April 19th, 2005
Iris 'Cloud Ballet'

photo: bearded iris Cloud Ballet

Bearded iris ‘Cloud Ballet’ M 34″
Lyle Fort. 1990 M 34″: HM ’93 Light blue self with white throats.
Catalog Description: “Cloud Ballet’s classically formed flowers boast heavy ruffles and lace. See how the azure petals lighten at their centers, complementing the yellow-tipped white beards. Good growth, sweet fragrance and occasional rebloom distinguish this Northwest origination as a winner.”

Forget what I said yesterday about giving up on named bearded irises. Today, two stalks of ‘Cloud Ballet’ began blooming and they are everything bearded irises should be. Each thick stalk is tall and straight and bears half a dozen substantial flowers. The falls don’t…well, not much. They’re fairly horizontal.

photo: bearded iris Cloud Ballet

At least I think this is ‘Cloud Ballet’. I bought one from Schreiner’s in 2001. It is a pale blue, which leans toward lavender, self. The center is pale, almost white, which reflects the light in such a way that makes it look more contrasty in the photo than in real life. From a distance it appears to be the same shade as the bluebonnets beneath it. The beards are white with yellow tips.

There is a chance that it might be ‘Altruist‘.

Whatever it is, it’s bloomed three years in a row: 2003, 2004, and 2005, but it didn’t bloom it’s first spring, 2002.

Zanthan Gardens History

2001-07-13. Received my order from Schreiner’s iris, including one ‘Cloud Ballet’ for $12.50.

2003-04-16. First flower. Mixed up when replanted with ‘Strictly Ballroom’ in vegetable border. I think this is ‘Cloud Ballet’, but it could be another ‘Altruist’.

2004-04-17. First flower. Three flowers total for 2004.

2005-04-19. First flower. Two large stalks bear four flowers opening today. More on their way.

by M Sinclair Stevens

2 Responses to post “Iris 'Cloud Ballet'”

  1. From bill:

    nice. i like the ruffled edges.

  2. From Terry:

    Did you ever find out if that lovely clump of light blue iris is Altruis. or Cloud Ballet. . have a wonderful light blue that is probably Double Bubble (Ghio) but I moved it and now I’ll never be sure. It’s so hard to find really good photos for comparison. Yours are great!

    Terry, ‘Altruist’ didn’t bloom this year, so I couldn’t make a good comparision. But I do believe now that this whole clump is ‘Cloud Ballet’. It never bloomed en masse, but individual stalks have been blooming now for six weeks–my one iris success story for 2005.

    Thanks for the remark about the photos. I’m glad you find them helpful. When I first started gardening I was frustrated when I couldn’t find just the information I wanted on this flower or that. I decided to take my frustration as a hint to fill in the blanks myself. I read somewhere that we should write the book we want to read. — mss

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