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Iris: Lost Forever?

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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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(10bWC), 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(10bWC), 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(10bWC), 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.


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 3a-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2018 and we don't expect to offer it again.


WYOMISSING, 1909

One of the oldest American iris, petite ‘Wyomissing’ debuted in the very first catalog of Bertrand Farr, the visionary Pennsylvania nurseryman who sparked America’s love affair with iris in the early 1900s. It’s a dreamy, uniquely-colored iris with warm white standards blushed lavender-pink and richly patterned falls of a deeper, rosier lavender that blurs and fades into mist at the edges. 22-24”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Last offered in 2017 and 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.


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