Monday, April 29, 2019

What is in a name? Lophiris - Crested Iris – Part Two

By Maggie Asplet

Finally, I have time to complete the second part of this article relating to crested irises.  Holidays and ill health sometimes get in our way.  I think you will all be the same when I say “it is life’.

To recap in part one we looked at I confusa, Martyn Rix, Chengdu, Queen’s Grace, Question Mark, and Kilkivan.

Today we will continue looking at some of these bigger forms of the crested iris, starting with I. wattii, with tall, tapering and sword like leaves which are heavily ribbed.  It has deep lavender spots like those of I. japonica outlining the haft.  This iris was discovered in 1892 by John Gilbert Baker, in the Himalayas & China area.

I must confess that this iris I don’t have growing at home, as I seem to have a great habit of killing it off.

Photos courtesy of Roger Haworth

Iris ‘Bourne Graceful’ 
Bourne Graceful has a medium size flower which is deep lilac-blue with strong orange-yellow signal surrounded by old gold to dark violet flecks and a violet border around the white signal area. The flowers are borne on distinctive green stems that become darker towards the bottom, but the plant itself has no canes. The long glossy leaves are ribbed and coloured purple at the base.

Registered by Dr J R Ellis in 1975.  It stands tall at 42’ (107cm) and classed an early to mid season for flowering.  I. japonica var. Ledgers X I. japonica var.

Photo courtesy of Huib Selderbeek

Iris ‘Nada’
J.N. Giridlian of California hybridized I. confuse and I. japonica in 1936. The plant grows about 18 “ (45 cm) tall and the flower spike can reach to about 24’ (60 cm)  Although each flower only lasts about two days, the entire spike will remain in bloom for over a month as new flowers open to replace spent blooms. It is very floriferous and each spike will produce about 25-50 flowers.  

I am pleased to say this one I can grow quite successfully and I think it has the sweetest little flowers.


Iris 'Nobody’s Child'
This is the first of three lovely iris hybridised in New Zealand.  In 1993 Isobel Simpson registered iris as SPEC (evansia), growing to 11" (28 cm).  The standards are light lavender blue, edged paler; the falls are pale lavender blue, royal blue at end of crest, olive brown to deep blue spots; sweet-musky fragrance.  Parentage unknown.

Photo courtesy of Huib Selderbeek

Iris ‘Honiana’
Hybridised by Mrs. F. Love in 1984, growing to 22" (56 cm).  Described as mauve with khaki brown markings on falls, white crests, with a sweet fragrance.  This is a cross between Question Mark X I. tectorum.

Photo courtesy of Huib Selderbeek

Iris ‘Revie’s Legacy’
A fairly recent registration (Joy Turner by Ron Goudswaard) in 2010.  Taller than the previous two growing to 59" (150 cm) and is classed early flowering.
The standards are pale lavender-blue, darker edges, near white center; style arms pale lavender; falls are white edged lavender-blue, white overlaid with ochre brown dashes radiating out from crest changing to dark blue dots and blotches toward edge of white area; appears plicata pattern.
It is probably a cross between Question Mark x I. tectorum.

Photo courtesy of Huib Selderbeek

I have not covered any of the smaller iris that belong in this section.  This I will leave for another day.  It won’t be long before we start to see the beautiful flowers of these again as we are heading towards winter (fall) here.

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