The Ugly Iris

My mother instantly loved it. My grandmother instantly dubbed it “The Ugly Iris.” And when I saw it all I could think about was grabbing my camera and documenting it, because I have never seen an iris like this before.

Instead of the violet or royal shades of purple I’m used to seeing, it’s a dusky dark purple, and depending on the light can look almost like a dark dusky pink. And instead of the bright yellow accent parts, the part of the flower called the beard is bright orange, and the lower petals, known as falls, start out purple, then go to ivory, then a light orange, and then purple again. It’s so different than any other iris I’ve ever seen! And it’s the only one, and it didn’t bloom last year – it was a total surprise when it came up in my front yard – since all the other irises are either the traditional violet shade of purple, or a bright yellow.

I googled and it appears it’s a Tall Bearded Iris, known as Raspberry Fudge. Interesting. But I can see the raspberry moniker – since the color seems to shift between dark dusky pink and purple, depending on the light.

Raspberry Fudge Tall Bearded Iris // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Raspberry Fudge Iris // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Tall Bearded Iris // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsPurple and Orange Iris // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

So what do you think? Is it truly The Ugly Iris? Or is it beautiful? Or something in between? At first, I thought it was interesting, but I wasn’t sure if I would have actually chosen it. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. It’s growing on me. And as you can see by the images, there are two more buds on that stem, so I’ll get two more chances to figure it out!

4 Replies to “The Ugly Iris”

  1. My parents used to grow irises that looked just like that when I was a kid. We had beds of multi-colored irises all around our house. They’ve always been my favorite flower as a result. I’ve always been on the fence with that particular mixed shade of iris. I can never decide if I like it or not–some days yes, some days no.

  2. I think it’s beautiful! I love more unusual irises. I have a short iris that’s almost a bronze/gold color. It isn’t up yet – but I’m hoping it shows up again. I’ll take pics when I see it.

  3. Fantastically beautiful! This variety is absolutely lovely and I love it….not hate it! I’m Cheryl’s Mom referred to above! We’ve had people steal our black tulip bulbs (pulled them right out of the ground!) so I hope this one bulb sticks around so it can multiply!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.