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unknown historic rebloomer

  • Subject: [iris-photos] unknown historic rebloomer
  • From: "David Ferguson" <manzano57@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 11:40:31 -0700
  • Seal-send-time: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 11:40:31 -0700

Hi Pearl,
'Eleanor Roosevelt' was my first thought too; however, the photo looks questionable for this.  One photo isn't enough to be sure though.  'Eleanor Roosevelt' is certainly common, and fits your written description, including the almost ever-blooming tendencies.  It's one of those old ones that you see in about every fifth yard in Albuquerque.
What bothers me is that the beards on yours (at least the way they appear in the photo) look very white with some yellowish coloring.  The beard of 'Eleanor Roosevelt' is decidedly bluish, especially as the flower ages.  However, the tips of the beards often are white, especially on young flowers.  Also, 'Eleanor Roosevelt' has the haft marks relatively inconspicuous because the light spaces between the darker stripes are not white, but rather violet (can't really see this in your photo).  This all makes the flowers look more evenly colored than most similar cultivars.
Another that looks similar, but has the beard decidedly whiter with yellowish coloring toward the base, also with white or near white between the haft stripes is 'Crimson King'.  'Crimson King' is also very common, but I have never seen it rebloom in Albuquerque nor in Colorado (it is reported too though, and some list it as an "ever-bloomer" too).  There are some look-alikes too.  'Susa' is very similar to 'Eleanor Roosevelt', but the light areas on the haft are closer to white, making the dark stripes appear bolder.  'Black Magic' is probably the same thing as 'Eleanor Roosevelt', and appears identical.  'Nepalensis' and 'Kochii' are very close to 'Crimson King', and probably the three are hopelessly confused in cultivation (if not all the same?).
Of these I think 'Eleanor Roosevelt'/'Black Magic' averages the shortest with the largest flower (not by much).  The flower seems to be just a tiny bit more ruffled in 'Eleanor Roosevelt' (not ruffled at all by modern standards though).
If the beard shows bluish color and the pale areas of the haft are colored, you probably do have 'Eleanor Roosevelt'.

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