Iris bulleyana

Iris bulleyana

Habitat:
Best grown in moist soils and in full sun.

Description and Distribution:
Southern China provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan and northern Myanmar. Falls cream with bright purple veins and blotches; standards lilac. Flowering occurs in early summer.

Background:
The species is named after the English merchant Arthur Kilpin (AK) Bulley (1861-1942). Seeds of this species was collected by George Forrest in China in 1910.

Arthur Kilpin Bulley was a British cotton merchant and creator of the Ness Botanic Gardens. He had a passion for plants and that passion led him to create the gardens, now known as Ness Botanic Gardens and introduce many rare species of plants from around the world. Many of these rare plants have now become today’s common garden varieties.

The influence Bulley had on cultivation of alpines in the UK, one of his particular interests. This influence extended to funding plant hunting expeditions to the Far East which introduced many new plants. Bulley employed several plant collectors, such as George Forrest, Francis Kingdom Ward, and R.E. Cooper, to obtain them for him. Under his patronage, Forrest and Ward were sent to Western China and Cooper to Sikkim and Bhutan.

Bulley died in 1942. Six years later, his house and garden at Ness were given to Liverpool University as a Botanic Garden. It was endowed by his daughter, Miss A.L. Bulley, under the condition that the the public would have continued access. The botanical gardens are still open today, renamed in 1950, as Ness Gardens.

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January 23, 2018