Phylis Lady Moore was wife of Sir Frederick Moore, Keeper of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin – now, the National Botanic Gardens. She was a very enthusiastic gardener with an eye for a good plant and she grew this form of Iris pallida in her garden at Willbrook. Dr E. Charles, formerly taxonomist at the National Botanic Gardens, saw it growing in David Shackleton’s garden, Beech Park, Clonsilla, Co. Dublin. They had discussed the desirability of naming it on several occasions but it was only after David’s death that Charles did so.
Dr. Nelson, in his A Heritage of Beauty, quotes Brian Mathew: “It looks to me as if it definitely has something to do with I. pallida or perhaps one of it relatives…The three inner segments have beards like the outers, a most unusual state of affairs. I assume it is a mutant in this case for no other iris has 6 beards to such a marked degree.”
I received a rhizome of this iris a couple of years back and am delighted that it is doing so very well here in the garden. As well as being a beautiful flower it has that added attraction of wonderful connections.