Saturday, October 8, 2011

Iris Classics: 'Mexico'

Here's one of my favorite historic irises - 'Mexico', introduced in 1943 by Dr. Kleinsorge. Not the tallest or the most floriferous, but when it's blooming... Wow! This was a favorite of hybridizers and is the parentage of many award winning and well loved irises. Dr. Kleinsorge used it heavily in his own breeding lines resulting in such beautiful varieties as 'Bryce Canyon', 'Alpine Glow', 'Cascade Splendor', 'Pretty Quadroon' and 'Voodoo'. Thru 'Cascade Splendor' there are even more beautiful varieties we can trace back to the genes in 'Mexico'.

From Cooley's Gardens catalog for 1943

"Gay and brilliant, a blended bi-color of buff golden and broad plush-like falls of glowing red brown. Now there are many irises in this color combination, but this one is not the ordinary variegata type that you might expect. In the first place, it is a perfectly gigantic flower, with the falls slightly waved at the edges. And there is a coppery orange suffusion about it that makes it appear more as a blend than a definite bi-color. This is another of the very latest varieties, extending the iris season after most others have passed by."

'Mexico' was an important parent in the history of modern irises and is well worth growing and enjoying even today. The warm, brilliant blossoms add such a bright note to the iris border. It's one of my favorites and I hope you've enjoyed learning a bit about it.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite iris resembles "Mexico" and I would love to identify it. I got it from an Iris breeder in Eastern Washington state who has since closed down. Is there some way I can attach a photo of my iris? It has darkish maroon striped falls.


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