Saturday, February 18, 2012

Iris Classics: 'Jungle Shadows'

Once in a while an iris variety comes along with such an unusual aspect that folks just don't know what to make of it it. When consensus settles on 'intriguing' you know you have found one you're liable to either love or hate - no middle ground here. Such is the case with the ever popular 'Jungle Shadows'. One of the very last introductions to bear the name Sass, it was posthumously introduced by Helen Graham.


From Melrose Gardens catalog for 1967: "Knowlton Award 1962. Strangest of iris colors play subtly in this unique little critter. Dusky grey with over-blending of lavender purple and brown lightening toward the edge. Dark brown purple beard."

From Fleur de Lis Gardens catalog for 1965: "An odd blend of grey, with a flush of bluish purple and bamboo yellow which gives the flower a grey-olive color. Made further intriguing by a dark beard and violet-tinged hafts."


Classed as a BB (Border Bearded) this variety reaches about 24 inches in my garden. It is an excellent grower and reliable bloomer too. The color tones of the blossoms are particularly lovely in partial shade. It is not very often that a variety of such distinction as 'Jungle Shadows' comes along. Not only is its flower a garden asset, its foliage has beautiful PBF giving a longer season of interest in the border. A classic iris for the gardener that desires the subtle over the flashy, quality over the flash in the pan.

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