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Featured Conservation Plants: July 2013

July 2013:
Iris ‘Peter Hewitt’

This lovely and robust herbaceous perennial starts blooming in the south of England in June and continues into early July.

‘Peter Hewitt' is a cross between Iris ‘Coronation Anthem’ and Iris ‘Golden Edge’ bred by British Iris Society stalwart Jennifer Hewitt and named after her late husband Peter.

It is quite a tall plant (but does not need staking), growing to around a metre in height with flowers held above the grass-like foliage. The flower standards are described as violet-blue with darker veins and the falls deep blue-violet with gold signals and edges which makes for a striking combination. It appears to prefer more moisture-retentive soil as it has flowered particularly well in 2013 after the wet autumn and winter of 2012.

Propagation is by division but it is recommended that pieces taken from the parent plant should have at least three ‘fans’ of leaves otherwise it may not establish well.

Iris ‘Peter Hewitt’ received a well-deserved Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2005 as well as the British Iris Society's Dykes Medal in 2008.

It desrves to be much more widely grown but there are only 2 listed suppliers in the 2013/14 Plant Finder.


The Conservation scheme involves HPS members in growing these plants and documenting the best way to grow and propagate them. The plants are distributed across the country with many local groups and individual growers being involved.

The scheme is open to all HPS members. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Since the present scheme started in 1998, we have been successful in conserving over 30 plant varieties that are, in our opinion, all worthy of being grown in British gardens. However, there are still a large number of potentially garden worthy plants in need of conservation.

If you are a interested in making this (or any other of our conservation plants) available on a commercial basis, please contact the National Coordinator.


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