'Elsinore' is an iris of great charm and grace, while still retaining a bright and cheerful aspect that makes it such a sunny addition to the garden. The yellow is a lovely soft primrose, with the standards lightly blushed rose along the top and accented with bright lemon yellow beards. The petals have a long aspect giving a clump the look of a fully lit candelabra. It lights up the whole area when the sun shines upon it. A Tall Bearded variety, it reaches around 30 inches in my garden and has a lovely soft fragrance.
Cooley's Gardens catalog for 1937 described 'Elsinore' as: "
A flower but little known, and one which is deserving of greater popularity. Of only medium size, its dainty blossoms of pale primrose-yellow are delicately edged and stained violet, and are produced abundantly. Something different. Try it."
I have to agree with Cooley's assessment. it is such a wonderful garden plant and really different from any other. Its lovely old fashioned form, its presence in a garden border, and all of its good performance attributes all serve to make this one a real stand out variety and one well worth growing and preserving today.
And speaking of historic irises: If you're looking for gardens where you can view collections of historic irises please check out the Display Gardens listings at the Historic Iris Preservation Society website. Many HIPS members generously open their gardens to visitors each spring and it is a great way to see which varieties do well in your area. Given the vagaries of the season it is best to contact the gardeners ahead of time to make sure there will be blooms to see. This is a great program HIPS offers to promote the preservation of these great old flowers, I hope you'll take advantage of it.