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yellow germanica

  • Subject: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] yellow germanica
  • From: "David Ferguson" <manzano57@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 20:56:24 -0700
  • Seal-send-time: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 20:56:25 -0700

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm still trying to identify this one.  It's a puzzle I've been trying to sort out for years, never quite getting there.  Finally I have some decent photos of the plant, and a working scanner.  The same may have been posted a few times by others asking what it is too.  Those photos are usually just unclear enough or distant enough to be unsure if they are one and the same, but I suspect they are.
This looks and behaves like I. x germanica, right down to it's being indestructible.  Keep forgetting to check to see if there are hairs on the claws of the standards, but it doesn't mean much as I. x germanica is variable on this count.  This yellow is marginally a TB, with smallish flowers (just the right size to be a 44 chromosome plant), usually blooming in IB height range, but capable of reaching 30 inches in exceptionally good conditions.  Rarely it will rebloom, but usually it does not (also in keeping with I. x germanica).
It is an exact match to the photo labeled as 'Berkeley Gold' on the HIPS web site; however, I have increasing doubts as to weather that photo is correct.  It is also confused frequently with the name 'Flavescens', and a photo of it appears under that name in Fritz Koehlein's book 'Iris' on p. 183.  It would be interesting if this turns out to be a very old cultivar that has been around for hundreds of years, being confused with 'Flavescens' (which is quite different - at least the one accepted to be authentic is) all this time.  Perhaps on the more realistic side, I've wondered if it is one of Sass's early IB's, perhaps 'Golden Bow', but I haven't been able to verify this.
It is moderately common hand-me-down plant in the sw. and I've had it perhaps for 30 years or more.  I've received it as both 'Berkeley Gold' and 'Flavescens', but also now have a plant as 'Berkeley Gold' that hasn't flowered yet, but is clearly larger and has some purple at the base of the leaves.  I've purchased 'Golden Bow' and a few other Sass yellows too, but so far most haven't flowered.  'Southland' seems similar, but when it flowered, it was not the same.
If any of you can verify that it is definitely not 'Berkeley Gold', or that it is indeed 'Golden Bow', or any other name, that would be greatly appreciated.  I should also add that it has no trace of purple on the foliage.

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