Irises forum: historic iris bed

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Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Jan 25, 2019 2:40 PM CST
I will be constructing an historic iris bed this spring. What should be the cutoff year for irises in this bed? What year(s) did irises begin to drastically change their appearance?

This is what I would consider a classic historical iris look:
Susa 1934

Sable 1936


All opinions are greatly appreciated. Thank You!
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Jan 25, 2019 4:40 PM CST
An historic iris is one that was introduced 30 or more years ago. You have the option of picking a cutoff year or just picking irises you like with historic form.
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Jan 25, 2019 5:54 PM CST
Totally_Amazing said:An historic iris is one that was introduced 30 or more years ago. You have the option of picking a cutoff year or just picking irises you like with historic form.


Around what year did the "classic" historic form disappear? I guess that is what I really need to know in order to set a cutoff year. Thank You!
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Jan 27, 2019 9:20 AM CST
any historic experts on this site?
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jan 27, 2019 9:59 AM CST
hippie said:any historic experts on this site?


KentPffeifer, Crowrita1 and DaveinPA, that I know of but there may be more.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Jan 27, 2019 10:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Jan 27, 2019 10:08 AM CST
evelyninthegarden said:

KentPffeifer, Crowrita1 and DaveinPA, that I know of but there may be more.


Thanks Evelyn, maybe one of them will chime in and answer the question of what year(s) did the "classic" historic form disappear.
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jan 27, 2019 11:18 AM CST
hippie said:Thanks Evelyn, maybe one of them will chime in and answer the question of, "What year(s) did the "classic" historic form disappear?"


@KentPfeiffer
@crowrita1
@DaveinPA
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jan 27, 2019 11:26 AM CST
I think the more "modern" form seems to have hit it's stride by the 70's but I think you find them in the 60's as well. I would contact HIPS for guidance if you don't hear from Arlyn, Dave or Kent.

https://www.historiciris.org/
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Jan 27, 2019 12:44 PM CST

Moderator

There wasn't any specific moment when flower form changed. It's been gradually changing for over a century. It hasn't been a simple linear transition either. Some hybridizers, like Joe Ghio Keith Keppel, push the envelope in terms of what irises can be. Others seem very comfortable with a certain look. Gordon Plough, as just one example, introduced hundreds of irises from the 1950's to the 1980's and they didn't change much, in terms of form, over that entire period. There are even hybridizers active today who produce irises with a form very similar to what you would have seen in the 70's. That's fine, everyone has their own goals and it's not like there's a right or wrong to any of it.

That's probably why the Historic Iris Preservation Society uses an arbitrary date, 30 years, to separate historic from modern irises. They can't base it on appearance because there's no general agreement on what an historic iris is "supposed" to look like.
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Jan 27, 2019 3:51 PM CST
KentPfeiffer said:There wasn't any specific moment when flower form changed. It's been gradually changing for over a century. It hasn't been a simple linear transition either. Some hybridizers, like Joe Ghio Keith Keppel, push the envelope in terms of what irises can be. Others seem very comfortable with a certain look. Gordon Plough, as just one example, introduced hundreds of irises from the 1950's to the 1980's and they didn't change much, in terms of form, over that entire period. There are even hybridizers active today who produce irises with a form very similar to what you would have seen in the 70's. That's fine, everyone has their own goals and it's not like there's a right or wrong to any of it.

That's probably why the Historic Iris Preservation Society uses an arbitrary date, 30 years, to separate historic from modern irises. They can't base it on appearance because there's no general agreement on what an historic iris is "supposed" to look like.


Thanks Kent. This info helps me greatly in deciding what to do.

When did the heavy ruffles begin to show up?
[Last edited by hippie - Jan 27, 2019 4:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Jan 27, 2019 3:59 PM CST
I feel the start was the 50 & 60 after WW II when more cultivars became available & hybridizers were able to travel & see more gardens, but as Kent said, it depends on the hybridizer.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jan 31, 2019 8:39 PM CST
I'm thinking the heavy ruffles were late 90's.. Keppel's 'Sea Power' may have been my first awareness of the heavy ruffles.. I'm sure somebody can chime in with older examples..
Joe Ghio coined the term "bubble ruffled".. He's now added "fimbriated bubble ruffled" as a description as seen in 'Musicality'.


Fimbriation has been around for quite awhile.. 'Lacy Snowflake' is from the '70's, and there are many that are older, like 'Chantilly', from the '40's...
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Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Feb 1, 2019 3:33 AM CST
Thanks Sherry. After looking at well over a thousand pics of older irises, I have decided on 1969 as the cutoff date for my historic bed. Thanks everyone for your help.
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
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IrisLilli
Feb 1, 2019 3:34 AM CST
We are looking forward to all your pictures Hippie! Hurray!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Feb 1, 2019 3:46 AM CST
IrisLilli said:We are looking forward to all your pictures Hippie! Hurray!


Thanks Lilli, I will need to learn to post them. Betting my 8 year old can teach me. Thumbs up
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Feb 1, 2019 8:29 AM CST
Hint: Using the 'Upload an image' button at the bottom of the screen where you write your messages is a good start. Thumbs up
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Feb 2, 2019 5:04 PM CST
IrisLilli said:Hint: Using the 'Upload an image' button at the bottom of the screen where you write your messages is a good start. Thumbs up


I'm not seeing it.
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Feb 2, 2019 10:01 PM CST
To the left of the preview and finish buttons, or right above the Group hug icon.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Darrell
Piketon, Ohio (Zone 6b)
Irises Organic Gardener
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Hybridizer
Feb 2, 2019 10:04 PM CST
iciris said:To the left of the preview and finish buttons, or right above the Group hug icon.


got it, I'm blind. Thank You!
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Feb 3, 2019 1:17 AM CST
Don't feel bad .... When I was working I'd always say "where is it? And I still do it. D'Oh!
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous

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