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  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: ID
  • From: Merrily A Smith <mesm@loc.gov>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 10:08:31 -0600 (MDT)

Celia Storey, your quick and informative response to my inquiry about differentiating among three historic
white iris put me in mind of the old saw that "Ignorance is bliss"  It was much easier believing for three
years that I was admiring PATRICIAN!  Thanks for taking the time to look it all up.

With your message in hand, I ran home and looked at various pictures of have of the iris that might be NEW
SNOW.  As I studied them, the thought crept into my mind that I may have more than one variety of white iris. 
This leads me to wonder about how iris flowers change from day to day while they are in bloom.  For
example, do shoulder veins tend to fade or intensify? do flaring falls droop, which might alter how one
describes the shape of the flower? do ruffles flatten out -- or for that matter, do they look pretty much the
same on all flowers on a single plant? what happens to the overall color -- does white get whiter, or maybe
creamier?  and what about the beard -- if it starts out white at the tip, gradually becoming yellow, does it get
whiter every day?  Whatever the answers to these questions, can they be generalized to other iris flowers?

Forgive me for my ignorance.  But although I've been looking at my iris all along, I don't think I've really been
LOOKING at them.  And when I do LOOK, is there a standardized vocabulary to describe what I see?  I guess
it's obvious  that I'm really getting wrapped up in this detective work, and if I had a beard myself, I'm quite
sure IT would be getting whiter with every passing day.  Is this a common hazard among iris lovers?

Merrily Smith on Capitol Hill, DC

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