Irises forum: Definition of Historic Irises

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Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Dec 2, 2014 10:54 AM CST
Does anyone else think it odd to classify an iris from the 1980's ah Historic Iris? I think the AIS needs another category. I think anything from 30 to about 50-60 years should be called a Classic. Then after 50 years, maybe, it could be called an historic.

To me, anything introduced in the 1950's should be a classic...but maybe that's because anything made in my lifetime should be classic not historic! Hilarious! (That's as much of a hint as you will get Whistling )
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Dec 2, 2014 11:09 AM CST
Marilyn,

This topic has been discussed many times with no resolution as of yet. HIPS database will be inundated as more of the 80's irises become "historic." It was discussed on the HIPS forum within the past year. It seems that there are very opinionated views from AIS and others regarding this topic for whatever reason. A sliding scale to increase the 30 years to a longer period was one of the suggestions, but was made to no avail. So I think we will be stuck with that somewhat arbitrary cutoff for longer.

I suppose the thought is that in plant life having any particular variety around for 30 years is "historic," but I am with you feeling that the cutoff should be 50 years or something else. My own garden of historics is mostly made up of those older than 1950, so my cutoff is at 64 years now, 65 next year, etc.

Dave
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Dec 2, 2014 11:12 AM CST
I really have no problem with the "30 year" division for "Historic".....although there *may* be OTHER words that would be more descriptive, depending on an individual's viewpoint...."pioneer iris", for all those that first found homes in someone's garden....maybe "historic", meaning those that were important in breeding, color breaks, form, etc.,........."classic", for those that best display "our" ideal in form, and color ( but most of us have quite different tastes !)......"has beens", for those that always want "the latest and greatest"....although "old fashioned" could be used here, as well. I guess, for me ,the "name" we put to them doesn't really matter.....I could quote Shakespeare ...as much as the concept BEHIND the name. I, personally, can't understand how what was ONCE considered a beautiful thing, can ever be "forgotten".....but that's just me, I guess I tip my hat to you.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Dec 2, 2014 11:17 AM CST
Well put Arlyn. I was just remarking on how odd it feels to call a 1980's flower historic...although technically it's accurate. But like 'classic rock' I thought 'classic iris' might me an "in-between" category name. I can see though how everyone would have a different idea of the meaning of any name you choose! Sticking tongue out
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Dec 2, 2014 11:56 AM CST
Not meaning to offend anyone or challenge the policies, but calling a plant from 1980s 'historic' makes me feel old. Blinking
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Dec 2, 2014 12:07 PM CST
That's all I was trying to say! Just sharing a point-of-view. Sticking tongue out I had no idea it was such a political topic!

But then again...there's nothing wrong with discussing ideas! Rolling my eyes.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Dec 2, 2014 12:41 PM CST
The term has been "cussed ,and dis -cussed" ever since it was started to be used.....and like most things, everyone has an opinion...pro, or con, and everyone has a favorite "alternate"! To me, though, "historic" conveys the meaning of "old, and important"........important to just WHOM, though, depends on a persons "likes, and dislikes", I guess Confused .The "time frame" is also a much discussed topic....'sliding scale, fixed date, 30-40-50 years...we all have our 'personal' favorite. I think, if you do some "looking -to-buy", of those iris from 1984, you will find that, except for the "medal winners" ( and actually, the Cook-Douglas winner, Sapphire Jewel is DANG hard to find, IF you can!), most are pretty scarce, in commerce. I'll grant you that SOME iris that are introduced, have a "face" only a mother could ever love , and either were never introduced, or just plain didn't sell, but even the "real good ones"are getting rooted out of the propagation beds, to make room for something "newer". People's hearts are pretty fickle, and what we "Absolutely Love" this year,is "old hat", "out of date", and can end up in the compost in a real short time! Luckily there are those that like the old, the new, the short, the tall, and some, who like them ALL ! It would be a dull, dull, world if we were all the same.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Dec 2, 2014 12:41 PM CST
By that definition, I may have some historic underwear.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Dec 2, 2014 12:44 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Dec 2, 2014 12:52 PM CST
I know that this has been an issue for some time now. When AIS was created, 30 years seemed like a good bench mark to call something "Historic". Today, this logic is incomplete. (Its like the Constitution with out the amendments). There was no foresight as to how this would work 50, 75, or even 100 years later. To me, it is more than a time frame issue. There is what I like to call a, "Form" factor playing as well. By this I mean that there are cultivars that are "falling" into the "Historic" category that would not look any bit out of place if they were to be introduced today. The other factor at play was who was doing the breeding. There was a very small number of breeders in the early years and their output was small and steady. This all changed in the late 1950's and early 60's and then again in the 70's & 80's. Iris hybridizing mushroomed in those time periods and the lines of pursuit were many and very divergent. The number of introductions grew leaps and bounds (sounds like an iris name! Hilarious! ).

There is no question a better "system" needs to be created; and it needs to be able to take us into the future another 50-75 years.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Dec 2, 2014 1:31 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rob Hilarious! Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Dec 2, 2014 1:33 PM CST
Oh Rob -- leave it to you to put a humorous spin on things!!! Rolling on the floor laughing
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Dec 2, 2014 1:37 PM CST
So, here is "My" groupings. (It is easy to suggest a need for a change and then not put one forth. This is a hazard though, as I run the risk of being shouted down (well, not here; I mean in general at AIS events/functions).

I would break it down like this.

1. Irises collected/found (1500-1840)
2. Irises hybridized 1840 to WW2
3. Post WW2 (1946-1958)
4. New Age I (1959-1974)
5. New Age II (1975-1990)
6. Space Age (1991-2002)
7. Current (2003- )

The names and the time frames of the categories is all subjective. They can slide a bit. To me, this is much better way to differentiate cultivars than with just two categories (Historic and Current). Styles, flower form, plant form, ect all are factors to making a new comprehensive list.

Does it matter what names you give the categories? Probably. Everything is changable.


Ancient
Centurian
Historic
Classic
Neo-Classic


Just my 2 cents worth.
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Dec 2, 2014 1:49 PM CST
Makes lots of sense Greg.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Dec 2, 2014 2:13 PM CST
Yes, it does...although I would find it a bit cumbersome to have quite so many categories. But the general idea of considering form, and hybridizing history/trends would help make some more meaningful categories than an arbitrary moving date!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Dec 2, 2014 4:43 PM CST
'Space Age' is already in use to describe flowers with horns, spoons & flounces.

Arlyn--Sapphire Jewel seemed to have virus & didn't grow well in this area.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Dec 2, 2014 5:14 PM CST
I gathered that it was sort of a "poor doer", Lucy. No body seems to have it "commercially ". I got a start from another member a couple years ago....but it was a small, dried up rhizome, and, while it did start to "green up & grow", it just didn't seem to have enough 'oompf" to make it . others that I have received in even "worse" condition, have made it just fine ! Looking over the "medal winners"list, there are a few that make me wonder just what the judges saw ! Or, where they were growing at the time ! Maybe just judged for "beauty", or "new color ", and not for hardiness!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Dec 2, 2014 11:17 PM CST
winning votes can come from a climate where a plant does grow. too many in the right place to conteract lack of votes from other places.

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Dec 3, 2014 12:00 AM CST
Does the "age date" start from the introduction date or the registered date?
Barbara
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Dec 3, 2014 8:25 AM CST
Registered date is apparently the official one used.

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