(1914) A Beautiful Dwarf Iris by Bilney
The Garden p.225, May 9, 1914
A Beautiful Dwarf Iris. The accompanying illustration represents a fine cluster of the charming little [sic]Iris pumila in Mr. W. A. Bilney's rock garden at Weybridge. Mr. Bilney writes as follows : " I find this a particularly easy plant to grow, planted in sandy soil with a little mortar rubble and in full sun. I never trouble to water it during the droughts we have on the fiery soil here. Divided soon after flowering, the plants increase at least fourfold in a season. It is specially well adapted for the alpine garden, as it is dwarf and very floriferous. I grow three varieties dark blue, light blue, and yellow. The prettiest is the light blue, but the other two perhaps flower more freely."
Correction in The Garden p.238, May 16, 1914
Iris pumila. The illustration on page 225 of last week's issue shows clearly that the Iris in question is not I. pumila but I. Chamaeiris, for the plant apparently produces a stem of several inches in length. This is I. Chamaeiris from the South of France and North Italy. The true I. pumila has practically no stem, but a perianth tube of 2 inches or 3 inches in length. I. pumila is in many localities even more variable in colour than I. Chamaeiris, which in some districts is all yellow, in others all purple, while in others, again, many colour varieties are found growing together. Unfortunately, the true 1. pumila is comparatively rare in cultivation.. W. R. Dykes, Charterhouse, Godalming..
For more information on historic Irises visit the Historic Iris Preservation Society at