LAVANDULACEA, 1854        
Subtle and small-flowered, this rarely offered beauty will never be mistaken for a modern iris. It’s an intriguing blend of soft lavender shaded at the edges by even softer brown – yes, brown! – and brightened by a glow in the center that spills out on its golden beards. Due to limited space in our micro-farms, we’re offering it one time only, so get it while you can! Aka ‘Dove’, ‘Agnes Sorrel’, ‘Pluton’, ‘Rosamond’, and ‘Candicans’. 22-26”, zones 3-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2016. We’re building up stock to offer it again sometime in the future. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
MADAME CHEREAU, 1844        
The most sought-after iris of the 19th century, ‘Mme. Chereau’ is tall, stately, and oh so lovely. Its elegantly long white petals are neatly stitched or feathered with purple along the edges in a pattern known as plicata. A truly landmark iris, it was bred by pioneering nurseryman Jean-Nicolas Lémon whose 150 dazzling introductions transformed iris from a wildflower into a garden superstar. Grape-scented, 36”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2013. Unfortunately our stock has become mixed with the very similar ‘Swerti’, and we need to sort that out before we offer it again.
MRS. GEORGE DARWIN, 1895        
The perfect size for bouquets, and luminous in the garden, this elegant small iris is named for Maud du Puy, the Philadelphia-born wife of one of Darwin’s sons. Although often confused with its sister ‘Mrs. Horace Darwin’ (which we offered last year), it’s laced with gold and purple (not just purple) and blooms later (extending the sisterly season). 24”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2016. We plan to offer it again in 2018. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
NEGLECTA, 1813        
Although named in 1813, this wild hybrid of I. pallida and I. variegata was probably grown in gardens long before that. Today several similar clones are grouped under this name, all short and small-flowered with pale lavender standards over jaunty little falls that are richly veined with purple – and as the Biltmore Nursery catalog noted in 1912, “most desirable.” Due to limited space in our micro-farms, we’re offering this wild jewel one time only, so get it while you can! 20-14”, zones 3-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2016. Unfortunately due to our limited growing space, we don’t expect to offer it again. Sorry!
OLA KALA, 1949        
The deep, warm, radiant yellow of this Dykes Medal winner continues to astonish gardeners nearly 70 years after it was first introduced by Jacob Sass of Nebraska. Its beards are orange, its tall stalks never topple, and it multiplies vigorously. In short, as its Greek name declares, it’s “all good.” 36-38”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2013. Widely available from specialty iris growers.
PERFECTION, 1880        
“Well named,” wrote Nebraska nurseryman Charles Harrison in 1916, “tall and queenly, with a profusion of bloom of radiant and glistening purple.” Nearly a century later, iris expert Mike Unser agrees, saying ‘Perfection’ is “true to its name . . . with exceptional color, flawless form, vigorous growth” and even “beautiful foliage.” Flaring falls and splashes of darker purple on its standards add to its appeal. Due to limited space in our micro-farms, we’re offering it one time only, so get it while you can! 28-34”, zones 3-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2016. Unfortunately due to our limited growing space, we don’t expect to offer it again. Sorry!
QUAKER LADY, 1909        
One of the best-loved American iris of all time, ‘Quaker Lady’ is a “dainty, charming” plant with flowers of “smoky lavender, bronze, purple, fawn, and old gold” (to quote AIS founder John Wister). And though beauty is only skin-deep, ‘Quaker Lady’ is also sturdy and care-free, multiplies quickly, and blooms with abandon. All in all, it’s a worthy monument to its creator, Bertrand Farr, the visionary Pennsylvania nurseryman who did more than anyone else to make iris one of the signature plants of the early 20th-century garden. 27-30”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2016. We plan to offer it again in 2018. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
ROSY WINGS, 1934        
Praised as “a delightful fantasy of colors” by the 1946 Schreiner’s catalog, this Dykes Medal winner is an ever-changing mix of iridescent bronze and old rose shading into deep russet and maroon. It’s remarkably tough and vigorous, too. As expert Winifred Ross wrote, “Once you have ‘Rosy Wings’, you always have it.” Lightly fragrant, 36-40”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2014. Widely available from specialty iris growers.
SHAH JEHAN, 1932        
“Opulent”, “gorgeous”, “magnificent”, “an extravaganza of color” — iris lovers for decades have been babbling about the breath-taking beauty of “this jewel among irises.” A spectacular blend of champagne, gold, chestnut, and an unbelievably rich, velvety plum, it’s well named for the great Mughal emperor who built 777 gardens — and the Taj Mahal. Grow it yourself and we bet you’ll soon be babbling about it, too! 36-40”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in spring 2014. We hope to offer it again someday. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
SHANNOPIN, 1940        
Grown by author Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst – one of the 20th century’s most iconic gardens – this pastel beauty was bred by T. Lloyd Pillow, superintendent of Pittsburgh’s Street and Sewer Department. On tall, strong stems, its primrose-and-cream standards over old-rose, almost-pink falls make it an iris that our garden visitors always notice and admire. 38-42”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Last offered in spring 2016. We’re building up stock and will offer it again sometime in the future. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
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