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Hybridizer David Lyon (1889-1982)

Northridge, California, USA

From The Bulletin of the American Iris Society No. 246(July 1982): A native of Missouri, David Lyon came to California in 1922, shortly after serving with the U.S. Navy in World War I. He married Mildred R. Hefley in 1924, and during their early years of marriage worked for Shell Oil Company. In 1930 David and Mildred went to an iris show at Germain's Nursery in Los Angeles and decided to start their own iris garden. They spent many years saving, buying and breeding irises before opening their first garden, Lyon's Iris Garden, in 1941. By 1946 David was working to breed a near-green iris. Moving to Van Nuys in 1947, they opened Lyon's Irisland. Two years later CHAR-MAIZE was introduced. The first of David's 38 introductions and his most famous, it was a runner-up for the Dykes Medal for two consecutive years. His BEWITCHING won the Premio Firenze in 1968. Other Lyon introductions include ALI BABA, CARVED JADE, EMPRESS EUGENIE, GOLD CARGO, HAPPY MEETING, and LADY ELSIE.

In 1962, when David was 73, they closed the garden and moved into a mobile home park. In 1981 they moved again, to the home of their eldest granddaughter and her husband in Tracy, California. David died March 28, 1982, after a short illness. Mildred is planning a memorial garden of David Lyon's iris introductions and requests help in locating a number of them. Any correspondence may be addressed to Mildred R. Lyon, 28638 Tracy Boulevard, Tracy, California 95376.


Border Bearded: 'Little One'.

Pacific Coast Native: 'Beguiling', 'Chiffon Dance', 'Cinderella's Slipper', 'Curly-Locks', 'Fancy Pants', 'Miss Mischief', 'Pacific Startler', ''Pride of California', 'Tiny Tim', 'White Angel'.

Tall Bearded: 'Acacia Meadow', 'Ali Baba', 'April Hills', 'Atomic Gold', 'Autumn Days', 'Band Leader', 'Bewitching', 'Blushing Bride', 'Carved Jade', 'Changing Tide', 'Char-Maize', 'Dark Ecstasy', 'Dazzle Dust', 'Dream Gold', 'Empress Eugenie', 'Enchanted Evening', 'Gold Cargo', 'Happy Meeting', 'Happy Memory', 'Harvest Holiday', 'Hawaiian Moon', 'Kingpin', 'Kol Nidre', 'Lady Elsie', 'Loma De Oro', 'Major Red', 'Malva Lace', 'Oriental Pearl', 'Paris Gown', 'Patrician Beauty', 'Persian Gold', 'Persian Sari', 'Pink Castle', 'Saffron Gold', 'Sea's Treasure', 'Serene Dusk', 'Spring Fashion', 'Springtime', 'Sunset Canyon', 'Sweet Tomorrow', 'Tangelo', 'The Mad Hatter', 'Valley Dawn', 'Western Music', 'Winged Goddess'.

-- Main.RPries - 2012-05-18
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
LyonIrisGardens1952.jpgjpg LyonIrisGardens1952.jpg manage 37 K 01 Jan 2019 - 17:08 Main.davepote AIS Bulletin 124(January 1952):82. Advertisement.
Topic revision: r9 - 01 Jan 2019, davepote
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