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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Iris sibirica ‘Scramble’: New from Cotswold Garden Flowers

Posted by Graham Rice on 13 Feb 2011 at 04:31 PM

Iris,sibirica,scramble,grimshaw. Image ©John GrimshawWe’ve seen yellow flowered forms of Iris sibirica before. ‘Dreaming Yellow’ and ‘Forncett Moon’ are lovely but very pale compared with the bright, two-tone, scrambled egg colouring of Iris sibirica ‘Scramble’ (left, click to enlarge), newly introduced for 2011.

The standards are pale yellow, flared rather than upright, and with a yellow streak running through the centre of each. The falls are almost horizontal, though turned down at the tips, and a much more vivid and brighter yellow; both are attractively waved. The flowers open a little later than those of many Sibirica irises, in June and July. But that arrangement of the standards and falls plays a big part in the effectiveness of the display.

This is a relatively short plant, about 50cm/20in, so we tend to look at the flowers from above. With both the standards and the falls held in a relatively horizontal position, rather than upright, they give real impact. In much taller varieties, where we tend to view the flowers from the side, upright standards and drooping falls have more impact.

The plant is vigorous and prolific, and although the tips of the leaves may overtop the flowers this does not detract from the display.

Iris sibirica ‘Scramble’ was selected by John Grimshaw, who runs the snowdrop garden at Colesbourne Park, from a range of seedlings derived from named forms of Iris sibirica he grew while employed at the Dutch seed company K. Sahin, Zaden. Sadly, the label noting the precise parentage was lost. You can find out more on John's blog.

Iris sibirica ‘Scramble’ is available from Cotswold Garden Flowers (scroll down the page). At John’s request, Cotswold Garden Flowers will make a voluntary donation to support the education of Massai boy in Tanzania for every plant sold.

You can check out a potential new iris introduction, also selected by John Grimshaw, over on my Transatlantic Plantsman blog.

Image ©John Grimsahw, thank you.

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