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LODESTAR (was COMP: database update)

From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <cwalters@digitalpla.net>

Mike Lowe wrote:
> >Having seen Lodestar growing I would VERY much question the designation
> >Miniature Tall Bearded. Its flower is too big and the stalk is too
> >If we only had an officially accepted designation: Short Tall!

and Dennis Kramb replied:
> >
> Seriously?  Mine grew as a perfect MTB, in my garden and in my uneducated
> opinion.  It was nearly as tall as my TBs but Lodestar was heavily
> with thin stems and smaller flowers.

Mike and Dennis,

Having never seen LODESTAR (C.H. Hall, '25) in bloom, I have no informed
opinion concerning its proper classification. However, it was recorded in
the 1939 AIS Checklist as a TB, at a time when the height definition of a
TB was "30 inches or taller" (as the next shorter class (IB) was then
defined as "stalks 16 to 28 inches tall", a bearded iris with stalks
exactly 29" high must have been in complete limbo).

In an article by Jean Witt, Phil Edinger, and Cameron Hall in the Spring
'96 issue of ROOTS titled "Classification of Historic Medians", LODESTAR
was classified as "?BB or TB" (it was the only one of the 98 cultivars
mentioned other than TROOST that the authors were unable to assign to a
specific modern median category).

Apparently LODESTAR is a difficult iris to pigeonhole according to the
contemporary classification system, but nowhere is there a suggestion that
it should be considered as an MTB. Could this be a case where, as with more
than a few other historics, there is more than one cultivar circulating
under the name "LODESTAR"?

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2)

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