Irises forum→Katherine Hodgekin or Frank Elder?

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Name: Ruud
The Netherlands
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Apr 13, 2018 1:10 PM CST
In München I found this lovely Iris. I immediately assumed it to be Katherine Hodgekin but there were two nameplates. One confirming my assumption, the other stating it is Frank Elder. Unfortunately these are look-a-likes. The Frank is supposed to have less and paler yellow in the petals. But I must say I am far from sure.

Anyone knows which is which?

Thumb of 2018-04-13/RuuddeBlock/0d26d5

Thumb of 2018-04-13/RuuddeBlock/81b841



Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
Apr 14, 2018 10:54 PM CST
Hello Ruud,
I did a search of some images on google and it is hard to tell the two varieties apart. A reliable plant nursery near me states that Frank Elder has larger pale blue flowers with a slightly greenish cast. There are photos of both varieties on this website too.
Your iris looks like it has a greenish cast in the photo and the yellow patch is quite pale, so my guess is Frank Elder, but I really don't know.
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Apr 15, 2018 3:35 AM CST
Hi Ruud, I agree with Robin. That is definitely Frank Elder. I have grown both Frank Elder and Katharine Hodgkin and Frank Elder is overall much paler (which incidentally is the reason I no longer grow it). In real life there really is a big difference.

But to identify your iris from the photo with 100% certainty we only need to note that the stripe on the falls of Frank Elder are orange. Katharine Hodgkin has the same stripe, but it is more yellow.

This is Katharine Hodgkin and you can clearly see the yellow stripe:

There also seem to be some confusion in the database for Frank Elder, which makes it that much harder to do a correct ID. One of the pictures are of Katharine Hodgkin, so I have requested it to be moved and hopefully that will happen. Smiling

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