Saturday, March 3, 2012

Iris susiana: legacy slide

I bought a slide scanner yesterday, and above you can see the first slide I scanned. As I go through my slide collection and scan them, I’ll be adding some images to this blog – in particular plants no longer in commerce. They will be identified as "legacy slides".
Here’s the first one: that’s Iris susiana in the image above. It was photographed in May of 1971, and it was about then that it disappeared from the lists of my source. It has always been a mysterious plant to me; evidently it’s not known in the wild, and the plants in cultivation which went around under this name varied a bit. It was grown in European gardens four hundred years ago, and over the centuries its intricate color pattern of fine, very dark blue veining on an oyster shell white background has challenged many famous artists.

I still remember the first time it bloomed here: as I came around the corner of the house and saw it, it immediately brought to mind  this  description of the flower:  like a ball of crumpled newsprint. Was it E.A.Bowles who said that?   I also thought I was among the elect: I’ll bet not many of you have seen this plant, much less grown and flowered it.
It’s hard to believe that this plant does not survive somewhere in a garden somewhere around the Mediterranean. I’m hoping hard that it does.  

No comments: