Irises forum: The Naming of Irises

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Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
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janwax
Nov 20, 2017 12:16 PM CST
It may sound foolish to some, but names are important to me when it comes to irises. Sometimes the names are wonderfully appropriate - like Keith Keppel's
Ocean Liner - a blue reminiscent of the sea, plus lines! Names with obvious spellings and not too long to fit on the marker are also a plus. Your thoughts on names?
VOTE!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
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lovemyhouse
Nov 20, 2017 12:24 PM CST
I like names that make it easy to identify the hybridizer. Tom Burseen and Larry Lauer come to mind. Smiling Sometimes I will buy an Iris strictly for the name, particularly those going in memory beds.
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Elsa
Las Cruces, New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: United States of America Irises Region: Southwest Gardening Dog Lover
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GreenIris
Nov 20, 2017 12:43 PM CST
I agree I have bought some soley for the name, for family garden or in memory of a pet.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Nov 20, 2017 1:20 PM CST
Part of my purchase decision for both daylilies and irises is name based. So I will buy things with SF or certain (literary) fantasy themes, or those with family or friend names, or those pertaining to attributes or interests of family or friends (or myself), or those that remind me of places that I have visited (or lived), or perhaps a song, and so on.

In the iris world, for some quick examples, the following have made their way into my garden based on their names: LOVELY LOIS, LORD JEFF, SARA'S BEAUTY, WEDDING KISS, ONE LAST KISS, PASSIONATE KISSES Whistling , BOTTLE ROCKET, TOTAL RECALL, UNCLE CHARLIE, GAME PLAYER, PURPLE PEOPLE EATER, POEM OF LOVE, GLACIER POINT, PRINCESS BRIDE, HELLO DARKNESS.

In the daylily world, some daylilies that were chosen largely if not entirely for their name: SEARS TOWER, DECEMBER WEDDING, WINTER WEDDING, FOR LOIS, LOMA PRIETA, SACRAMENT OF HEALING, APRIL FOOLS, STARS MY DESTINATION.

Of course, sometimes a plant has a great (or meaningful) name, but it turns out to either be a bad plant (for your garden), or just not to your taste. (I won't name a certain popular iris that I gave away this summer - because in person, it was not to either my, or DH's, taste.)

Sometimes the plant may not be a great plant (not truly horrible, just not really good), but the name association is powerful enough that the plant stays.

But sometimes you luck out, and a plant that you bought pretty much solely for the name, turns out to be a great garden plant (for you, anyway).
It's daylily season!
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Nov 20, 2017 1:33 PM CST
Basically i buy an iris because it is lovely and i have to have that bloom in my garden. The name can be a plus or minus. Rarely, but sometimes, i buy an iris for its name.

I dislike names that are too fancy and i really dislike misleading names such as all the irises with the word 'red' or 'blue' in the name when the iris is respectively clearly rose or lavender. Dwarfs should not all be named 'little or tiny something'.

Some hybridizers have a natural feel for naming an iris but some are just shooting in the dark and it is a miss most of the time. I have a friend that says since a hybridizer has had hundreds of irises they just ran out of names. Please...... with all the wonderful words in the world there is no end of names.

Didn't mean to sound so grouchy but this is something that i have often thought about (and grouched about).

The right iris with the right name is one that is easily remembered. Give a name like 'snoring eels' or some such to a beautiful ruffled iris and it just does not work. Shrug!
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Nov 20, 2017 1:37 PM CST
"snoring eels" is kind of catchy, Bonnie! Rolling on the floor laughing Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing
VOTE!
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Nov 20, 2017 1:38 PM CST
The wrong name can keep a plant out of my garden. I will never allow Dodger Blue, or Trumped, to grow here.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Nov 20, 2017 2:01 PM CST
I agree with Rob in that some named plants have the garden gate barred against them.
It's daylily season!
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Nov 20, 2017 2:11 PM CST
I do like a clever named iris. Don't usually buy any just for the name though. I was given Buck Nay Kid this fall and while the name makes me laugh it is also descriptive of it's color. Double bonus! Hilarious! Hilarious!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Nov 20, 2017 2:21 PM CST
Leslie....... how is buck nay kid a color? Rolling on the floor laughing I never got that one in my crayola box.
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Elsa
Las Cruces, New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: United States of America Irises Region: Southwest Gardening Dog Lover
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GreenIris
Nov 20, 2017 2:42 PM CST
It's just a personal thing but I don't like real evil sounding names for flowers. I just haven't seen one yet that, in my mind, fits a flower.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Nov 20, 2017 3:25 PM CST
I agree, Elsa.

Any negative name is ridiculous. I can hear me now taking guests about the garden saying...... 'this gray and tannish iris is Doom and Gloom, and the lovely dark red over here is Botulism and last but not least the green one here is Appendicitis. These names probably would not be allowed if anyone was nutty enough to name them that but i cant imagine anyone buying one no matter how lovely the iris is. But then there are some people who wonder why i have named all of my irises. Rolling on the floor laughing
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
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TsFlowers
Nov 20, 2017 4:19 PM CST
I couldn't pass up this thread when I saw it on the home page. I too am a name fancier! It reminds me of my roots. Even with the native Indians, I am again reminded of the show Dances With Wolves, and the young white girl (I will say) that was taken into the tribe. I can't remember what her actual Indian name was (how it was pronounced), but I certainly remember its interpretation (and that she was given that name for a bold stance that she took). So I think (my opinion), that originally people were given names that described them. We even retain some of those last names today. For instance 'Smith', could have been a shortened form of blacksmith, the trade the man was in. Every other name is evading my mind right now. I could imagine that one with the last name 'Story' could have either been a good story-teller, or something other.
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
[Last edited by TsFlowers - Nov 20, 2017 4:35 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1589805 (13)
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Nov 20, 2017 4:36 PM CST
Carpenter, Miller, Hunter, Potter, Cook..... endless. Smiling
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Irises Cut Flowers Canning and food preservation
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Annuals Seller of Garden Stuff Vegetable Grower
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TsFlowers
Nov 20, 2017 5:10 PM CST
I think it would be cool if there was an Iris named 'Die Hard'. Now this Iris would have to be the exception to the rule; growing in both drought and rot-type conditions, and all over the place. I think it would have to be a rugged type Iris, even maybe with a few ruffles, but probably a darker color in the brown-red-tan shades. Green Grin!
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 20, 2017 5:48 PM CST
I would certainly buy an iris named Die Hard! I've not passed over ANY plant I thought was attractive because of the name but I do have several peonies with names that I haven't the first clue of how to pronounce. Sure is easier when they're named "Bob" or something equally easy....(and there is a peony named Bob, the hybridizer named it after himself!).
LizB
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Nov 20, 2017 6:10 PM CST
I do like names otherwise we would just have numbers and i could not remember but a half dozen then.
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
janwax
Nov 20, 2017 7:11 PM CST
Several hybridizers (Sutton and Schreiner I think) have a contest to name their upcoming introductions.
VOTE!
Name: Elsa
Las Cruces, New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: United States of America Irises Region: Southwest Gardening Dog Lover
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GreenIris
Nov 20, 2017 8:48 PM CST
Bonnie: Rolling on the floor laughing Your names had me laughing SO hard. Especially your Red Botulism!!!

Teresa and Liz: I agree Die hard is a GREAT name!!!!
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Nov 20, 2017 10:41 PM CST
grannysgarden said:Leslie....... how is buck nay kid a color? Rolling on the floor laughing I never got that one in my crayola box.


Well Bonnie, you know what you look like buck nay kid. Hee. Isn't there a nude crayon?

But it is fully described as " a very ruffled cream with honeysuckle edges.". I have parts that resemble that description unfortunately..... Hilarious!

The beards on this one are big and dark red btw. Just to liven things up. Smiling
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

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