Saturday, June 23, 2012

Iris Classics: 'W.J. Fryer'

Willis J. Fryer was a Minnesota farmer and nurseryman who hybridized and introduced irises in the early 20th century. While he introduced a great number of varieties only a small handful survive to amuse us today. Thankfully, one of the most important varieties in the history of iris breeding happens to be among them: 'W.J. Fryer'. A jaunty diploid variegata with rich golden standards over deep plush red-violet falls trimmed in gold, it was introduced in 1917 and was very well regarded. It is tall at 34" but sports small sized blooms, and is very hardy and reliable of bloom.



Indian Springs Farms catalog for 1926 described it as:
"S. bright glistening yellow, slightly ruffled; F. reddish purple with narrow yellow border, white at the haft, beautifully reticulated old gold."
The branching is excellent, and it carries its flowers beautifully, often with several open at once.



Dr. Loomis daubed pollen from 'Ricardi', a tetraploid, on 'W.J. Fryer' in his Colorado garden and created the resulting seedling known as F70, which went on to produce 'Sea Shell', the first true pink iris Many more pinks followed and Dr. Loomis astonished and delighted the gardening world when he exhibited his pink irises at the 1933-34 Worlds Fair in Chicago. It was these varieties our modern pinks are all derived from, and it was all possible because of a little diploid variegata. This one of my favorite varieties and is always welcomed when bloom season arrives. If you enjoy the old diploids add this classic old iris to your garden. You'll thank me later.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the article! We were just discussing my unknown iris on Facebook, and my friend posted a link to this article.
    I think I finally have a match!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2853146906845&set=a.2853142906745.93573.1804724069&type=3&theater
    Remy

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...