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Re: origin of the name "Wedgewood"

Hi Ron,

There are two of the iris under discussion in trade, one under the name
'Wedgwood,' the other using the 'e' as 'Wedgewood.'

In pride of place is the Dutch iris, 'Wedgewood' introduced by De Graff
Brothers Inc., Leyden, Holland in 1921.

William Rickatson Dykes introduced 'Wedgwood,' a tall bearded iris, in 1923
and this iris was also marketed by Orpington Nurseries in Kent, England in
1923 and 1924.

Some comments on 'Wedgwood' from catalogs of the day follow:

Dykes, 1923: "40 inches. A late flowering, self colored variety of a rich
blue coloring set off by a white beard."

Murrell, 1923 (Orpington): "June flowering. A rich true blue self of large
size and fine quality, quite the best deep blue self in cultivation."

As the tall bearded iris originated and named by Dykes was spelled as do
the Wedgwood family of potters from Burslem and Barlaston, England; a good
surmise would be that Dykes had the potters' 'Wedgwood Blue' in mind when
he named his iris.

The blue of the Dutch 'Wedgewood' is much closer to the blue applique used
on Queensware than is the blue found in the Tall Bearded 'Wedgwood.' 'Blue'
iris of that era had a very strong admixture of magenta -- often the 'blue'
resided mainly in the eye of the beholder. I grow 'Wedgwood' and it is,
indeed, a very good 'blue' of its day. It was used in hybridizing and,
among others,  stands behind the iris 'Serenity Prayer' which won the
Cook-Douglas medal in 1995.

Best regards,

Mike Lowe, Virginia, USA

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