hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
New Trillium species discovered

Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

RSS story archive


  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos]NOID:ID's
  • From: "Eleanor Hutchison" eleanore@mts.net
  • Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 09:08:02 -0500

Morning all.
I agree it's most frustrating to find a mislabelled iris, especially after waiting a few years for it to bloom.  My original 10 or so irises were never labelled when I bought them, but they were blooming, so at least I knew the colour and I'd never seen miniature or dwarf irises before.  I immediately fell in love with them!!!
After years of buying other irises that sounded close in descriptions, I have since given up on ever identifying those, being a more experienced isarian now, but I still keep them in one bed by my driveway and include them in my garden tours.  I tell people there is no certain way to ever conclusively identify unknown irises.  Hopefully, some are listening. 
I also try to check out the local nurseries in spring and advise them when they have an iris in bloom that is mislabelled.  Sometimes the manager comes out and I bring out the bigger guns, mentioning that I'm an iris display garden and just want to help you ensure you're selling a correctly labelled product.  It's not always hard, since the blooming iris has a label with an actual picture of the iris right on the label; how hard is it to look at the iris & the picture and see that one is yellow and the blooming iris is no where close to being yellow.  I'm sure they cringe now when they see me walk in.  I have returned to the same store, where they had removed all the mislabelled irises, but when I went back a few days later, there they were back up on the tables, for sale again.  Another nursery removed the labels and sold them as unknowns.
I have friends who do this with hostas, daylilies & lilies.
One year, I returned a huge bag of blooming daylilies to Costco (hard to resist the price of some boxed offerings), because they weren't the daylilies pictured on the box.  They were bright orange and could be seen from miles away.  The box was labelled as Catherine Woodbury, which is a very light pink or lavender.  I was quite upset, especially since orange is a colour that isn't often allowed into my garden, aside from exceptional irises!  It must have been quite a sight, since the 6 daylilies were huge and blooming right out of the plastic shopping bag I had dumped them into and all the blossoms were bobbing around around and up and down, to the extreme agitation of my angry stride into the store.  Since then, I try to return mislabelled plants back to the store they came from.  I keep all the bills until I'm convinced I got what I wanted to buy.
I label every plant that comes into my garden, and am currently replacing less reliable labels with copper ones, using the longest part of a hanger as the stake.  The stake gets pushed very deeply into the soil, so hopefully it won't get pulled out by mistake or by anything else that happens by.  This is just the first year of trying out these labels, however.
As I've mentioned before, all my new rhizomes are planted in a nusery bed, alphabetized by class.  I try to remember to take pictures of the irises as they bloom, but a video is a great idea!  I also track all my plants in a database (since 1985), so I know what I've bought, what year, what it cost, and am working on adding in the breeder for the older plants.
Nowaday, I think many gardeners do want to know the names of the plants in their gardens, but they may not always label them.  They just want to know that they have that specific plant and know that it's somewhere in a particular bed.  I actually print off my plant list every spring and mark what has survived and what has not.  I'm not a breeder, nor a nursery, but there are many more just like me out here.  Just like when a stranger stops by, I've got to know their name!
El, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Z3
DIS & MIS Display Garden
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 11:13 PM
Subject: RE: [iris-photos]NOID:ID's

There are two points I would like to add to your discussion below. First, the vast majority of gardeners don't care about the cultivar names of their plants. That applies to roses and daylilies as well as irises. Those of us who do care know that it takes 3 levels of documentation (computer map, field staking and video taping) combined with an obsessive attention to detail to maintain accurate records. That means that even more errors are to be expected. I have been told that during bloom season Schreiner's has a 3 man crew who spend all day rouging the field beds.
Second point is that identification technology is still not up to the level to be fully useful. The most obvious level of identification is visual. Until there is a  color standard that can be used with color calibrated cameras and monitors, there is little hope of significant improvement over current practices. I was having a similar conversation about a year ago and  made the statement that this identification problem would only be solved when a complete DNA profile had to be attached to the AIS registration form. Someone in the group who knew a lot more about DNA profiling than I do stated that that technology had a lot more development to do before it would be useful for this purpose. It has to be able to distinguish between siblings.
When I find a misidentified clump in my garden, I replace the cultivar name stake with one that says "for sale immediately". When a customer is interested, I watch their body language closely and price the clump to sell then. When the customer says "Yes" I      get the shovel. The customer is happy and I am happy to get rid of the NOID.


Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index

 © 1995-2017 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement