Landing on Mars

Iris reticulata 'Mars Landing' - photo: Alan McMurtrie

Iris reticulata ‘Mars Landing’ – photo: Alan McMurtrie

“It takes many many years to select and build up stocks of new spring-flowering irises. They need five years from seed sowing to flowering. But Canadian iris breeder Alan McMurtrie has been working with these reticulata irises for more than 30 years”, writes Graham Rice in his blog at the site of the British garden charity Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). According to Rice, the fruits of McMurtrie’s diligence have become available in the past year or two and refers to ‘Mars Landing’ as one of latest of introductions. “The unique colouring of ‘Mars Landing’ brings us bright yellow flowers that are bronzed at the edge, with delightful spotting and streaking in between. Developed from Iris sophenensis and Iris danfordiae, the vivid yellow colouring is derived from Iris danfordiae, which also brings its relatively upright habit.”
On his website, McMurtrie ‘complains’ that over the years his website has become more and more complicated. “Many new features have been added. This is a good thing because now one can see parentage, children, and hybrids from the same year, etc. Keep in mind, prior to my work, the world of Reticulata Iris was essentially just blue and purples.” ‘Mars Landing’, on his site also named 00-KV-3, yellow draws the attention.
In the March 2016 issue of The Plantsman says: “My aim is to produce cultivars with new colours and patterns that are robust, clump-forming and that come back year after year while giving a modest number of blooms.” [read the full article].