PRINZESS VIKTORIA LUISE, 1910        
This radiant little iris won my heart long before I learned its name. A new neighbor rescued a single rhizome from the shade of overgrown shrubs, and before long it had multiplied into a big clump of one of the most beautiful iris I’d ever seen. Blooming abundantly, it has luminous, pale yellow standards over bright, rosy purple falls for an effect that’s absolutely scintillating. 20-24”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Last offered in 2017. We offer a rotating selection of iris. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
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 spring of 2018. We hope to offer this variety again in 2020. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
QUECHEE, 1947        
This chocolate-shaded, maroon-red iris “is a common sight at the Chelsea Flower Show,” says the popular BBC magazine Gardeners’ World. And there’s more to it than dramatic color – it’s also graced with a delicate orange scent. Bred by the great Harold Knowlton, it’s named for the Quechee Gorge, “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.” 30-34”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Last offered in 2018 and we don't expect to offer it again.
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. We don’t expect to offer it again but could special order it for you.
SENLAC, 1929        
With “brilliant claret-red flowers on strongly branched stems” (Cooley catalog, 1936), this sumptuous iris was once celebrated as the reddest of all – and it’s still turning heads in gardens today. Bred by Englishman A.J. Bliss, it’s named for the site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, from the Old French sanguelac or “blood lake.” 34-38”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Last offered in 2018 and we don't expect to offer it again.
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 2014 and we don't expect to offer it again.
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 2016. We offer a rotating selection of iris. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
SUSAN BLISS, 1922        
The finest “pink” iris of the early 20th century, this lilac-rose beauty first sold for an unheard-of $75 each. For decades it was widely-praised for its “perfect form” (Wayman), “robust constitution” (Puget Sound), “freedom of flowering” (Hellings), and “appealing creamy pink tone” (Mead) which “blends well with almost any color” (Peckham) – and that’s all still true today. 30-34”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Last offered in spring 2016. We don’t expect to offer it again but could special order it for you.
SWERTI, 1612        
This grape-scented beauty was first pictured 400 years ago in the lavish Florilegium of Emmanuel Sweert, a Dutch artist and nurseryman who was head gardener for the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. Although it’s often confused with ‘Madame Chereau’ (see them side-by-side here), its curled, pointed falls are distinct – and charming. As for its spelling, although Sweert’s name has two Es, and ‘Sweertii’ would be correct by modern rules, we’re sticking with the historic ‘Swerti’. 30-36”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2018. We hope to offer this variety again in 2020. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
THE RED DOUGLAS, 1937        
The “sterling, gorgeously rich, deep dark” colors of this Dykes Medal winner (to quote the 1946 Schreiner’s catalog) are made even more beautiful by the “rich plush-like quality” of its petals. Bred by Jacob Sass of Nebraska, it was named for medieval Scotland’s powerful Earls of Angus. Due to limited space in our micro-farms, we’re offering it one time only, so get it while you can! 34-36”, zones 3-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2018 and we don't expect to offer it again.
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