Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iris ‘Albicans’

This is the so-called Muslim cemetery iris. It’s been known for centuries in western gardens. It was originally named Iris albicans, as if it were a species. But as it turns out, it’s an old hybrid. As a result, one modern way to format the name is Iris ‘Albicans’.

The modern tall bearded iris is just that, modern. Nineteenth century hybridists began to expand the variety in bearded irises, but the forms raised then hardly qualify for consideration as tall bearded iris. During the first decades of the twentieth century, developments in tall bearded irises really began to take off.

Old Iris ‘Albicans’ remains a worthwhile garden plant. It blooms with the earliest peonies and columbines, well before the tall bearded sorts.

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