Thursday, November 1, 2012

Neglectas: Iris Color Terminology

By Renee Fraser

Such a sad name.  NEGLECTA.   Neglectas are blue or purple bitone irises in which the falls are darker than the standards.  The Latin means something that may be overlooked or neglected, but that is unlikely to happen with these irises!

"Northwest Progress" Schreiner, 1997

This color class of irises was named after this shy little flower, the original "Neglecta".  You can still buy this darling 1815 historic iris.
"Neglecta" Photo by Rick Tasco

On some, the falls are almost an inky black.  

"Dangerous Mood" Schreiner, 2004   Photo by Margie Valenzuela

Median irises with their lovely beards also come in this color combination.  Here is the Intermediate iris 'Hellcat.'

'Hellcat' Aitken 1983  Photo by Sandra Eggertson

And here is 'Against the Tide', a Border Bearded iris.   Griff Crump says "the difficulty in keeping 'Best Bet' alive in some places is pretty well known.  So, late in the 1990s, I was discussing the matter with several iris friends, including a couple of well-known iris hybridizers, both of whom declared that they would never use it in hybridizing, for that reason.  I didn't mention to them that I had already crossed it with one of my seedlings..."  and for that reason, he named it 'Against the Tide'. 

'Against the Tide'  Crump, 2001 Photo by Donald Eaves

Some neglectas are very blue indeed, especially in cooler climes.  This clump will knock your socks off:

'Heartstring Strummer' Johnson 2001 Photo by AdamNAutumn

Lovely new neglectas with ruffles are now available.

"Fabulous One" Nicodemus,  2006  Photo by Kent Pfeiffer

'Global Crossing' Van Liere 2012

'World Premier' is a justly famous iris, and it is very, very blue.

Photo by Susanne Spicker

Some tend toward a navy blue.

'Phantom Ship' Baumunk, 2007 Photo by Elladan McLeester

'Best Bet' is a reblooming iris.  It is not a strong grower in some parts of the country, but it is popular nevertheless.  It is often included in reblooming 'starter' kits from garden centers in big box stores.

'Best Bet'  Schreiner 1988, Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson

New neglectas are being created by hybridizers all of the time.  

Seedling #072I2 Crump 

Be on the lookout for this beauty, to be introduced next year.

'Sorority Sisters' Van Liere, 2013

Neglectas stand out well in the garden since their blue tones are unusual among flowers.  I have grown "World Premier" and currently grow "Northwest Progress," which has little dark spots on the standards.  Do you grow any neglectas in your garden?


  1. Aren't they gorgeous! I've always loved Neglectas.

    Thank you so much for doing this article, Renee.

  2. I have 'Surf Lady', which is one of my most prolific bloomers! Lovely palest-blue to near-white standards, and medium blue-violet falls, and a big chunky bloom!

  3. We grow Proud Tradition and Royal Crusader. They're just gorgeous right now.


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