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■ (TB) 'Alta California'

1931, Mohr-Mitchell

'Alta California' (William Mohr and Sydney B. Mitchell, R. 1931). TB. Midseason bloom. Color Class S6D. Bicolor blend of 'Caterina' shape and habit; Standards mustard yellow; Falls olive buff flecked vinaceous. 4 ft. Haft conspicuous, closely dotted and veined. beard yellow-orange. ('Alcazar' x 'Esplendido') X ( 'Shekinah' x 'Argentina'). Honorable Mention 1936.

Nursery listings from 1939 CL: Salbach 1931, Berry 1937; Orpington 1938; Katkamier 1939; Longfield 1939.

See below:

1B8E387C-2653-49D2-B3F3-36B5D0939BBD.jpeg5C6B540C-321F-4A36-8436-FFC8EA8802D5.jpegAlta California.jpgalta-california-jb.jpgalta-california1-08.jpgalta-california1-12.jpgAlta California.JPGAlta California.jpgAlta CaliforniaHIPS.jpgaltacalifornia.jpgaltacalifornia01.JPGaltacalifornia02.JPGaltacalifornia09.JPGaltacalifornia1.jpgaltacalifornia10.JPGaltacalifornia11.JPGaltacalifornia9.JPG


ALTA CALIFORNIA (Mohr-Mitchell). The aristocrat of yellow iris, holding its large beautiful golden yellow flowers four feet above the ground. The stems are superbly branched, the standards clear yellow, the Falls deep yellow, faintly bronzed, with brown markings on the haft. So firm is the texture that neither the sun nor the rain mar the shapely blossoms. As it contains only 1/8 mesopotamica it should be perfectly hardy. Everyone who has seen this lovely yellow agrees that this is the greatest advance in this color to date, and we venture to predict that it will be used as much in the breeding for future yellows as was Dominion for the dark flowers. 48". $35.00. (Salbach, 1931).
Alta California: Bicolor, blend S6D Mohr-Mitchell 1931.Brief: Of Caterina shape and habit; S. mustard yellow; F. olive buff flushed vinaceous; 4 ft. Details S. domed; notched; F. drooping; haft conspicuous, closely dotted and veined; beard yellow orange. Color of Endymion, a deeper Gilead. (Sturtevant, 1934, p. 26).
See also 'Alta Californica' on the HIPS website
ALTA CALIFORNIA (Mitchell). First of the big, tall yellows, Alta California is still one of the best. Tallest of all the yellows, and a variety which has been recognized as outstanding wherever grown. Striking for mass planting, and excellent in every way. Color bright bronzy yellow, form of. bloom perfect, and branching habit ideal. H.M., A.I.S. Mid-season. 48" __ 25c; 3 for 50c. (Salbach, 1940).
So tall and superbly branched an iris as Alta California, first of the series of yellows for which Prof. Mitchell gained such fame, still has great value in landscaping; its substance and sparkling color are still good. (McCombs, 1948, p. 54).
Alta California: (Mitchell) 1.) One of the best yellows to date for garden value. 2.) The shape of the flower is not perfect and the veining at the haft is a mild defect, but it is a very effective yellow and a great addition to any garden. 3.) The brown veining sometimes noticeable in the haft is almost entirely absent in this locality. (A.I.S., 1935, p. 79).
American Iris Society. (1936). Awards of the American Iris Society for 1936. Bulletin of the American Iris Society, 63(October 1936), 62.
Catalog References: Longfield 1939
Sturtevant, R. (1934). Descriptions of varieties: Part VI, Bulletin of the American Iris Society, 53(October 1934), 24-39.
---Carl Salbach 1940 Catalog
McCombs, L. (1948) A critical evaluation of older iris. Bulletin of the American Iris Society, 110(July 1948)
American Iris Society. (1935). 1934 comments by accredited judges. Bulletin of the American Iris Society, 55(February 1935), 79.


Quick Summary of Cultural Directions

Hardiness Zones 4-8 for most varieties, Some cultivars tolerate colder, others tolerate warmer zones (please comment in comment box with your location if this cultivar grows well in zone 3, 4, 9, or 10.)
Exposure Prefers full sun for optimal performance, may still bloom in half-day shade
Water: Prefers well drained good garden soil, Tolerant of dry conditions in established plants, Intolerant of swampy conditions.
PH Prefers Neutral to basic solis 6.1 to 8.5, quite toleranr of more extreme conditions
Fertilizer Prefers rich conditions on relatively inorganic soils.

BobPries - 21 Apr 2019


'Alt. California' in Gardeners' Chronicles 99: page 392, 13 June 1936.

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Salbach 1939

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-- BetsyHiggins - 2010-09-13
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
1B8E387C-2653-49D2-B3F3-36B5D0939BBD.jpegjpeg 1B8E387C-2653-49D2-B3F3-36B5D0939BBD.jpeg manage 1 MB 27 Feb 2023 - 18:07 BeverlySteiner Alta California side
5C6B540C-321F-4A36-8436-FFC8EA8802D5.jpegjpeg 5C6B540C-321F-4A36-8436-FFC8EA8802D5.jpeg manage 1 MB 27 Feb 2023 - 18:06 BeverlySteiner Alta California side
Alta California.jpgjpg Alta California.jpg manage 255 K 11 Mar 2021 - 20:55 Main.georgebacon George Bacon - Breezeway Iris Garden
Alta_California.JPGJPG Alta_California.JPG manage 49 K 30 Jan 2011 - 18:51 IrisP  
Alta_California.jpgjpg Alta_California.jpg manage 231 K 31 Oct 2016 - 17:05 BobPries From Carl Salbach 1940 catalog
Alta_CaliforniaHIPS.jpgjpg Alta_CaliforniaHIPS.jpg manage 14 K 31 Oct 2016 - 17:06 BobPries From Mike Lowe's original HIPS website
alta-california-jb.jpgjpg alta-california-jb.jpg manage 32 K 14 Feb 2013 - 20:12 Main.Harloiris photo courtesy Mike Unser
alta-california1-08.jpgjpg alta-california1-08.jpg manage 55 K 10 Apr 2016 - 05:08 Main.mikeu Photo by Mike Unser
alta-california1-12.jpgjpg alta-california1-12.jpg manage 64 K 10 Apr 2016 - 05:08 Main.mikeu Photo by Mike Unser
altacalifornia.jpgjpg altacalifornia.jpg manage 106 K 07 May 2023 - 10:48 UnknownUser Photo by Jeff Bennett-Dry Creek Garden
altacalifornia01.JPGJPG altacalifornia01.JPG manage 578 K 27 Apr 2018 - 00:09 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
altacalifornia02.JPGJPG altacalifornia02.JPG manage 612 K 27 Apr 2018 - 00:11 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
altacalifornia09.JPGJPG altacalifornia09.JPG manage 72 K 10 Aug 2021 - 02:48 UnknownUser Photo by Mary Hess-Bluebird Haven Iris Garden
altacalifornia1.jpgjpg altacalifornia1.jpg manage 287 K 07 May 2023 - 10:48 UnknownUser Photo by Jeff Bennett
altacalifornia10.JPGJPG altacalifornia10.JPG manage 99 K 25 Apr 2024 - 20:02 UnknownUser Photo by Jeff Bennett-Dry Creek Garden
altacalifornia11.JPGJPG altacalifornia11.JPG manage 295 K 25 Apr 2024 - 20:02 UnknownUser Photo by Jeff Bennett-Dry Creek Garden
altacalifornia9.JPGJPG altacalifornia9.JPG manage 430 K 20 Feb 2021 - 21:39 UnknownUser Photo scanned from the 1936 Cooley's Iris Gardens catalogue by Terry Laurin
Topic revision: r41 - 25 Apr 2024, TLaurin
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