Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Morgan-Wood Medal Winner - Swans In Flight

By Bob Hollingworth

"Swans In Flight" - The Plant
It's a bit embarrassing to write in praise of your own iris, but I do know more about it than anyone else, and "Swans In Flight" is living testimony to the benefits of inefficiency. Around 1998, when it was a seedling, I tried to throw it away. I wasn't at that time looking for a white Siberian so there seemed no reason to save it. We were moving seedlings to a new garden and I was interested in saving the sister seedling next to it, a very tall blue. In moving that, we inadvertently also dug and included a bit of "Swans In Flight". Over time the blue sister turned out to be too tall and the stems often fell over, but mixed in with it was this very large-flowered pure white iris that thrived mightily, grew a bit shorter, and didn't fall over. So blue went onto the compost heap and white was moved along further to possible  introduction.

"Swans In Flight" - The Flower
"Swans In Flight" proved to be a great grower everywhere with a multitude of flowers that were five inches or more across so that it visually dominated any part of the garden where it grew. It does take some special qualities for a white iris to win a top award, and the vigor and presence of Swans seems to have done it. It's sobering to realize that a few inches to the left with that first spade and it would never have been seen again.

For more information about Siberian Irises, please see the website of the Society for Siberian Irises.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you saved it. We grow it and it is beautiful every spring. Congratulations on your well deserved award.


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