Irises forum→Perplexed: Will the Real 'The Red Douglas' Please Stand Up

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Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Keeps Goats Bee Lover Irises Peonies Daylilies Bulbs
Butterflies Cat Lover
May 14, 2018 7:17 PM CST
Last summer I accidentally ordered 'The Red Douglas' from two different vendors: Willowbend and Blue J Iris (yes that one). The one from Willowbend bloomed on May 2 and finished up last week (I should have kept notes). Then today, lo and behold 'The Red Douglas' from Blue J Iris opened up. This was a real surprise. I was not expecting it to bloom this year. However, this 'Red Douglas' does not look like that 'Red Douglas'. They look like completely different irises to me. I looked at the examples here and at the Historic Iris website. I did not gain any real clarity because many of the pictures look completely different to me. So here are mine. What do you think? Are they the same iris or not. By the way, the beds in which each is planted are directly across from each other. Same soil conditions, pretty much the same angle of the sun. The Willowbend 'Red Douglas' receives a little bit more shade. I think the form of the Blue J RD looks as if it comes from a different decade than the Willowbend RD. Moreover, the Blue J RD has a richer claret color than the Willow Bend RD. The falls on the two are completely different. The Blue J RD has thinner lazier falls.

Willowbend Douglas on left. Blue J Douglas on right

Thumb of 2018-05-15/urania1/e085b9 Thumb of 2018-05-15/urania1/ac4ff5

Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
May 15, 2018 1:29 PM CST
They don't look quite the same, do they, but I have not a clue. I have always heard that Blue J sends smaller rhizomes maybe that could make a difference too, due to immaturity?
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
May 15, 2018 4:28 PM CST
I wonder if the narrow falls could be a chimera.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 15, 2018 5:45 PM CST
I think the thinner falls will not stay that way. Some years my historics with long falls curl more (and thus look thinner) than others. I can see both of those iris as being variations of the same iris.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
May 16, 2018 11:27 AM CST
I suspect they are the same, but let them grow another year or two and compare again. There are such variations with new rhizomes given their individual climatic conditions. As Leslie noted differences occur.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
May 16, 2018 5:36 PM CST
The falls on your red NoID seem curled up too.

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