Introduced in 1977, it was an instant sensation, being the very first yellow Siberian iris that could hold its color thru the life of the bloom. The awards poured in: an HM in 1978; the Morgan Award in 1981; culminating in the Morgan-Wood Medal in 1986. It is still a beloved variety today for its excellent garden habits and its beautiful blooms. It is registered as:
S. white with greenish yellow veins (RHS 154B); white styles with yellow midribs; F. yellow (5C), with greenish yellow veins.
It is a child of the cross 'Floating Island' X 'Dreaming Yellow'. 'Dreaming Yellow' was also a fine advance for its time but was not color fast as 'Butter And Sugar' is.
Dr. McEwen had a very long and productive life, having passed away at the estimable age of 102, with an illustrious career breeding both Siberian and Japanese irises to his credit. The world is much richer for his horticultural efforts, as well as his groundbreaking work in rheumatology. He brought a scientific approach to breeding in order to achieve his goals of bettering the irises of these two families, and was also a pioneer in creating tetraploid Siberians using colchicine. Beloved by all who knew him, he had a reputation for kindness, a gentle disposition, and was always ready to help a new iris lover get started on their own growing or breeding program. He was the author of the definitive books on the culture of Siberian and Japanese irises in the U.S.
There are just not enough adjectives to describe this wonderful variety of iris. It does well most anywhere and never fails to put on a beautiful show in my garden. The blooms are on the short side here so it makes an excellent addition to the front of the border. Its grassy foliage looking beautiful all summer long even after the flowers have gone. As we marvel at the dazzling new colors coming out of our contemporary breeders gardens we should take a moment to remember where those original color breaks came from and the man who contributed so much and inspired so many. Grow 'Butter And Sugar'. You will never regret it.
Update: I found this lovely video of Currier's garden posted by the Maine Iris Society. Enjoy!