1896, Iris unguicularis, Iris danfordae by A. Bowles

The Garden p.35, January 18, 1896

Iris unguicularis var. speciosa began to bloom with me in the open in the last week of October, and I have never been without a flower save for a few days at a time since. I pick the buds as soon as the claws of the falls have emerged from the spathe valve. They then open in a few hours in a warm room, and are so beautiful and fragrant, and apparently give so little trouble to grow, that it is amazing how seldom a garden contains them. The type has not flowered yet this season, nor the white variety. Both bloomed profusely last season, but got severely nipped in the late and terrible frost we had last February, many of the young growths being killed. But I see buds on the type are pushing up, and if the open weather continues they should open next week. All these are planted at the foot of a south wall and get a good baking in summer and autumn.

— A. Bowles, Waltham Cross.

Iris Danfordise gave me a blossom in the open border on the last day but one of the old year. It is a lowly kind of gem, only 1 inch or 2 mches in height, but a true gem nevertheless, the clear lemon-yellow with the minute brown specks looking all the brighter for the total absence of such colour from the flower borders at this season. At first sight it appears to possess no standards, and so to be different from other Irises and to have a curiously incomplete appearance, but, carefully looked for, they will be found hidden by the base of the claws of the falls, but very minute, scarcely more than a small scale with a brietle-like tip —

A. Bowles, Waltham Cross.

For more information on historic Irises visit the Historic Iris Preservation Society at

-- BobPries - 2014-11-06
Topic revision: r1 - 06 Nov 2014, BobPries
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