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National Collection of Water Iris Donated to RHS Garden Rosemoor

4 July 2012
National Collection of Water Iris Donated to RHS Garden Rosemoor

More than 40 different water irises, including some unusual cultivars, have been given to RHS Garden Rosemoor, in Devon, to establish a new National Plant Collection1 at the garden in the future. Another collection of around 50 cultivars of Iris ensata will also be donated.

John and Galen Carter, of Rowden Gardens in Devon, have bred and developed the collection for many years, attaining National Plant Collection status for it. As they near retirement, the couple has donated their collection to RHS Garden Rosemoor to share it with the public and ensure its continuation in the future.

The full collection of irises will be established in Rosemoor over the next couple of years, but visitors can already see 20 selections in situ at the entrance to Rosemoor’s spectacular Bicentenary Arboretum.

Jon Webster, curator of RHS Garden Rosemoor, says: “As a charity, the RHS is committed to demonstrating the very best in gardening, so it is a great privilege to be given this unique, locally bred collection. We’re really looking forward to being able to share these fantastic plants with the public as the collection gets established at Rosemoor, and hope that they will provide much enjoyment for many years to come.”

Some of the special cultivars in the collection include:

  • Iris versicolor ‘Rowden Cantata’
  • Iris ‘Rowden Starlight’
  • Iris ‘Rowden Caesar’

RHS Garden Rosemoor already holds National Plant Collections for Ilex (holly) and Cornus (dogwood).