“Try to imagine the iris of the future”
Back in 1601, the Flemish botanist Charles de l’Écluse already described 28 tall bearded iris seedlings in his work “Rariorium Plantarum Historia”; no doubt those varieties were very different to ours. So, what will irises look like by 2050? A few recent evolutions help give us a clue. With Barbarian names, the following 3 examples may not please everybody but they are interesting from an evolutionary point of view:
These strange and unique flowers with a randomly white or cream striated and marbled effect on the petals and sepals, so that on one same plant, each flower will display a different “design”. Rather popular, this range is developing and this trend should continue. Let’s also hope that their vegetative qualities will be improved as well.
No, these are not extra-terrestrials, just irises with a hypertrophied beard, transformed into a spur (for the more discreet, see ‘Thornbird’), or into a more or less imposing spoon, which can even sometimes be frizzy. Despite the fact that these varieties have an original “look”, one should not be overwhelmed by a small 3mm spur, but rather turn one’s attention to the well-developed spoon varieties which do not hinder the flower’s shape.
The “Flat tops”
They are rare, only 3 to 4 varieties in the leading specialists’ current catalogues, rare and beautiful. Their wide, flat-topped flowers clearly remind one of the Japanese iris and their radically different poise sets them aside from the other tall bearded iris.
So, when might we see a “broken-color”-styled “flat top” boasting a large spoon? We will, no doubt, have to be a little patient and wait a few years in the hope that this will remain aesthetically pleasing, as maintaining a certain level of beauty remains our prime concern.