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Re: Two KARENs?

Nell Lancaster asks...

>Ran into something that puzzled me in a catalog last night:  a tall bearded
>iris hybridized by Hamblen ('83) named KAREN, a pink and blue-violet bitone.
>Sounds pretty; but how was it able to be registered under that name when there
>was already a KAREN?

There are three iris named KAREN, two are in gardens today.

How? Registrars are human! Unfortunately, their mistakes haunt us down
through time, long after they have departed for the Iris Fields. The
nonpareil Ethel Anson Peckham, in the 1939 Check List; listed KAREN,
(Morrison 24) with an asterisk, meaning: "The variety is obsolete, namely
not in commerce, perhaps not in existance."

Kay Nelson-Keppel can surely be forgiven for releasing the name to Melba
Hamblen as the real mistake had taken place in the 1950s.  Minnie Colquit,
AIS Registrar, approved transfer of the name to Agnes Whiting's 1954 shell
pink self which was never introduced. Kay quite correctly released the name
to Melba after a check of the records and with Agnes' heirs.

Iris such as KAREN (Morrison '24) survived in but a handful of gardens from
the 50s through the 80s. These iris were considered an obstacle to the
spread of newer things and anyone caught growing them was accorded pity and
viewed with distain.

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