Rainbow Offerings 1956
Iris Gatesii
Lloyd Austin

Dykes states that with the possible exception of some Japanese Hybrids, Gatesii produces larger flowers than those of any other Iris. I find it considerably larger than the giant Susiana. A symphony of color, with silvery standards lined and dotted soft violet; falls olive cream finely netted and dotted in violet. Beard purplish bronze, very broad and diffuse, the largest found in any Iris, sometimes 1 1/2" wide and 3" long, occasionally extending half way down the immense falls. I find that the form, color, beard, etc., are quite variable, as is customary with wild species. Many interesting types are expected in this new stock which is largely freshly imported, and hence as yet unbloomed in this country.

Native in the mountains of Turkey, much farther north than most Oncos, so is hardier, easier to grow. While the usual height is somewhat less, some of the plants of my strain of Gatesii have grown to a height of 33", which is most remarkable for any Onco.

Probably latest bloomer of Oncos, coinciding with early and midseason Tall Bearded, a condition that makes it ideal for both ambitious hybridizers and exhibitors. At any show it will be the center of attraction; not one flower lover in a million has ever seen Gatesii.

From the hybridizer's viewpoint Gatesii is wholly unsurpassed. My natural-color Ektachrome shows clearly the extremely broad standards and falls, often over 4" wide. The hafts in front of the style crests are usually a full 3" wide, sometimes more. There has never been a Tall Bearded Iris that can even approach this as most of the latest introductions do well to reach 2" in width of haft. It is the dream of every hybridist to transfer this superb form to a tall vigorous new Oncobred with beautiful Onco veinings and large bold signal patch. Why not be the first to accomplish this? We all start together, now that Gatesii is available again. A great seed-setter; produces quantities of pollen. I suggest Air Mail for all orders for Gatesii, as you would not want your order to reach me after my stock is all sold.

HYBRIDIZERS' OPPORTUNITY: As every hybridizer knows, the whole far-flung Mohr family of fascinating hybrids springs from the world-famous William Mohr. This came from the diploid Tall Bearded variety Parisiana x the Onco GATESII. While in time it may be found that many diploid and tetraploid bearded Iris will cross with Gatesii, such crosses are likely to be difficult, and the quickest approach is to start with the cross that has been found to succeed, and that resulted in William Mohr. This one hybrid does not begin to tap the untold possibilities from this most promising of all crosses of Bearded Iris and Oncos. William Mohr is nearly sterile, and if some enterprising hybridizer succeeds in creating an Oncobred like William Mohr but highly fertile, it will expedite future Oncobred breeding tremendously. Already I have one young seedling of this same cross. I want hybridizers everywhere to have Parisiana to use with Gatesii, so I make the offers above. Now hybridizers throughout the world who have been wishing for years for the opportunity to repeat this most famous of all Iris crosses, can at last realize this ambition. Parisiana is not offered by itself this year, in order that I may conserve my limited stock for this special combination offer.