Irises forum: What's the allure over Dusky Challenger?

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Name: Richard
SFBA (Zone 10a)
Region: Maryland Irises Dog Lover Birds Bromeliad Region: California
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lilpod13
Jun 27, 2019 1:57 PM CST
Someone wrote to me that this cultivar is often voted the number one favorite iris by voters in this country. I love 'self' iris and this is indeed a beautiful purple self, but what is it about this iris that sets it apart from all the others? Was this the iris Harold drew with his purple crayon? (For those of you who appreciate fine children's literature). Is there some hidden secret or mystical power in the fragrance emitted by this hybrid? Do the rhizomes have an anti-rotting gene? Or could the bloom shape meet an unconscious, but real geometry that Homo sapiens fall in love with, some sort of 'love potion #9'? It doesn't have the most ruffles or lacing so that can't be it. It doesn't have a spectacular space age appendage, but the beard sure looks strong and pronounced for a hybrid of it's birth date. So what is it folks? Why should I add this to my collection? Smiling
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Jun 27, 2019 4:21 PM CST
I think as with politics name recognition is important, and this one has been widely circulated. It's a good grower too. When I see it, I say, Oh, that's nice, but when I see Adriatic Noble, I say Oh My, how wonderful. Sticking tongue out
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"
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
Jun 27, 2019 8:56 PM CST
it has performed well for years. I lost my voting sheet this year. It was in the envelope instead of inside the Irises magazine. Will have to see about voting on line.
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
Jun 28, 2019 7:28 AM CST
Mine has no scent to speak of, but its blooms are on the larger side (of the ones I grow at least) and the colour is great both close up and from across the garden, also that particular dark bluish purple goes well with most other garden plants. I assume it grows well in many different locations, considering how many votes it gets, and that is a plus too of course. For its time, I think it is an overall great iris, but I agree with Tom that there are more spectacular ones among the newer introductions - as is to be expected.

I just had Keppel's 2018 intro Major Issue bloom and I have to agree with Brad that it is definitely one to watch:

Even Kent's and Brad's pictures do not fully show how spectacular it is.
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Morning Glories Annuals Irises Dahlias Zinnias
Orchids Region: United States of America Peonies
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ShawnSteve
Jun 28, 2019 9:13 AM CST
Hi Richard. I'd tried to respond, but the conection seemed to "go away" somehow, or other. Well, I'd grew 'Honky Tonk Blues, 'Bllue Suede Shoes', 'Victoria Falls', Mary Francis', & others, etc.. as they were mainly self ( or basic solid color blues &, or purples, in any case.) by which to compare it with... I think it actually held first place, as a very well liked, accepted, & admired iris, & a favorite among, so many others, for such a very long time.. Perhaps, it is considered a sort of perfectly balanced flower, in many respects...

Maybe, there is just exactly as you mentioned, a sort of human face mathematical equivalent, to what we may all consider to be the nearly prefect equation, of what may defined as beautiful, along with those familiar faces , among them, being Marilyn Monroe, 'LIz Taylor, or Farah Fawcett & the likes, long considered to be quite attractive & the ''Dusky Challenger' just so happened to fit that bill, perfectly, in the Iris world..

Sort of having an Universal appeal, like Shakespeare's plays, by being recognized as outstanding, in the field...having been voted into top position & holding it, for such a long time. I can't really even compare it to a political election, whatsoever !
It certainly didn't get campaign finance funds raised, for it, to try & help it win.

Not even a "bathing beauty' contest in a swimsuit, which that competition, even seems to have been done away with, these days. Forbid it, there be any body exposure to admire in the way of shape, much less, any "shaming", going on , about it ! You'd think we'd gone back retro to Victorian era, with no leg exposure, being "proper", at all. Maybe 'Titan's Glory', ought to have outdone, it, one year or another, long ago....

Because, if you compare it to some of what is produced these days, it just doesn't nearly, look anything like what is newer, by far. It could just be an all time "Classic" as with cars, which some are favored, perhaps, like a Ford "Mustang" & if you have a look, at some of what was produced from it, then maybe again that was why the newer models went "Retro" & simply modernized...So, perhaps what was produced from it, was what was considered also..
Sure, there are plenty of newer Iris, with much more updated appearance & overall beauty, to the flowers, as I don't doubt that for a single moment. Perhaps, one day, enough will cast their votes & change the list a little faster, & end up eventually making things a little more modern & updated, these days. By voting for something else, you may see one, day, it is no longer in first place, but will probably stay on that list for quite some years to come.
Name: Richard
SFBA (Zone 10a)
Region: Maryland Irises Dog Lover Birds Bromeliad Region: California
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lilpod13
Jun 29, 2019 6:43 PM CST
Oh Lilli you're killing me with your comment about Major Issue. I made a Major Issue out of not adding this hybrid to my Keppel order this year because of space constraints and now I'm going to go bang my head against the wall and try and knock some sense into my pea brain skull and make room for it next year. But gazooks, I'm not allowed to order iris next year because I promised to stay focused on Rasmina and her foray into motherhood. Oh well, life is full of set backs, just gotta dust off your britches and plow ahead forward. Sighing! nodding
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Morning Glories Annuals Irises Dahlias Zinnias
Orchids Region: United States of America Peonies
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ShawnSteve
Jun 29, 2019 7:38 PM CST
Richard, I also enjoyed 'Titan's Glory', but I'm certain you could find something more modern & be more pleased. I think I just saw one vendor 'City Iris' (?) that may have listed it & some others, including historics....
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jun 29, 2019 7:42 PM CST
lilpod13 said:Oh Lilli you're killing me with your comment about Major Issue. I made a Major Issue out of not adding this hybrid to my Keppel order this year because of space constraints and now I'm going to go bang my head against the wall and try and knock some sense into my pea brain skull and make room for it next year.


So I would add it to this years order. Then you're keeping your promise to yourself, and saving on shipping for next year. Hilarious!
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 29, 2019 9:15 PM CST
iciris said:So I would add it to this years order. Then you're keeping your promise to yourself, and saving on shipping for next year. Hilarious!


I agree nodding
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Richard
SFBA (Zone 10a)
Region: Maryland Irises Dog Lover Birds Bromeliad Region: California
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lilpod13
Jun 29, 2019 10:58 PM CST
Barbara and Evelyn:
You two are typical iris enablers. Just like everyone else on the forums? Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 29, 2019 11:04 PM CST
nodding
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jun 29, 2019 11:29 PM CST
I couldn't resist. Hilarious! but it does sound like the perfect solution.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Jun 30, 2019 6:28 AM CST
I had Dusky Challenger years ago, but I lost it one winter. It wasn't a survivor for me.

I don't have a true dark purple tall bearded iris at the moment. Something to shop for next year.
Touch_of_sky on the LA
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Morning Glories Annuals Irises Dahlias Zinnias
Orchids Region: United States of America Peonies
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ShawnSteve
Jun 30, 2019 9:12 AM CST
Valerie, I just can't imagine, not having a blue or especially purple Iris, to go right along next to, with those pink peonies... I had to get a peony, just to go along with the Iris ! lol
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Morning Glories Annuals Irises Dahlias Zinnias
Orchids Region: United States of America Peonies
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ShawnSteve
Jun 30, 2019 9:30 AM CST
Did you manage to talk "yourself" into getting one, Richard ? I just can't grow tall bearded Iris, without others certain plants, to go right along with it.
That's why I order from Jung's .. I'd bought 'Dusky Challenger' to go along with roses, peonies & other perennials for a mixed border & rather than ordering 'border" Iris, i''d simply get 'tall bearded", instead.
They'd usually have a decent selection, & I could always call on the phone & just "add" to my existing order each month, & just pay extra, for postage, as the order "builds up" until delivery ends.. But, now days, everyone, is in such a hurry to buy it up, all at once, well in advance !
I think they tend to offer some nice ones, each spring & autumn & would buy just at least several each year, both spring & fall & before you know it, in ten years, there'd easily end up with 40 Iris, just from there, alone..
Name: Richard
SFBA (Zone 10a)
Region: Maryland Irises Dog Lover Birds Bromeliad Region: California
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lilpod13
Jun 30, 2019 10:58 AM CST
Shawn, as much as I want Major Issue I need to wait and see if I have anymore space. I just dug up some really nice rhizomes and was thrilled that Barbara will save them from the compost heap and take them from me, but in order to do this I agreed to take an iris from her. Now she's insisting that rhizomes travel in pairs. And I'm sure when it's time to trade with Rob, he'll trick me into getting more rhizomes. Everyone is just too kind, and I 'get it', if you can find someone to take your leftover rhizomes, that's much more satisfying than heaving them into the compost pile.
I also know I'm on the 'JV' team compared to many of you since I have barely over 100 different hybrids, but I live in a modest size house with a small yard and portions unsustainable for growing iris due to the shadows cast by Giant Redwoods. In other words, I have iris rhizomes coming out of my ears and every other orifice in my dreams/ nightmares. But alas, what a way to go! Sticking tongue out
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Jun 30, 2019 11:06 AM CST
The allure of Dusky Challenger is this:

http://wiki.irises.org/bin/res...

This is what the real Dusky Challenger looks like. At least one seed company is selling plants that appear not to be the real deal - maybe seedlings from Dusky Challenger. I have had the real deal originally, direct from the hybridizer, Schreiners, and so I am not fooled by this seedling that the seed company has apparently sold me. The Real Dusky Challenger is awesome. This imitator is quite ordinary. I know the difference.
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Morning Glories Annuals Irises Dahlias Zinnias
Orchids Region: United States of America Peonies
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ShawnSteve
Jun 30, 2019 11:40 AM CST
I didn't realize, there was a "fake' one, out there, DaisyDo, but sometimes the difference may not be noticed, by someone with an untrained eye....
Barbara, since when, did Iris decide they have to travel in pairs ? lol That's usually how I'd buy them, as pairs- Like Levi's jeans- you get a 'pair"" ! haha
Now Richard, you're simply stuck with the situation, as weren't you already aware of the fact, that it almost isn't proper for an Iris to travel alone ? -Forbidden, by an unwritten code of law, to travel unaccompanied ! They simply "must" travel, at minimum, in pairs ! All the more, just simply , makes them all the merrier ..They're even better , especially when viewed as being all together, gathered up, in huge clumps !
Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
Irises Keeps Horses Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: Pennsylvania
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Snork
Jun 30, 2019 5:32 PM CST
Yes there are many very nice modern large dark purple iris out there....
The allure of Dusky Challenger.....well, just grow it, and you will see.

I like purple. I hope to always have a few of Dusky Challenger. This plot has been here for almost 20 years.

Thumb of 2019-06-30/Snork/1bc8bb Thumb of 2019-06-30/Snork/494479

Goes well with orange too!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Jun 30, 2019 5:44 PM CST
And the dark purple looks so good next to orange and yellow's too. Smiling
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities,"

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