Bertrand Farr was one of the first American iris hybridizers and is credited with launching them into the eye of the gardening public with his amazing display at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The display of 1500 irises he shipped to San Francisco included many new varieties he'd created and won him a Gold Medal prize. Here's four of my favorites of Mr. Farr's that were shown that year:
'Quaker Lady' (1909) A wonderful little iris that still brings lots of charm to the garden after more than 100 years. Very hardy and reliable of bloom. It was very popular for many years until it's color combination was superseded by 'Dolly Madison' in 1926
'Wyomissing' (1909) Named for the town he helped found, this is a sweet flower with a lovely soft pink aspect.
'Rose Unique' (1910) A lovely small variety with lot's of rosy tones in the mix. Hardy and reliable of bloom.
'Juniata' (1909) A very tall pallida variety with a heavenly scent and a vigorous growth habit. Would be great for mass planting.
The AIS Bulletin Irises
has an excellent article on Mr. Farr by George H. Edmonds in the July 2010 issue. Check it out for more information on this pioneering American hybridizer.