Monday, November 29, 2021

The Long History of Irises in France

By Sylvain Ruaud

Whether we like it or not, it was in France that the horticultural culture of irises began. Men have always been drawn to irises. They were amazed by the richness of this flower and the variety of their colors. It is not for nothing that they gave it the nickname "plant of the rainbow", but their wonder increased when they realized that they could indefinitely vary colors, sizes, and shapes, just by choosing the parents at the time of crossing.

This discovery was a real revolution. It is the work of a French aristocrat, Marie Guillaume de Bure. Although apparently without having a professional life, this descendant of an illustrious publishing family had enough money to live on his income and to indulge his passion for irises without fear of what the future might bring. Like everyone else at that time, he was ecstatic about the variety of iris colors obtained by the natural pollinations; and he said to himself that it was possible to select the most beautiful - or the most original - among the flowers from the intervention of pollinating bees. Thus, his selection of work started in the 1830s; and his first choice was a plicata variety, which he called iris 'Buriensis.' This iris is now extinct (unless it has naturalized, which is likely), but the work of a few researchers has shown that it must be quite similar to the variety called 'True Delight' (Sturtevant, 1924). Today nobody discusses the appearance of iris 'Buriensis', but a recent study suggests that this variety was much older than the date originally indicated. Rather than the 1830s, we should talk about the 1810s, which places the origin of iris horticulture even earlier than we thought!

'True Delight' photo by Mike Unser

Monsieur de Bure was followed very quickly by other French nurserymen, in particular Henri Antoine Jacques, gardener of King Louis-Philippe in his castle of Neuilly in the west of Paris who found a most famous iris called 'Jacquesiana', from the 1840s. It was then a family of prolific and inspired nurserymen, Jean and Jean Nicolas Lémon, who brought a large number of varieties to the market. These plants met with tremendous success and many of them still exist today, 170 years after their selection.
'Jacquesiana' photo by Mike Unser

These first famous plants were created by natural pollination and then selected by the nurserymen. As for the crosses made by human hands, we will have to wait a little longer. French supremacy in the iris world went through a major crisis caused by the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, then the revolutionary episode of the Commune de Paris (1871). During these few years of estrangement from French specialists, British horticulturalists took up the torch and rapidly advanced iris horticulture. It was not until the years 1880/1890 and the preeminence of the Verdier family that France came back to the fore.
Victor Verdier was the nephew of Antoine Jacques, the gardener of King Louis-Philippe. He and his sons picked up the family torch. Their activity was essentially that of nurserymen, marketing the varieties of their colleagues, such as the Lémon or their uncle Jacques. Nevertheless, what we know from them are some very famous varieties, such as 'Clio' (1863), or 'Nuée d'Orage' (1905). This last variety can be considered the end of an era. During the half-century following these introductions, essential events occurred in the history of irises, such as the transition to tetraploidy, to which many French hybridizers largely contributed.
'Nuée d'Orage' photo by Mike Unser

Admittedly, it was not them who were at the start of this discovery; but when these irises gained enough interest, hybridizers immediately focused on them as well. During the eclipse of the French gardeners, their English colleagues, worried that they would no longer discover new colors in their irises, called on the large blue irises taken from the Near or Middle East. Very soon, however, they found themselves at a dead end: Middle Eastern irises only produced flowers in shades of blue. Hence the idea of ​​crossing them with European irises. However, the first crosses were very disappointing. There were few successful fertilizations and seedlings proved sterile. At the time they could not explain these phenomena, and it took much perseverance by the hybridizers who continued to try their luck, before another Frenchman, Marc Simonet, appeared and solved the mystery by counting the iris chromosomes.

'Demi-Deuil' and 'Madame Chobaut' photos by Mike Unser

This period of uncertainty, which lasted for over thirty years, marked a fundamental stage in the history of irises. The efforts of French hybridizers were decisive and horticulturalists such as Ferdinand Denis and Alexandre and Lionel Millet, inspired by their British colleagues, brought large-flowered irises from Turkey and crossed them with "small"-flowered irises, producing the fertile and richly colored flowers that we know today. Ferdinand Denis had a very productive career. In tall beardeds (TBs) alone, he registered over 70 varieties. Among these, the famous 'Demi-Deuil' (1912), unusual 'Madame Chobaut' (1916), and the pale blue 'Andrée Autissier' (1921). As for the Millet firm, their work was just as productive, producing the essential 'Souvenir de Madame Gaudichau' (1914) and 'Mary Senni' (1930).
'Souvenir de Madame Gaudichau' photo by Mike Unser 
It was during this period of transition that two exceptional French hybridizers came to the fore: Philippe de Vilmorin and Ferdinand Cayeux. They have had very different careers. Philippe de Vilmorin was a flamboyant character, inspired by irises, but only hybridizing with the zealous and faithful intervention of Séraphin Mottet, his chief gardener. Mottet made the crosses, Vilmorin made the decisions. Together they created splendid flowers which marked their time, like 'Caprice' (1898), 'Oriflamme' (1904), and 'Ambassadeuer' (1920). But their reign was short-lived, pioneer Philippe de Vilmorin died prematurely.

'Caprice' and 'Ambassadeur' photos by Mike Unser

Ferdinand Cayeux, a businessman as much as a genius horticulturist, largely dominated his time. He was admired by the world of irises which had recognized in him an exceptional character. His irises have been cultivated all over the world and varieties like 'Jean Cayeux' (1931) or 'Madame Louis Aureau' (1934) are still alive today in many collections. He made the “iridosphere” take a huge leap forward. His influence lasted until World War II when it brought his work to a halt. When peace returned, the American hybridizers had reclaimed the first place in the world because they made considerable progress.
'Madame Louis Aureau' photo Mike Unser

The Cayeux family had passed the torch to Ferdinand's grandson,
Jean, also an excellent hybridizer, who was talked about for 50 years by producing real monuments like 'Condottiere' (1978) or the long series "tricolor" varieties that got started by 'Bal Masqué' (1991).
'Casque D'Or' (J. Cayeux, 1957) photo by Mike Unser

At the end of the war, the French hybridizers had practically disappeared. Apart from Jean Cayeux there was no one left. It was not until the end of the 1970s that enlightened and daring amateurs came to make their contribution to the creation of new varieties. We owe this renewal to a man, Pierre Anfosso, who added his passion for irises to his vocation as a painter. It was in 1979 that he made his appearance in the “iridosphere,” with varieties that were recognized by all such as 'Echo de France,’ his homage to the work of Barry Blyth. He communicated the iris virus to all his family, and outstanding varieties are attributed to his son Pierre-Christian, his daughter Laure, his wife Monique and his daughter-in-law Vivette. Both French and American iris enthusiasts regretted that this family had discontinued their iris creation at the end of the 1990s, and were delighted to see its rebirth in 2015.
'Echo de France' photo by Mike Unser

The 1990s saw the emergence of a new hybridizer full of talent and very eclectic in his fields of activity: Lawrence Ransom. This breeder with a very sure taste produced charming flowers of great quality but which remained confidential in their distribution. Two or three other people made themselves known in the same period, but in a more artisan than professional way. At that time it was Richard Cayeux, heir to the famous family, who largely dominated the French market, showing first-rate talent and obtaining numerous and superb varieties. Today he is a globally known and recognized hybridizer. His example served for several iris fanatics to embark on hybridization and marketing of their production. In this way, the number of new French varieties quickly increased and real talents were revealed. Their work focused on all types of irises, but primarily on TBs. Each year now, we see new hybridizers advance their work, but what limits their recognition at the global level is the weakness of their marketing network.

Nowadays if the supremacy in the world of irises still rests with the American hybridizers, it has a lot to do with a host of breeders from all countries of the world. Among these, are French breeders, who have regained an honorable place.

Monday, November 22, 2021

A Growing Iris Resource on YouTube: Part I

by Heather Haley

In this post, I share a delightfully growing iris resource. Sharing information on the World of Irises blog is one of many ways that the American Iris Society (AIS) uses the internet to organize and disseminate knowledge. Content draws on the various talents of individuals within our organization and helps to advance its mission: fostering the preservation, enjoyment, and continued development of the genus Iris.

Volunteers with technical expertise (or a willingness to learn) devote time and energy to social media efforts that promote aspects of AIS to other members and the general gardening public. The AIS Facebook page was created in 2009, which was later supplemented by a Twitter feed in 2011, a YouTube channel in 2016, and an Instagram account in 2019. 

The AIS YouTube channel started with a video featuring World of Irises bloggers, and has added a sizable amount of content during 2020 and 2021. If you are just getting started with irises, have the desire to learn more, or need to keep yourself occupied between bloom seasons, I highly recommend watching videos in the AIS webinar series. 

The following describes the webinars prepared, delivered, recorded, and posted by AIS volunteers in 2020.

Gary White is a past president of AIS and started growing irises soon after he finished college. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in biology, with a focus on botany. He has been a member of every AIS Section and Cooperating Society, and has been judging irises for over twenty years. In this first webinar, Gary helped us look at irises and circumstances prior to the formation of AIS in 1920, and then described some of the irises, people, and events leading to the middle of the 20th Century.

Gary returned for a second webinar to share irises and people who were most influential several years after the formation of AIS. His story picks up from the end of the first webinar, the middle of the 20th century, and continues through near the end of the century. This webinar focuses on irises that you may be growing in your garden and people you may recognize.

Bonnie Nichols is currently serving as the first-vice president of AIS, and was the first president of the Novelty Iris Society when this Section was added to the organization in 2015. She has also served AIS as a regional vice president, and treasurer. Bonnie has always been drawn to flowers with unusual characteristics and color patterns. In two webinars, Bonnie shares her passion for novelty irises and offers a glimpse into "something new from something old."

Bonnie Nichols returned for a third webinar to share wisdom from her experience growing irises for as long as she can remember. As in my family, Bonnie's mother was the source of her interest in irises. Bonnie and her husband Hooker own a commercial iris garden; and both are prestigious emeritus judges with AIS. In this webinar, Bonnie shares "Growing Irises 101," and focuses on basics for culture of bearded types.

Jody Nolin has worn many hats in our society, including AIS president, regional vice president, treasurer of the Society for Japanese Irises, secretary of SIGNA, and editor for SPCNI. She is currently serving as the AIS Affiliate chair and tries growing any iris that will tolerate the weather and soil at her home in rural northwest Ohio. Jody maintains an assortment beardless and species irises, including Louisiana, pseudata, Siberian, Japanese, spuria, AND bulbous irises. In this webinar, Jody shares the basics and delights of growing beardless irises.

Descriptions of AIS webinars recorded during 2021 will follow in future posts. Until then, visit the AIS website for links to related organizations, information, and ways to connect with others who love irises. You may also wish to join, follow, or subscribe to AIS webpages on your preferred social media platform.

Monday, November 15, 2021

In Pursuit of Variegated Roof Iris

  by Bob Pries

Iris tectorum alba, Pries photo

Iris tectorum (the Japanese roof Iris) is one of the easiest species to grow. Many years ago, I heard about a variegated form and got very excited. In my eyes, the white flowers of Iris tectorum are one of the most enchanting of Iris flowers. Unfortunately, this variegated form was said to have blue flowers. I imagined how stunning the white flowers could be with beautiful variegated foliage.

When I finally saw some plants of this variegated form, I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the variegation. It was much like some of the variegated, tall-bearded irises that have irregular streaks and stripes. It was, though, much more pronounced than what you see in virus-infected plants. However, the plants themselves were not robust growers, and this clone seems to have died out in cultivation.

There was one troubling fact. The insert image of the blue flowers was not Iris tectorum. At the time, I lived in zone 6 in Missouri. The image I thought looked very much like images I had seen of Iris japonica. But japonica does not tolerate zone 5 winters well. The foliage when received appeared more glossy.

Iris japonica flowers, Hensler photo
About the same time that I was eagerly searching for someone who could share a piece, I saw an advertisement in a general garden catalog. It showed an image of beautifully variegated foliage and a small insert of blue flowers. It proclaimed, "Variegated Iris tectorum for sale," so of course I ordered it. But the leaves were more slender than I. tectorum and it appeared I had gained a new house plant.

Variegated Iris japonica Pries photo

In trying to find out more about variegated Iris japonica, I found references that suggested there is more than one form of variegation and at least two types grow in Japan.

The next year I visited a very large perennial nursery outside of St. Louis. The proprietor—who I knew well—was proud to show me a huge planting of variegated Iris tectorum being used as a groundcover. It was absolutely gorgeous. I felt a bit guilty when I told him it was not Iris tectorum but japonica. I warned him it would not make it through the winter but he did not dig it up and it all perished. More and more I kept seeing Iris japonica incorrectly labeled as Iris tectorum in the trade.

Iris japonica, one of three focal points. The others are Brugmansia 'Snowdrift' upper right and variegated Curcuma; Pries photo

Since moving to North Carolina (zone 7) I have grown many forms of Iris japonica. Tony Avent’s Plant Delights Nursery (zone 8) has selected several with differing flower colors. All the green leaf forms survive my winters. They are especially good as groundcovers under the dry shade of Pine trees. But I still love the variegated form which I maintain as a pot plant. It seems just a bit more tender than its green cousin. It is especially attractive as a focal point in my houseplant garden and is a feature of my deck garden of potted plants. I would be delighted to find other forms of the japonica but someday I hope to grow a true variegated tectorum.

Variegated Iris japonica repeats the angular texture of Yucca 'Colorguard' Pries photo

Monday, November 8, 2021


By Phil Williams

Early this spring, Bryce Williamson asked if I would be willing to report on bloom season during my limited iris travels.  The request was difficult to refuse. Bryce dedicates many hours each week to supporting the American Iris Society as an admin for the Iris Lovers group on Facebook.

I have been purchasing and planting tall bearded irises since 1962 and joined the American Iris Society in 1966. Fifty-nine YEARS is a long time to live with an iris garden.  The only year in that span that I did not add new varieties was in 1971; the years before and since I have been a happy devotee to the GENUS IRIS.

The tall bearded season here lasted over 6 weeks – one of the longest seasons I can remember. Light frost, some cooler temperatures, cloudy days and very little moisture made for one happy iris grower!

A 14 hour round-trip to Missouri (over the Ozark Mountains in both directions) took me to the gardens of Barbara Nicodemus, Will Warner, and Peggy and Robert Koch. Iris friends create special friendships. The garden of Russell and Jill Watson is nearby (less than 4 hours round-trip) and I always enjoy my visit with them in their wonderful garden.  The trip to Oregon took me to Schreiner's, Roger and Lynda Miller's,  Mid America, Keith Keppel, and Robin Shadlow. This report covers nine gardens in 10 days away from home during bloom season! 

As I tried to condense my garden notes into one article, I finally decided on alpha-order by variety name. It will also make it easier for readers who are interested in how varieties preform in a different location. If a variety looked great many miles away and but was struggling where I live in Tennessee, it is not included in this report.

The following are my picks for the star performers of the 2021 iris bloom season. I chose not to include brand-new introductions as I have not had opportunities to observe them growing outside their home garden.

‘AIR TIME’ (Lynda Miller, 2018) A lovely soft blue-pink with beards that are coral pink in the throat which, dark purple at the tip and extend into a softer violet flounce. A star in Tennessee as well as in Oregon.

‘AMAZON QUEEN’ (Lynda Miller, 2018) Orchid standards and style arms have yellow midribs and edging; white falls blend to orchid at edges and dark orange beards. Remained in bloom for an extended period here.

‘BLIND AMBITION’ (Keppel, 2016) Mid yellow standards pale in the center; oyster white falls with narrow yellow edging; dark sulphur yellow on hafts and
 beards are brushed blue.

‘BLONDIE'S BLUSH’ (Sutton, 2013) Always a standout here! Pale cream, standards strongly flushed salmon with orange-buff edges; ruffled white falls have narrow orange-buff edging blending to salmon; bright orange beards! Beautifully ruffled, tatting on petal edges and very fragrant.

‘BREEZIN’ (Schreiners, 2018) Snowy white standards; bright burgundy red falls have clean white edging; orange beards. I particularly enjoy the way the individual flowers are perched on the branches in less than level positioning. It gives personality and movement that I find an exceptional trait in the garden!

‘CANEEL SUNSET’ (Kent Pfeiffer, 2020) I always brag on this deep, intense orange flower with incredible substance. There is non other like it. It is not gigantic and there is pink flushing around the tangerine-orange beards with heavy ruffling and delightful spicy fragrance. The plants are tough as nails – which is a requirement is you are born in the Midwest! My pet.

‘DESCHUTES’ (Schreiners, 2018) A shade of blue that you will find only in children of the Schreiner blues! Wide, crisp flowers with heavy substance on strong stalks. The falls are a bit darker than the standards and the blue-white beards are dusted yellow. It's mother is “Dodger Blue” and has gifted this iris with magnificent foliage!

‘FLIRTATIOUS GAL’ (Nicodemus, 2016) A fabulous perennial with very strong stalks displaying the flowers to perfection! Golden peach standards with lighter styles arms and crests. The falls are white, edged in peach with deeper golden peach on shoulders; beards are blended in all three colors. Indestructible plants and a very long season of bloom.

‘FRUIT SLICES’ (Lynda Miller, 2019) The standards are a soft orange-apricot blend with wine tinting on midribs; apricot-orange style arms have watermelon midribs. The falls are toasted watermelon, softly washed orchid with bright tangerine beards. This pretty lady flaunts what would seem to be pastel loveliness.... but when the sun shines through it! Yum! 

‘GILDED GIRL’ (Nancy Price, 2014) has large flowers on very, very strong plants. The stalks are strong and are loaded with buds. White standards have golden wire rims; golden yellow styles arms.  Falls are white with golden yellow overlay; deep yellow beards. Large, wide, very ruffled flowers are admired across the garden revealing hints of  green and biscuit tan. Indestructible plants!

‘HUGS AND KISSES’ (Paul Black, 2016) A cream-white flower. The standards have a peach base and the style arms peach. Warm white falls have peach on the hafts and matching veining beside orange beards. Under 36” here and does not have huge flowers, but it is a color blend like no other!

‘I'M SMITTEN’ (Barry Blyth, 2018)  Creamy pink standards are flushed orchid through the midribs; paler soft creamy pink falls have rose wash at hafts extending beside white beards that are brushed tangerine in throat. Pastel loveliness that is very difficult to describe, clearly flashing its very wide form gifted from her mother 'Magical'.

‘INSANIAC’ (Tom Johnson, 2012) White falls have very narrow golden halos; white style arms.  White falls have red-violet lines radiating out to wide rimmed yellow-white borders; bright tangerine beards. Do not be fooled! This lovely lady is as full of mischief as she can be!

‘IRISH BLIZZARD’ (Barbara Nicodemus, 2018) Pure, snowy white! Perfectly formed flowers are held on upright stalks with not-so-wide branching … and the stalks do not get tangled in a clump like so many modern hybrids! The crisp white falls have pale green veining. It opens only one flower at a time and the effect is one of dancing ladies on a music box.  Semi-flaring, lightly-laced flowers have some green veining. Plants that hustle ..but they are not invasive. This pure white screams across the garden in strong contrast to all the colors around her!

‘JUST BEFORE SUNRISE’ (Barbara Nicodemus, 2017)  Dark, mysterious, bold and fascinating! Very rounded flowers have smoky lavender standards flushed golden tan with purple veining; style arms are smoky lavender with yellow-tan crests. Falls are velvety royal purple, edged lighter, with yellow/sienna beards and stately ruffles. Very intense, dark, and stands out from across the garden. Tough plants with clean, wide foliage and strong growth habits.

‘LASH OUT’ (Paul Black, 2019) Difficult to describe, all petals are a blend of gold, amber, lilac, amber-red, lavender and orange. Not fairly tested here yet but I am hoping next year it performs like it did in Oregon this spring!

‘MAGICAL’ (Joe Ghio, 2008)  This has been around for a long time. It grows a bit slower than many modern varieties but it can remain undisturbed in a clump for an extended time. The foliage is not as wide and upright as I would prefer, but the wide, elegant, form is being passed on to its children with some very exciting new varieties from Mike Sutton. When our familiar soggy bloom season turns sunny and warm, she is a star performer!

‘MORE THAN RUFFLES’ (Paul Black, 2020) Standards are slate-mauve; style arms are light tan-peach. Falls are mid-violet with texture veins, soft khaki hafts and narrow lighter fall bands; dark orange beards. So very colorful!

‘MYSTIC ART’ (Tom Johnson, 2019) Full, smooth, medium pink standards; falls are rose to lavender-pink with softer pink edges. Beards are purple shading to mauve and orange at tips.  (This combination of colors gets my attention and I keep hoping to see an equally perfect flower some day with deep, purple-mauve falls displaying a fiery orange beard!) I am happy to be growing this fine iris variety in my garden!

‘NEW IMAGE’ (Barbara Nicodemus, 2018)  Crisp, upright, deep peach standards have orange highlights; styles are deeper peach with frilled orange crests. Candlelight falls have soft mint-yellow veining that deepen toward the wide, peach fall rims; midribs and back of falls are green. Very ruffled, well branched, tall, strong and indestructible.

‘PAINTED LOVE’ (Tom Johnson, 2016) Mid-gold standards are blushed red-violet; styles are buff tan.  Wide falls are blue-violet with yellow-orange beards! Another clean, smooth, well formed and striking bi-color from Thomas that makes me smile! 

‘QUE SERA SERA’ (Tom Johnson, 2020) Lovely, soft yellow flowers are infused pink; light lemon style arms. Lavender and rose blended falls have deeper texture veins and a ruffled and laced band of yellow; orange beards. A gorgeous pastel!

‘SENOR JINX’ (Schreiners, 2018) Looking for the darkest, smoothest, nearly black iris yet? Oh my word! It is very dark. It has yellow beards. The petals are wide and it is a giant step forward in “black” irises! The stalks are strong and well branched. The foliage is tinted blue with clean foliage. The photo in the Schreiner catalog is EXACTLY what the flower looks like. In the garden the effect is truly BLACK with very good form! It is a treasure!

‘SMOKY DUSK’ (Kieth Keppel, 2017) Standards and style arms are described as nightshade; the falls are grape with a small circle of white around dark lime-yellow beards. The name is an apt description. Very rounded form. Great garden color!  I am hoping the falls recurved here this year because of my cultural imperfections!

‘SULTRY ATTIRE’ (Barbara Nicodemus, 2016) Deep rose-orchid flowers are heavily infused violet, edged and feathered in tan-cinnamon. Matching style arms have copper crests. Falls are deep burgundy-brown  with tiny veining around bold burnt sienna-brass beards. Fabulous plants, excellent stalks and good bud count.

SUNNY GLITTER’ (Schreiner, 2019)  Standards are pale chartreuse yellow. Falls are slightly darker and surrounded by wisteria purple wash; yellow beards and fragrance aplenty. The colors are not bold, but from a distance the yellow shines through and it is a color I cannot recall seeing in the iris garden before. Good growth habits and a heavy bloomer with good bud count.

SUNNY SEAS’ (Lynda Miller, 2019) Bright yellow standards and style arms. Lavender falls are edged and washed buff; yellow hafts. The beards are orange in the throat and midsection and end in small, lavender “hooks” instead of elongated horns! So happy that Lynda is working with the horned, spooned and flounced varieties; she is doing a great job. Her new creations have quality flower form and plants that grow well.

‘SWIVEL HIPS’ (Tom Johnson, 2016) Smoky pink standards are heavily infused royal purple. Very wide, ruffled, velvety royal purple falls are ruffled with lighter banding and smoky pink beards. Good plant habits.

‘TEN CARAT DIAMOND’ (Gary Slagle, 2013)  A magnificent creation! Creamy white standards are soft yellow at midrib; falls are creamy white with soft yellow fall reverse; white beards are tipped yellow. This is not just another white iris.  This is a magnificent creation! Very wide, crisp, clean with tough and durable flowers. The plant increase is just right—you can leave it in a clump for 4 years without any decrease in quality. The foliage is crisp, wide and erect. The stalks are ramrod thick, perfectly branched and the flowers have amazing substance. The flowers remain open a full three days--many times for four days if there is no pounding rainfall. It has been a star here for three straight years! Keep your eyes open for new seedlings from Gary. (His Facebook nickname is “Fanatic”!)

‘VANITY GIRL’ (Tom Johnson, 2016) Standards are a lovely, smooth medium pink; the falls are white with matching pink hafts, brushed paler pink at edges.  Beards are white, brushed coral, and pale lavender at tips. (It's Mom is ‘VENITA FAYE’, that outstanding soft pink from Keith Keppel in 2008.) Venita should be very proud of this tough garden iris that never disappoints!

‘WINTER HAVEN’ (Anton Mego, 2020) Mike Sutton is rendering iris growers a great service in many ways … in this scenario, we would never see Anton's fabulous creations were it not for all the work and effort Mike puts into getting his creations grown, selected and introduced to the gardening public. This flower has white standards with green veining and midribs; the style arms are white.  The ice white falls have violet-blue haft marks around the orange beards with red-violet haft markings in the throat. It grows like a champ, the flowers are wide and with outstanding substance; the stalks are strong and robust.  So unique and very, very close to perfect. 

There you have it …. a very fine iris season in 2021.  Very fine, indeed!