Monday, April 9, 2012

Illumination - By Keith Keppel

In a first combined effort of IRISES (the Bulletin) and World of Irises (the Blog), we are bringing you the amazing pictures and descriptions of Keith Keppel's iris seedlings featured in the April 2012 issue of IRISES, the Bulletin of The American Iris Society.

You will find the several-pages long "Illumination" article in the printed issue of IRISES, or online available to our worldwide audience, if you are an e-member of The American Iris Society. (To find out how to obtain a copy of IRISES, or for membership information scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Keith Keppel says:
"In 1940, when the first ones appeared in the Sass seedling beds in Nebraska, they were recorded in the selection books as "odds." In the fifties, when show schedules in northern California had a class for them (remember, this was in the day of color/pattern classes, not cultivar shows), you would find plicata, fancy plicata, and "true fancy." In the southern half of the state, you might hear them referred to as "weirdies." It wasn't until 1972 that they had an official name, when the Median Iris Society's Genetics Study Panel, chaired by Bee Waburton, proposed the name "luminata" for this strange pattern."

06-199A—A nearly solid color, with unobvious veining.  ('Teenybopper' sib X 'High Master' sdlg.)
06-193A—Also has an obvious heart, no obvious veining, with edge present and giving bicolor effect.  (((('Fancy Dress' x 'New Leaf') x 'Moonlit Water') x Blyth sdlg.) X 'Montmartre')
05-81A—Big, bold white heart, dark almost uniformly colored fall without obvious veining.  (High Master sdlg. X (('Fancy Dress' x 'New Leaf') x 'Moonlit Water')
05-79B—Unusual that the unmarked edge is yellow on standards, but white on falls.  ('High Master' sdlg. X (('Fancy Dress' x 'New Leaf)' x 'Moonlit Water')
05-78J—An example of a very wide, large area unmarked with anthocyanin:  white heart plus yellow shoulders.  ('Montmartre' X 'Lip Service')
05-75C—Also showing all three aspects of the luminatas.  More bicolored, and also shows a variation in fall color application, with pigment deeper toward center and paling to unmarked edge.  (('Fancy Dress' x 'Vapor') X 'High Master' sdlg.)
05-69—Included for the very obvious edge, both standards and falls.  ((('Fancy Dress' x 'New Leaf') x 'Moonlit Water') X 'High Master' sdlg.)
04-101C—('Moonlit Water' sdlg. X 'High Master' sdlg.)
05-74A—A good example of a “typical” luminata: obvious pale edge, obvious pale fall veining, obvious unmarked heart. ('Moonlit Water' sdlg. X 'High Master' sdlg.)
05-75G—A very pale application of anthocyanin pigments.  (('Fancy Dress' x 'Vapor') X 'High Master' sdlg.)
05-79J—One of the bluest.  ('High Master' sdlg. X (('Fancy Dress' x 'New Leaf') x 'Moonlit Water')

06-198A—A good example of fall veining.  ('Teenybopper' sib X 'Teenybopper')

06-201D—Wide standard edge, inconspicuous fall edge.  ('Teenybopper' sib X ('Moonlit Water' sdlg. X 'High Master' sdlg.))
07-211A—Another near-solid, with inconspicuous edge; note the pale, contrasting style arms.  ('Fancy Woman' X ('Moonlit Water' sdlg. x 'High Master' sdlg.))
IRISES Editor Notes: Keith Keppel is one of the most respected iris hybridizers in the world, with three Dykes Medals to his credit. Known to many as the plicata man, Keith has a special fondness for plicatas,  luminatas, and their relatives. 

To obtain a printed copy of IRISES, the Bulletin of The American Iris Society, or to read it online please read AIS membership information here.


  1. I love them all, especially the last. But I noticed the ones labeled 05-75C and 05-74A are the same flower...

  2. Luminatas are miracle in Irises world. Great respect for Luminatas hybridyzers. Long live and best achievements for you !!!
    iris lover from Lithuania :)

  3. Gorgeous irises! I like them all! 05-75G is very lovely.


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