grew well in Listowel,
Ontario, just 35 miles from Kitchener. One of my teachers grew several.
They had wider flower parts than the Dutch iris. Lloyd Z in Durham NC

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