Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs

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Page 2 of Heirloom Iris       << Previous 1 2 3 Next >>
HONORABILE, 1840
Bumper Crop Sale! This tough little charmer, carried across the country by the pioneers, flourishes today in thousands of old gardens, cemeteries, and abandoned homesites from Bangor to Santa Barbara. Although our photo may make it look brassy or plain, in the garden here its small, cheery flowers of chestnut and gold have won it many fans. Some experts claim that, due to a mix-up 150 years ago, its real name is ‘San Souci’, but we’re unconvinced — and whatever you call it, this is a richly historic and rewarding iris. 20-24 inches, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart to compare.
IR11Add to basket:1/$6.803/$18.705/$29.3210/$54.4025/$122You save 15%!
INDIAN CHIEF, 1929
Bumper Crop Sale! With velvety, wine-red falls and glowing standards of raspberry to bronze, this tall, striking, Jazz Age iris is one of the most colorful we grow. It’s exceptionally vigorous, too, thriving on neglect in old gardens everywhere and blooming even in part shade. By the good Dr. Wylie Ayres of Cincinnati, 32-36”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart to compare.
IR12Add to basket:1/$5.623/$15.385/$24.3810/$4525/$101You save 25%!
MRS. GEORGE DARWIN, 1895        New
The perfect size for bouquets, and luminous in the garden, this elegant small iris is named for Maud du Puy, the Philadelphia-born wife of one of Darwin’s sons. Although often confused with its sister ‘Mrs. Horace Darwin’ (which we offered last year), it’s laced with gold and purple (not just purple) and blooms later (extending the sisterly season). 24”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR25Add to basket:1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$6825/$153
PALLIDA DALMATICA, 1597
This is the iris of my childhood, and maybe yours — tall, pale lavender, tough as nails, with a Concord grape fragrance that, as Elizabeth Lawrence wrote, “fills the borders and drifts into the house.” In his monumental Herbal of 1597, Gerard called it “the great Floure de-luce of Dalmatia” and praised its tall stalks, “faire large floures,” and “exceedingly sweet” scent. Even its leaves are beautiful! Stately but down-home, it’s a quintessential iris — and somehow makes everything around it look better. (See it farmed in Italy for making perfumes and gin.) 36-38”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR09Add to basket:1/$10.503/$28.505/$4510/$8425/$189
PLUMERI, 1888        New
Bumper Crop Sale! This fragrant little iris is a fascinating mix of jewel-like colors that photos can only hint at. “Coppery rose” over “velvety claret” is how the legendary Bertrand Farr described it in 1920, while other have called it “rosy mauve with metallic sheen” over “red-violet, edged gold-brown.” Early and free flowering, it’s an iris we look forward to every year. (Please note: Recent research by Anner Whitehead has convinced us that ‘Plumeri’ dates to 1888, not 1830.) 28-32”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR26Add to basket:1/$6.803/$18.805/$29.2010/$54.4025/$122You save 20%!
QUAKER LADY, 1909
One of the best-loved American iris of all time, ‘Quaker Lady’ is a “dainty, charming” plant with flowers of “smoky lavender, bronze, purple, fawn, and old gold” (to quote AIS founder John Wister). And though beauty is only skin-deep, ‘Quaker Lady’ is also sturdy and care-free, multiplies quickly, and blooms with abandon. All in all, it’s a worthy monument to its creator, Bertrand Farr, the visionary Pennsylvania nurseryman who did more than anyone else to make iris one of the signature plants of the early 20th-century garden. 27-30”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR08Add to basket:1/$83/$225/$34.5010/$6425/$144
QUEEN OF MAY, 1859
Bumper Crop Sale! One of the first “pink” iris, this Victorian favorite isn’t really pink but a soft, luminous, rosy lavender that’s distinctly different from the many lavender-blues of iris season. It’s fragrant, free-flowering, and still — as Ella McKinney summed it up in her 1927 Iris in the Little Garden — “old, early, and good.” 28-32”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR17Add to basket:1/$6.383/$17.625/$27.3810/$5125/$115You save 25%!
ROSY WINGS, 1934        New
Bumper Crop Sale! Praised as “a delightful fantasy of colors” by the 1946 Schreiner’s catalog, this Dykes Medal winner is an ever-changing mix of iridescent bronze and old rose shading into deep russet and maroon. It’s remarkably tough and vigorous, too. As expert Winifred Ross wrote, “Once you have ‘Rosy Wings’, you always have it.” Lightly fragrant, 36-40”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR27Add to basket:1/$63/$16.505/$25.8810/$4825/$108You save 25%!
SHAH JEHAN, 1932
“Opulent”, “gorgeous”, “magnificent”, “an extravaganza of color” — iris lovers for decades have been babbling about the breath-taking beauty of “this jewel among irises.” A spectacular blend of champagne, gold, chestnut, and an unbelievably rich, velvety plum, it’s well named for the great Mughal emperor who built 777 gardens — and the Taj Mahal. Grow it yourself and we bet you’ll soon be babbling about it, too! 36-40”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR21SOLD OUT1/$93/$24.505/$3910/$7225/$162
WABASH, 1936
Simple but stunning, ‘Wabash’ won the iris world’s top prize, the Dykes Medal, in 1940, and it’s still enormously popular today, often topping the annual polls of the Historic Iris Preservation Society. Its pure white standards glow above vibrant purple falls that are intensified by gold beards and a radiant edging of silver. 36”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR03SOLD OUT1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$6825/$153
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