Photos and Story by Dr. Gladden Willis

As this Iris season comes and passes we would like to pay some attention to the Irises collected or hybridized by Miss Caroline Dormon. A few still reside here in the Bay Garden at the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve and they include  Wheelhorse, Violet Ray, The Kahn, Saucy Minx, WoodViolet and FireAlarm


The Kahn, a louisiana iris

CathedralBlue and Mary S. DeBaillon were collected by Mary S. DeBaillon and when her collection was donated to Briarwood they was registered by Miss Dormon. Miss Dormon registered and introduced 14 collected Louisiana irises and numerous hybrids. Some important ones that are missing from the collection here at Briarwood include ,  Foxglove Bells,  Old Coral, June Clouds, Forsythia and Lillian Trichel. If any growers are in possession of any of these irises missing from the preserve collection and would like to donate to the foundation it would be much appreciated.

Wheelhorse, a louisiana iris

VioetRay, a louisiana iris












top left:  The Kahn ( Haile Selassie x Cardinalis ) introduced in 1949 by Caroline Dormon

left: Violet Ray (Large Purple x Old Coral ). Introduced in 1949 by Caroline Dormon it is very important as a pollen parent to ‘Wheelhorse’. 

right: Wheelhorse, (Abbeville x Violet Ray ), introduced in 1952 by Caroline Dormon it is thought by some to be the top parent among Louisiana irises.