Tag Archives: Iris ‘Crimson King’

Sunday Journal – Names For Two Irises

This is a record-keeping entry, following up on my iris flowers from yesterday.  Sweetbay identified two of my passalong irises for which I am very grateful: Crimson King and Helen Collingwood.  Thanks Sweetbay!

These are among the irises my Wave Road neighbor Henrietta gave me between late 1970s – early 1980s. She received them from her mother who had obtained them from a friend who grew them for a local florist in her hometown (Henderson, Hendersonville? NC)—true passalongs! I brought them to this garden in 2001.

As much as I love irises I do not really understand the categories. I have been calling all the bearded irises “Tall Bearded” although one of these is “Intermediate Bearded.” Someday maybe I’ll learn more about them but for now I am saving some information on these two irises. The descriptions are quoted from The American Iris Society’s Iris Encyclopedia.

(IB) ‘Crimson King’

Iris ‘Crimson King’

Iris ‘Crimson King’

(Barr and Sons, 1893). (Germanica). IB, Early bloom. Color Code-R7D.

From Treholme Gardens catalog 1928: CRIMSON KING 89 (Hallock) E. 82 G. 87 32″ E. Same coloring as Kochii but the rich deep purple flowers are larger, the stalks taller and the growth more open. A very desirable flower. 25c.

Cornell Extension Bulletin #112: “Color effect an intense violet-purple, self. Standards pansy violet, lighter to yellowish on claw and wavy along edge. falls cotinga purple, almost velvety in texture. The veining is boldly spaced on the whitish outer haft, while those on Kochii are not so prominent. Its fragrance is very good, its color very intense, and its spathe valves deeply tinged. The persistent green foliage is attractive in winter. Rating 89.”

Royal Iris Gardens 1933: 83. 30″. beautiful deep red purple. As deep as Kochii but redder. Tall, floriferous and a good grower.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

(TB) ‘Helen Collingwood’

‘Helen Collingwood’. (Kenneth D. Smith, 1949) TB. Midseason to late bloom. Color Class-R3D, height 40″. ‘Extravaganza’ X ‘Louise Blake’. Honorable Mention 1950, Award of Merit 1952. Smith 1950.

From AIS Bulletin #117, April 1950. Introducing HELEN COLLINGWOOD (1949). A truly brilliant creation in the neglecta class. Well branched 40 inch stalks with light lavender standards and brilliant violet purple falls. Entirely different. 4 branches. Late midseason. $25.00. K.D. Smith.

From Iris Test Garden Catalog, 1955: HELEN COLLINGWOOD. (K. Smith, ’49). M. (Extravaganza x Louise Blake). Beautiful, superb neglecta. Almost an amoena –will be highly useful for hybridizing, surely. H. M. 1950. Award Merit, ’52. $6.00.

From Cooley’s Gardens catalog for 1955: “A very brilliant Iris in the neglecta class. Standards are light lavender, the falls bright violet-purple .. a decided contrast. Stalks are 40 inches tall, sturdy and vigorous.”

‘Helen Collingwood’ is a very hardy variety, well known to be a good survivor of neglect and hence likely to be passed around over the decades. It helps that she is quite lovely and a ready bloomer, giving her much garden value. Understandably she often shows up looking for a name. — MikeUnser – 2014-05-11