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Swedish iris, thanks for help

From: pajden@algonet.se

Dear irislisters,
 some days ago I was working with a pile of unfinished letters, intending to complete and send them a little later but suddenly one of them slipped away into cyberspace, unsubjected, unfinished and unsigned, I must have touched the "Send" button whithout noticing it. The letter was not to be found in the "Outbox" either so I do not know if you got it or not.  My Eudora-program is rather old.There is nothing to do but start it all over again.

Dear irislisters again

Thank you very much  Anner for transfering the interesting essay from mr Clarence Mahan. It is so satisfying to get roots cleared out!

Thank you listers for your many letters .Apparently irises very similar to mine grow here and there in the US and in Canada under the name of  "Aphylla"

It seems to be a hardy plant. Dan Masonīs story about how he found his plant growing unattended near an abandoned homesite for 40 years and then had it living  unnoticed for ten years in his garden is very similar to how my iris came into the family.

As I told you  in my first letter to the list, my mother took this little iris from a stone wall (fence) at a farm in Ostergotland, a county in Sweden, when we were starting up a garden nearby in 1960. I donīt think he farmer knew where the iris came from.

 I was too young then to pay much attention to what she said about it . Maybe my mother knew about this flower since she was a schoolgirl collecting plants in this region about 1915, how else could she go straight for it like a homing pigeon?

In those years, early 1900:s,  every schoolchild had to collect a minimum of 100 different plants, press them in a plant press and mount them in an herbarium (reminiscences of Linnéan days. Not all kids did manage that of course but my mom enjoyed the task  and she collected far, far more than 100 plants. 

Unfortunately her herbarium was destroyed when all attics had to be emptied when Hitler invaded Denmark and all landlords in Sweden became afraid of bombing and fire. Maybe she had this iris in that herbarium but now she is dead and canīt tell.

Thus the history of my iris is difficult to trace.

Since 1960 I have taken it with me from garden to garden but otherwise not paid any special attention to it, not knowing much about irises. This summer the blooming was very rich and it formed a quite conspicuous, deep violet spot in the flowerbed. Thatīs why I started wondering about itīs name.

According to mr Clarence Mahan it is not a pure aphylla but a hybrid, then it could be given a name. (or not?) I have understood that there are rules and procedures about naming hybrids but I would like to quite unceremoniously and unofficially call this lovable little iris  "AMANDA" (if that name is not already taken),  after my grandmother,  who brought the love of flowers into the family.

Any objections? If so, please tell me.

This spring I will go back to Ostergotland and see if it still grows on the stone wall, if the stone wall is still there. I think I know where the place is..

Next summer I will try to put some better pictures of "AMANDA" on my website,  if I can keep the snails and slugs away from the flowers. A moat filled with beer around the plant, that would help!


Maj Ohrstrom, Sweden

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