Iris A-Z: W


‘Wabash’ dates from 1938 but remains popular to this day. It was raised by Mary Williamson of Indiana. It is a classic Amoena with white standards and purple falls and the crisp colouring is as bright in the garden as when it was introduced. It grows well, has purple-based foliage and is 1m high when in bloom. In 1938 Cooleys wrote ‘A new iris so far in advance of others of similar color combination that they are simply not in the race’. It was awarded the Dykes Medal in 1940.

‘War Chief’

This is another attempt at red from Schreiners, bred from their fine ‘Gallant Moment’. It was introduced in 1992. It is tall, grows well and has a dozen flowers on each stem.

‘Wild Irish Rose’

I particularly like the ‘blue’ pinks rather than the flamingo pinks and this Schreiner introduction from 2003 fits the bill perfectly. But I see that Schreiners no longer list it so I may be in the minority.

‘Whispering Spirit’

I have mentioned descendants of ‘Ring Around Rosie’ enough times so will just say that this is a sister seedling to her. And to say again that the distinctive patterning of the falls comes from ‘Wild Jasmine’, which is at last appropriate because we are in the Ws.

‘Wild Jasmine’

California’s Bernard Hamner raised this attractive iris and introduced it in 1983. It inherited the wild fall markings from both its parents; ‘Sketch Me’ and ‘Shaft of Gold’. The patterning on the offspring is more distinct but the plant only has six buds per stem. But its value as a parent was quickly realised and it has many progeny.

‘World Premier’

This magnificent iris is another Schreiner introduction, from 1998. It flowers at 95cm, has loads of buds on the stalks and the flowers look great from across the garden and up close. It achieved many awards but not the Dykes, but was ranked No 41 in the popularity poll.

I like it a lot.

These two photos are of the same flower despite the different colours. The top photo is more accurate. And below, in the garden last year, with the most accurate colouring.

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3 Comments on “Iris A-Z: W”

  1. Paddy Tobin
    February 21, 2022 at 8:57 am #

    “Wild Irish Rose” – there’s an odd name for an Iris!

    • thebikinggardener
      February 21, 2022 at 9:09 am #

      I know – almost as bad as calling a daffodil ‘Geranium’. I hope the wind has not caused you any damage – it is getting very tedious now! I want to sleep!

      • Paddy Tobin
        February 21, 2022 at 9:41 am #

        The wind seems to be easing off this morning. Two wooden fence panels down here but they were a bit rotten anyway so were due to be replaced anyway – going with metal panels this time.

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