Couple Iris shots and an ID needed ...

cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)June 11, 2011

These are blooming right now:


Orinoco Flow:

This is my unknown ... not even sure where I got it from. If anyone happens to know what the name is?

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I love Orinoco Flow, so pretty. I saw that one for sale at Walmart a month and a half ago but passed it up because I already have one that looks similar. Now I wish I'd bought it anyway. All your irises are nice!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 12:07AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Your iris looks similar to Stairway to Heaven. You may want to check that one out.

Jason, the irises you purchase at the Big Box Stores are not necessarily the real deal. Just so you know- the big iris sellers wholesale their rejected seedlings in color lots, and then the stores put names on them. I bought a Home Depot "Clarence" two years ago that is definitely not Clarence. That means it probably won't rebloom either. Kinda made me mad- I waited two years for the first flower, and it's not what I wanted.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:49AM
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Renee, thanks for letting me know. So far I've been lucky. Every iris I've bought at a big box store has been exactly what it should be. I'm willing to take the risk if the price is cheap enough.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 1:59PM
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cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)

I don't buy Irises in big box stores anymore because I've had very bad luck with them ... either they are mislabelled and you end up getting more common dark purple ones, or they are sickly and die/don't come up the next Spring. I've had particularly bad luck, so I stick with trading mostly.

hosenemesis - thank you for your suggestion. When I look at photos online, my NoID Iris looks VERY similar to "Stairway to Heaven". I'm pretty sure I never purchased an Iris with that name so I must have gotten it as a NoID in a trade at some point.

Anyone else ... I'm thinking that "Stairway to Heaven" is a pretty good bet but would be interested to see if others agree??

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 3:37PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

looks like dover beach also

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:41PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Second vote for Dover Beach. The spacing and fluting of the falls. As well as the rest.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:11PM
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cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)

Hmm, it does look like Dover Beach as well ...

I see a yellow tint right by the beards on my Iris though, which seem to look more like the pictures of Stairway to Heaven rather than Dover Beach (which looks more pale).

It is difficult to tell from a photo, I know ... what do you think?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:07PM
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I think it looks more like Dover Beach. Marg

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:07PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

The colors of Stairway to Heaven and Dover Beach are very close as are about a dozen others.
But there are some distinct brownish hafts markings on Stairway To Heaven.
Dover's are not nearly as pronounced. In most pictures the standards cover this feature.
Stairway To Heaven's falls have ruffles. Very little ruffling on Dover.
An excellent tell-tale feature is the point where falls meet the base of the standards' ribs.
Older cultivars tend to have a space there. Some breeders have concentrated on lessening this gap, producing wider and wider falls. In some cases there is overlap at the base.
These two pics illustrate the difference. You can also see the brown haft area on Stairway. Hope this helps.

Too many mismarked iris are sold. I received an entire order that was 90% wrong which got me started on learning the finer points of identifying. Spent many a day in the iris fields of local growers. When I got my digital camera I understood how easily colors can be distorted at no fault of the photographer. Iris have water soluble pigments and oil soluble making accurate portrayal of some colors very challenging.

To be fair when trading iris we always label "Joyce Terry look alike", for example. Dover Beach is a fine iris that won an Award of Merit. This qualifies an iris to compete for the Dykes Medal.



    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:18PM
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Nancy zone 6

Thanks for the lesson, iris gal! I've learned to look for ruffles, beard color, haft markings, but have never paid attention to the spacing between the falls.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 3:14PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Outstanding lesson on iris identification, Irisgal, thank you! I have had similar problems buying misidentified irises, and I no longer try to identify my noids by myself, since there are so many that look similar. I ask the seller when the iris is an entirely different one than the one I ordered, and tag the noids with my own made-up silly names, like "Clearance."

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:10PM
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I just saw a large selection of potted blooming irises at our local Lowes.. Of course i went right over to that section.. all of the irises had tags in the pots.. I was thinking Jackpot..until I noticed Immortality was purple. There were several others that I knew were wrong...tag information didnt match the color at all...I shook my head and walked away

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:05PM
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Nancy zone 6

The same thing happened here, littlebit :) Except it was lilies. They had a lily I wanted. I checked the tags on their lilies, wasn't that they didn't have the correct ones. They did, at least the ones in bloom were. But there was not a lily with the correct tag in the bunch, they were all switched. So completely so, one would think it had to be deliberate.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 7:35AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Thanks for the appreciation Ladies.

I was looking at clematis at Home Depot this week and wondering if Pink Champagne was labeled correctly. Yep, couldn't resist. Sure doesn't match online descriptions. What really kills me is when they have passion vines labeled as clematis! Those poor buyers are getting a monster grower. And when you tell the staff, they don't know what to do. Joys of massive chain store retailing.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 4:39PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

iris gal, thanks for the lesson on iris id, it's nice to pick up some pointers to help me id my own iris. thanks!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:50AM
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cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)

Wow, that's an extremely informative post and I never knew all those detail about what to look for in ID-ing an Iris.

I went out and took a couple more photos to try to get a shot of the spacing between falls as hafts markings (they are somewhat fuzzy though, in the photo).

When I look at the spacing between the falls, I think Dover Beach. But then I look at the hafts markings, and I can definitely see them (in person, clearer than in the photo but I think you can still see them in the photo), and I think Stairway to Heaven.

Do these new photos make it any clearer for a positive ID?

Original Photo:

Spacing between Falls:

Top Shot:

Hafts Markings:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 2:46AM
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oh interesting i would have said the noid was
stairway to heaven
since it's in my garden or is it in my garden?
i'm thinking it may be (scratching my head) something else?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 2:40AM
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Your best bet would be to get a start of both Stairway and Dover...plant them and compare when yours blooms. That way you can compare height, bloom time, flower color, bud count it happens in YOUR garden..
I am in TN, mine are going to bloom before yours, some of mine are planted in shade, so my colors might be brighter than yours planted in the full sun. I am sure that you can find people willing to share starts of the two..I have both and I would be more than happy to share.(if they are both big enough) You might plant both to find out that its neither...
Ahhhhhh the iris addiction is strong...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:17PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Might this iris be 'In Your Dreams'. Mine has just finished blooming, in fact still a couple of older blooms on it today. I'll try to get a picture.
Ginny ~ Certified Iris Addict

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:47AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Another one I thought of is 'Sandy Beach'? There are so many that look alike and each camera takes a different picture making it difficult to ID by color. I got Sandy Beach from Chapman's and In Your Dreams from Botanus. It helps to keep my shipping forms and my orders on my computer. I always add any that I get from a big box store as well. Most of the time I can jog my memory if my monster puppies pull the tags out!
Thanks to all of you iris addicts for sharing your knowledge. I love it!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:35AM
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cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)

Thanks for the new suggestions ...

I don't think it is In Your Dreams, there seems to be a blush of purple on the white part of the flower which my Iris doesn't have.

Sandy Beach might be a possibility too, hard to tell from the photos whether it is too yellowish or not.

Iris Gal (or anyone) -- without buying 1 of each of these, and with the newer photos and closeups that I posted, do you have any idea which of these 3 possibilities I could narrow this down to in order to get a fairly positive ID. It seems the top 3 candidates are Stairway to Heaven, Dover Beach, and Sandy Beach. I was hoping the newer photos might narrow it down a bit better for people more experienced than I am in Iris identification :)

Thank you so much for all the help so far!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:59PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

DNA testing. Hahahaha! It is next to impossible to get a positive ID on an iris like that, from what I understand. The hybridizers who use irises for breeding just get a new one from the person who hybridized it or from another well-known source, and throw theirs out.

One thing you can do to further distinguish your iris is to keep a record of it: height, shape of the bloom stalk and branching, how many buds it gets in how many sockets, exactly when it blooms and for how long, whether it has a scent and if you can describe it, and so forth. Sometimes after a year or two you can positively ID from that information. I had a pale yellow noid that I finally positively identified as Total Recall because of the bloom habit and by contacting the nursery I bought it from and finding out all of the names of the yellow irises they sold in the past.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 11:27PM
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