Friday, March 3, 2017

Buyer Beware

The 2017 Breck's catalog front cover features a picture of a bearded iris which is identified as 'Golden Zebra.'   Its height is listed as 10 inches.  McClure & Zimmerman also list 'Golden Zebra' and their description is similar to Breck's but they list it as an Iris versicolor which it certainly is not.  Iris versicolor is a beardless iris native to Region 2 of the American Iris Society and much of the Northeast.

The real 'Golden Zebra' registered with the American Iris Society (AIS) is 'Golden Zebra' (Sass, R. 1956) Sdlg. 51-106. TB, 34" (86 cm). Midseason bloom. Bitone. Standards very deep yellow, near orange; Falls deep yellow heavily striped brown. Sdlg. 48-175: ('Tobacco Road' x 43-40) X 'Russet Wings' sdlg.

Although Breck's 'Golden Zebra' may look good in your garden, you could never exhibit it in an AIS sanctioned show and expect it to be judged.  It is not registered with the AIS.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Vaughn. I think that anyone interested in making sure they get what they pay for should buy from a reputable iris grower. 12 years ago I started my collection before I was "into" showing and collecting various cultivars. I bought Iris from Breck's. Many of them while pretty were not accurate to the advertised name.

    There is also a seller who does not hybridize that gave me a great on a "random selection of 20 named iris." About half of them were really what they were labeled. I contacted the grower. He told me that they were from a batch that he got from someone else who was selling out. He did not give me a refund. While I wouldn't publish the name here, I would certainly tell anyone who asked me. That's what being an active member of AIS and a local affiliate will help folks with!