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Re: TB: Kendal's grandpa's iris

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] TB: Kendal's grandpa's iris
  • From: Kent Appleberry appleb@cut.net
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 00:07:34 -0600

Kendal, when I spoke of the look-alikes for your grandfather's two more 
modern irises, I was relying on the photos, in which the lighter iris 
looked like, say, DEBBY RAIRDON (Kuntz 1964):


I picked a somewhat washed out photo, matching the color in yours more 
closely, but actually the color is more yellow, as you can see in the 
other photo you can access from the same page. There are quite a few 
popular irises that look similar to DEBBY RAIRDON, with various shades 
of yellow and variations on the pattern.

Then I remembered that your iris is a shade of orange, not yellow. 
Reviewing the description you gave, the lighter orange one does sound a 
little unusual. But I'm having some trouble matching the verbal 
description with the photos of that one. The standards, at least their 
outer parts, look to me in the photos to be closer to the color of the 
orange rim than the pale center of the falls. That would be a common 
pattern in irises, one that occurs in several colors. Often the inner 
part of the falls with that pattern is white or near white, which is how 
it looks in the photos. You could compare HALO IN PEACH (Niswonger 1998):


Offhand, I don't know of a cultivar that matches your verbal description 
completely, though I'd be surprised if there wasn't one or more that 
comes close. I have seen some that look similar to what the photo 
conveys to me, in pretty much every color, including orange and pink and 
in between. Probably at least a few are close to yours in color, but I 
can't tell from the photos. That in itself shouldn't deter you from 
seeking to introduce it. It may be better than the others. From what I 
can tell from the photos I've been going through lately, there are 
irises introduced every year that look a great deal like ones that have 
been introduced in previous years, and sometimes they turn out to be 
more popular than their predecessors because they have better habits or 
the like, or for who knows what other reasons. Yours seem to be hardy 
and rot resistant, which is a big plus.

The light pinkish violet one is easier to match to your description. 
There are plenty of iris cultivars in that color range, and I assume 
there were plenty 30 years ago, when many would have have a similar form 
to yours. Unfortunately I haven't kept track of those older ones very 
well, so offhand I don't know of a good example to suggest you compare 
with. It's a beauty, in any case.

Keep in mind that I'm just a novice. The best way to get really good 
feedback on your irises, I'd think, would be to take them to an iris 
show. I know they have one in SLC when the irises are in bloom. I 
believe there are categories for unregistered irises.

Good luck with this.


Kendal Liddle wrote:

>I totally agree with you Kent. The lighter orange and the lavender look very
>modern. They very well could be more modern than the 1950's. My grandfather
>played with his iris into the 70's and maybe even later (he died in 1984).
>All parts of the darker orange are the same color, but it does have a little
>bit wave in the petals like the others. My grandfather was very fond of the
>ruffled edges as I remember. I was quite young when he died and one of the
>few vivid memories I do have was a tour of his irises and his explanation of
>how he crossed one iris with another trying to add one quality of one flower
>to another. The part of the conversation that I remember was about ruffled
>edges. This was in 1983. I don't know how active he was crossing if at all
>then as he was about 80. The dark orange date back to the 50's, the others
>are anyone's guess. If they look more modern, they probably are. All I know
>was there were at one time two oranges. The earlier was not truly orange and
>involved in the parentage of the darker one in the picture. As these are the
>only two oranges I have of his, I assumed that the lighter one was a
>predecessor to the darker which was the goal, but it may be a later cross
>that is not even related. If it is not, the original earlier light orange
>may have been lost years ago. Like I mentioned the irises were just left on
>their own in the back yard for close to 20 years. They were weeded and
>watered, but never moved or divided until my grandmother died when the
>family removed them when the house was sold. The lighter could have died
>out. It may not have even been in his garden. My grandfather had several
>rows 75 feet long of irises in a garden plot thaw was later used to build a
>house. He must have had to get rid of most of his irises when the garden was
>lost. The best information I have is my fathers memory. Dates are based in
>reference to things like "before we built the house but after..." and the
>only iris my father has a specific memory of is the special orange and that
>is just because of it's uniqueness and the pride my grandfather had in it.
>He barely paid attention to that one, the other were completely disregarded.
>It is sad that the details and even the names he had for them were lost.
>I will name and introduce the dark orange for sure. I think there is enough
>interest in its history and it might be of use to growers because it is
>quite a strong and hardy grower‹I have been told that many other oranges are
>not. The others I will name if they are unique enough to have a name and I
>will introduce them if there is enough interest. If you or anyone know of
>other named irises that the lavender and lighter orange look like, let me
>know/send me pictures so I don't spend too much time trying to introduce
>something that is not unique enough to warrant it. The dark one is not that
>unique in appearance‹solid orange, but it's genes should be around 50 years
>Thanks for your insight.

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