TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD (Kanarowski 2017), TB, M-L, 46"

IF WE COULD ONLY …. eat our iris!

Mango, cantaloupe, peach, raspberry, coconut, tangerine & orange …. mix these 7 yummy fruits together in a dessert bowl and what do your get?  An attractive, mouth-watering, and delicious TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD. 

How about you?  Would you think of TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD as an appetizer, a main course, or an enticing dessert?  Depending on the person asked, I’m prepared for the entire range of answers.  In my case, I’d classify it as an awesome dessert …. but to be eaten at any time!  You see, at my age I’m increasingly inclined to eat my dessert first.  Besides, I’m well past the age of having my mother tell me what to do and that could also be one of the reasons why we happily live 50 miles apart.


For such a wide, wonderful world of iris that we enjoy, we really don’t have many quality lace flowers.  “Why are there so few laced flowers and yet so much of everything else?”  As a hybridizer always on the hunt for new breeding goals, this glowing fact seized my attention. 

But let’s dig deeper.  With minimal analysis, you’ll quickly discover that the vast majority of the quality laced flowers that we do have are mostly Selfs …. white, yellow, pink, gold, orange, purple-black or even a lavender-blue self as in my 2013 introduction, FAIRY FROSTBITE.  Additionally, there are a few Bi-toned laces, which really amount to different depths of the same color.

This nets us down to “the rarest of the rare” in the world of good lace flowers ….  the Bi-colored laces.  After examining this special category for years, I remain hard-pressed to name more than 5 good examples.  This is where I categorize TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD …. a bi-colored, heavily laced flower.

MORE ON LACE …. that you never thought of before

There is a saying in the world of finance that goes like this:  “The amateurs know the rules …. the professionals know the exceptions.”

From my observations, there are 4 ascending categories of lace flowers.  #1, those with so little lace that only the hybridizer seems to notice.  #2, those with sufficient enough lace to be noticed by most iris aficionado’s …. but not by the public.  #3, those with heavy lace and noticed by all.  And #4, those with such excessive lace that the flower often will not open properly.  Needless to say, category #3 …. heavy lace that is noticed by all …. should be the breeders goal.

To summarize:  TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD is a heavily laced, rare bi-colored iris …. composed of 6 attractive fruit colors …. with a wide range of attributes.  Like what?


1.  Extended bloom season due to frequent triple-sockets and an occasional quadruple bud at the terminal position that always open sequentially (see quadruple socket pictured below.)  Folks, the reason why I’ve listed TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD as a mid to late-season bloomer is a direct result of its multi-bud-per-socket configuration.  As a consequence of more buds per socket, the mid-season blooms naturally must extend into late-season bloom.  Is there anybody out there that doesn’t want their iris to bloom longer?  Can have 13 or more buds.

2.  Large flowered 4.5” H x 5.5” W, blooms well above foliage

3.  Touching shoulders, orbicular-modern form, show stalks

4.  Standards hold their attractive tight form (closed and somewhat twisted)

5.  Consistent, one fall-planted rhizome most often produces one stalk and 4 increase

6.  Slight musky or  “irisy” fragrance, interest adding coconut-white spray pattern

7.  Easy breeder both ways, no real problems noted

8.  Distinctively heavily laced bi-color, moderate ruffles, diamond dusted standards


TB, 46“, M-L

STANDARDS:  mango-cantaloupe, peach midrib

STYLE ARMS:  mango-cantaloupe

FALLS:  red raspberry lightens at distal edge, coconut-white spray pattern, discreet white centerline, quarter-inch mango-cantaloupe rim

BEARD:  tipped tangerine-orange over white base


For several years, the Schreiner catalog carried a wonderful, panorama-like picture of their own CHERRY BLOSSOM SONG.  (pictured below).  There was always something special about that flower that intrigued me.  Over time, it finally occurred to me that there really aren’t that many iris out there that are “put together” in the same way.

When TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD first came along, I immediately recognized the pleasant similarities between these two remarkable creations.  At first glace, they may appear to be very different.  But look deeper.

Both flowers are bi-colored and they both have the same standard color applied to the same-width fall rim.  Both have a fall center stripe and they both have tangerine beards.  5 similarities!

Imagine that …. so different and so similar at the same time …. a genuine iris paradox!

TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD …. distinctive in so many ways …. an Iris From The Future.

PICTURE CRITIQUE …. The flower is about 10% better than its pictures.

Seedling #0525:  Royal Jammies X Rogue Trader

Two rhizomes: $55