Newly added to the garden in mid-March, this German Bearded Iris ‘Raspberry Blush’ opened today, earlier than anticipated. This has uncovered a bit of a mystery for me.
I dearly love irises and have grown them for years, my irises have all been the unnamed pass-along variety from friends. I have never studied irises but this winter I read somewhere that there have been so many improvements to irises in the last five years one really should try the newest varieties and be wowed. I was intrigued and soon afterwards picked up this plant at a local garden center.
Although the plant tag at purchase time indicated NEW, this seems not to be a new iris at all, but rather one from 1976. Maybe it is new for this particular grower, but apparently my garden’s iris situation is still so nineteen-seventies.
I am not really disappointed in this iris—it is lovely—but I was surprised by its color, height and early bloom time. The coloration is considerably less raspberry pink than expected. Some descriptions I came across in researching this iris do mention an orange beard and that matches the specimen in my garden. Its height of about 16 inches is appropriate, as ‘Raspberry Blush’ is classified as an Intermediate Bearded (IB) Iris. This classification of iris blooms early, before Tall Bearded.
The three upright petals are called standards and the three hanging petals are the falls. The beard is the fuzzy part in the center of each fall.
I will begin paying more attention to the irises in this garden and look forward to trying some different ones.