See Show Calender


■(TB) 'Fair Elaine'

1938, Mitchell

'Fair Elaine' (Sydney B. Mitchell, R. 1937) TB. Midseason bloom. Color Class-Y6D. slight fragrance. 'Happy Days' x 'California Gold'. Salbach 1938. Honorable Mention 1939, Award of Merit 1940.

1939 Checklist citation: Gardening Illustrated (London), 61:277 6 May 1939, with illustration.

1949 Checklist citations: Bull. A.I.S. 73:66. Apr. 1939; A.M., A.I.S. 1940; Bull. A.I.S. 78:3. July 1940.

See below:


From Carl Salbach catalog 1939: FAIR ELAINE (Mitchell 1938) (Happy Days X California Gold). The greatest break in breeding since Sydney Mitchell opened up the big yellow field, and at the same time, the most delightfully beautiful new iris that has been introduced for years. Having standards of palest soft cream, almost white, and falls of deep, rich yellow, it carries the soft blending quality of a creamed-toned iris, and at the same time, has all the vividness of a bright yellow. From time immemorial, white and yellow have been one of the most delightful of all color combinations, and Fair Elaine combines these two tones perfectly. Actually, the standards are creamy, closeup, but from a distance, the standards seem white. Either way, it is one of the prettiest iris we have ever known. A showy orange beard adds to the attractive contrast. Tall and large, of good substance, and perfectly branched. Fair Elaine establishes itself as alone in an entirely new color class, and at the same time sets a standard for beauty that indicates that it will rank as one of "the" iris for many, many years to come. One-half the hardy California Gold and only one-quarter Dykes, its hardiness is practically assured. In view of these factors, we believe that Fair Elaine is one of the finest introductions we have ever listed. One of four iris that has demanded an introductory price of more than our customary top price ($25.00), yet in such great demand that it was sold out before the end of July. Mid-season. 40-inch. $25.00.
FAIR ELAINE (Mitchell)--Because of its two-toned effect, this is generally not compared with the yellow selfs, but to me it is as fine a yellow as there is available. Junius P. Fishburn, "Survey of 1940 Iris Season", A.I.S. Bulletin 78 (July 1940): 54.
FAIR ELAINE (Mitchell) This is one of the most outstanding of the new introductions which we saw last year. It is a decided break in breeding and a delightfully beautiful creation. The standards are a very soft cream, almost white, and the falls are a deep, rich yellow. This combination of cream and yellow, accented by a showy orange beard, is one of the most charming to be found in any iris. Large flowers of good substance on tall well-branched stems. A cross of California Gold and Happy Days. 3 feet. $15.00. Milliken Iris Gardens catalog, 1940.
Fair Elaine is in a class with Carved Ivory for beauty and grace. The standards are palest primrose, the broad falls a clear yellow deepening to gold around the sharply contrasting orange beard. [Lila McCombs, “A Critical Evaluation of Older Irises”, The Bulletin of the American Iris Society, No. 110 (July 1948): 57.]


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.

-- Main.RPries - 2011-03-07

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-- Main.RPries - 2011-03-07
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
fairelaine1-jb.jpgjpg fairelaine1-jb.jpg manage 50 K 17 Feb 2013 - 21:23 Main.Harloiris photo Mike Unser
fairelaine2-jb.jpgjpg fairelaine2-jb.jpg manage 58 K 17 Feb 2013 - 21:23 Main.Harloiris photo Mike Unser
fairelaine2-jbbh.jpgjpg fairelaine2-jbbh.jpg manage 31 K 12 Sep 2017 - 19:34 Main.Betsy881 Detail of photo by Mike Unser
Topic revision: r19 - 13 Jan 2024, BrewItt
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