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Hybridizer Gordon W. Plough (1909-1989)

Wenatchee, Washington, USA

Taken from: IRIS PROFILES, "Gordon W. Plough, Entrepreneur of Eden Road", American Iris Society Bulletin, Issue# 248, January 1983, pp. 42-43.

Entrepreneur of Eden Road

Every serious irisarian knows who Gordon Plough is, but few outside his own region or those fortunate enough to visit Eden Road Iris Garden have ever met him. It is a genuine pleasure to walk the seedling rows with this quiet, rather shy man packing his large volume of seedling records, looking up pedigrees at the drop of a hint. This is the man responsible for many exciting and popular varieties the past thirty years-irises such as 'Butterscotch Kiss', 'Rainbow Gold', 'Edenite' and 'Milestone' to name but a few.

Gordon was born in Wilbur, Washington in 1909, and grew up in the Wenatchee area. A graduate architectural engineer and landscape architect from Washington State University, he entered the job market during depression days when employment was scarce. His father headed the large Columbia and Okanogan Nursery Company, which specialized in fruit trees and landscaping, and Gordon joined the firm as Secretary-Treasurer. Architecture's loss was Horticulture's gain.

In Wenatchee was a garden growing the arilbred 'William Mohr'. Gordon was intrigued by it, purchased a plant, and learned to hybridize. In 1948 he registered his first iris, 'Laurel Hill'. A seedling of 'William Mohr' by pollen of a Brehm seedling from ('Esplendido' X 'Bruno'), it was the result of a single seed in a single pod. In 1949 'Laurel Hill' was introduced by means of a mailed flyer, and the first of the Plough irises began to grace our gardens. His next introductions were the arilbreds 'Casino' (1954) and 'Witch Doctor' (1955) and the tall bearded 'Safari' (1955), introduced by Iris Test Gardens in Yakima. All his later introductions were done through his own Eden Road Iris Garden catalogues.

The year 1954 was officially the beginning of Eden Road Iris Garden. A modestly printed listing that year noted, "Having disposed of my interests in one of our country's largest general nurseries, I now have time to devote my efforts to my garden of tall bearded irises." Gordon created the garden out of a wheat field on Eden Road (now known as Eighth Street) in East Wenatchee. The garden slopes to the edge of a bluff, with the mighty Columbia River below and, appropriately enough, Laurel Hill in conspicuous view across the river.

Through the years a steady stream of introductions has come from this garden. More than 150 Plough originations have won Honorable Mention-arilbreds, medians, and tails. Two of his intermediates, 'Little Bit Blue' and 'Sing Again', have won the Sass Medal; 'Witch Doctor' won the C. G. White Award. Other medians winning AMs are 'Beebop', 'Cub Scout', 'Le Sabre', 'Little Angel' and 'Tumwater'. But it is for his tall beardeds that he is best known-AM winners like the startling white-blazed deep purples 'Exotic Star' and 'Winner's Circle'; the dark 'Grand Alliance' and darker 'Edenite', 'Swahili' and 'Study In Black'; the bicolors 'Java Dove', 'Amigo's Guitar and 'Milestone'; plus 'Butterscotch Kiss'. 'Caribou Trail', 'Rainbow Gold', 'Punchline', 'Lilac Festival' and 'Son of Star'. In 1965 AIS awarded Gordon the coveted Hybridizer's' Medal.

And the introductions keep right on coming. Current projects include just about any color, but especially blue-bearded whites and yellows, blacks with red beards, and plics in all their variation. And variation there is in the Plough seedling rows! Many of his lines are reminiscent of the Sass breeding style, crossing wildly different colors/patterns, then working for many generations to get interesting recombinations. The 1982 seedling bloom starred a host of 'Sketch Me' seedlings in plic-bicolor variation, with a supporting cast from many other lines.

In addition to irises, Gordon maintains a "woodsy" landscaped area at the garden to attract birds, and many interesting plants are featured near the office. At his home greenhouse he also grows african violets and a few orchids, but we're glad that he decided to concentrate his efforts on our favorite flower.

See also: irisenligne (in french language by Sylvain RUAUD ; 2004-05-14)

Article from the January 1966 AIS Bulletin, Hybridizer's Medals to Gibson, Plough


Arilbred: 'Appian Way' 1958; 'Blue Gate' 1960; 'Casino'; 'Eastmont'; 'Gates Ajar'; 'Incandescent', 'Jaliba', 'Jungle Drums', 'Laurel Hill', 'Mohr Magic', 'Shatra', 'Smithsonian', 'Witch Doctor'. 'Zab'.

Border Bearded:* 'Amberita' 1968, 'Bonnie Lassie' 1961, 'Candy Sweet', 'Cub Scout', 'Mustard Cream', Pocket Size', Smoke Screen'.

Intermediate Bearded:* 'Beebop' 1965, 'Bit of Chocolate' 1980, 'Butter Bit' 1961, 'Coloray', 'Dew Point' 1971, 'Flarette' 1968, 'Kontiki', 'Le Sabre', 'Little Bit Blue', 'Little Idol', 'Little Saint', 'Low Rider', 'Maximite', 'Moon Tike' 1971, 'Ping Pong', 'Pink Amulet', 'Posy Parade' 1971, 'Ric Rac', 'Satin Sequin', 'Saucy Flossie', 'Sing Again', 'Spring Bonnet', 'Tumwater', 'Yum Plum'.

Standard Dwarf Bearded:* 'Blue Sand' 1979, 'Bright Bauble' 1982, 'Buff And Blue' 1976, 'Chalk Mark', 'Circuit Breaker', 'Comfy Cozy', 'Feather River', 'Fire One', 'Frosty Atom', 'Frosty Lemon', 'Golden Starlet', 'Goldette', 'Little Angel', 'Little Lane', 'Little Storm', 'Mystic Symbol', 'Native Trinket', 'Pine Frost', 'Rare Penny', 'Threepio', 'Wee Lad' 1967, 'Wee Tot' 1967.

Tall Bearded: (A-E): 'Adventure Bay' 1979, 'Aegean Star' 1972, 'Agra' 1970, 'Alaskan Sunset' 1967, 'Albino Plumes' 1968, 'Alice Lemen' 1957, 'All Aflame' 1969, 'Alpine Plumes' 1972, 'Amber Accent' 1969, 'Amberesque' 1978, 'Amigo's Guitar' 1964, 'Another World' 1974, 'Apache Arrow', R.1983, 'Aperitif' 1967, 'Apollo Gold' 1972, 'Apricot Cream' 1959, 'Azure Lace' 1967, 'Azurite' 1960, 'Bandolier' 1969, 'Bavarian Cream' 1978, 'Beau Black' 1964, 'Beauty Tip' 1969, 'Beaux Arts' 1969, 'Bel Tempo' 1970, 'Berry Wine' 1980, 'Black Market' 1974, 'Black Tornado' 1983, 'Blakstok' 1958, 'Blewett Pass' 1963, 'Blue Bayou' 1966, 'Bluebeard's Castle' 1967, 'Bon Vivant' 1963, 'Bon Voyage' 1959, 'Bounty Hunter' 1976, 'Butterscotch Kiss' 1957, 'Bwana' 1961, 'Camptown Races', 'Caribou Trail', 'Cascade China' 1967, 'Casino', 'Casino Belle', 'Castle Royal', 'Charcoal' 1969, 'Charm of Eden' 1967, 'Cherry Malott', 'Cherry Pink', 'Chief Moses' 1968, 'China Gate', ,'Chloe Inez', 'Chumstick', 'Cinnamon Mist' 1967, 'Circus Stripes', 'Citrus Mist' 1968, 'Cloud Cocktail', 'Cloud Dancer', 'Cloud Parade', 'Coastal Waters' 1968, 'Coastline', 'Cocktail Time', 'Colockum', 'Cool Retreat', 'Coral Butte', 'Coral Ice' 1968, 'Count Cobra', 'Crinkled Sunset', 'Crown Colony', 'Crystal Lace', 'Crystal River', 'Cuba Libra', 'Cup of Cocoa', 'Dark Allure', 'Dark Dream' 1969, 'Dark Spice' 1967, 'Delicious', 'Distant Light', 'Dove Call', 'Easter Valley', 'Eastmont', 'Ecru Lace', 'Edenite'. 'El Serape', 'Exotic Flare', 'Exotic Isle', 'Exotic Star', 'Exotic Wings' 1968, 'Extra Margin' 1970,

Tall Bearded (F-J): 'Fabrique', 'Fair And Warm', 'Fairy Goddess', 'Faraway Blue', 'Fast Track', 'Faustina Walker' 1970, 'Festive Spirit' 1969, 'Field Day', 'Fiesta Brava', 'Fine Plumage', 'Fire And Rain', 'Fire Goddess', 'Fire Power', 'Firebreak', 'First Flight', 'Flame Kiss', 'Flaming Pink', 'Flaming Star' 1967, 'Flaring Ivory', 'Flash Fire', 'Floral Art', 'Flower Power' 1969, 'Fly To Vegas', 'Follow The Sun', 'Folvar', 'Freedom Road', 'French Lace', 'Funtastic', 'Futuramic', Future Hope', 'Gay Pal', 'Gay Paree', Glacier Magic', 'Glamorous', 'Global Affair', 'Golden Apple', 'Golden Fire', 'Golden Ingot', 'Grand Alliance', 'Grand Array' 1971, 'Grand Coulee', 'Green Eyed Lady', 'Green Shimmer' 1971, 'Guitar Country' 1971, 'Hard Rain', 'Heady Wine' 1970, 'Heaven Sent', 'Henna Rust', 'Here's My Heart', 'High Heaven', 'Hindu Wand', 'Hit Song', 'Honest Pleasure', 'Hot Spell' 1968, 'Hudson Bay', 'Ilah', 'Interpol', 'Irish Tune', 'Island Fiesta', 'Ivory Plumes', 'Jaipur', 'Jakarta' 1967, 'Java Charm', 'Java Dove', 'Java Peach', 'Jungle Song' 1970,

Tall Bearded (K-O): 'Kachina Doll', 'Kalahari', 'Kiss of Fire', 'Kiss of Gold', 'Kiss of Lemon' 1967, 'Kona Coast', 'La Paloma', 'La Zanzara', 'Lady Dawn', 'Lady of Waverly', 'Lake of Heaven', 'Leather Lace', 'Lemon Bowl', 'Lemon Lilt', 'Let's Go', 'Lhasa', 'Light My Fire', 'Lighted Way', 'Lightup', 'Likely Story', 'Lilac Festival', 'Living Desert', 'Logan's Run', 'London Fog', 'Lorna Lynn', 'Lost River', 'Love With Lace' 1971, 'Love's Labor' 1967, 'Mariachi', 'Marked Deck', 'Melody In White', 'Milestone', 'Miss Magic', 'Mission Ridge', 'Misty Tide', 'Mohr Magic', 'Monsoon', 'Most Precious', 'Mystery Time', 'Night Out', 'Nom De Plume' 1971, 'Ocean Shores' 1967, 'Old West', 'On The Beach', 'On The Go', 'Orange Frosting', 'Orange Soda', 'Orchid Chiffon',

Tall Bearded (P-S): 'Pacific Sands' 1967, 'Painted Angel' 1968. 'Painted Pink' 1971, 'Painter's Lady', 'Paleface', 'Palisades', 'Party Favor', 'Peach Plume', 'Penang' 1970, 'Pencil Sketch', 'Pink Cheer' 1969, 'Pink Riot', 'Pirater's Cove', 'Pleasure Cruise', 'Polar Lace' 1971, 'Polished Jewel', 'Pongee Lace', 'Pray For Peace', 'Pretty Gay', 'Pretty Wild', 'Prize Drawing', 'Punchline' 1968, 'Punjab', 'Quest', 'Quetta' 1968, 'Quiet Isle', 'Rain Country', 'Rain Forest' 1967, 'Rain or Shine', 'Rain Shadow' 1971, 'Rainbow Gold', 'Rainbow Valley', 'Rainy Pass', 'Raven's Roost', 'Raziza', 'Really Pink', 'Red Jade', 'Reva', 'Ribbons of Blue' 1968, 'Rio de Oro', 'River Hawk', 'Riviera', 'Rocket Thruster', 'Roseanne', 'Roundup Twin Bluevi', 'Royal Allure', 'Royal Casino', 'Ruby Lips', 'Rustglow' 1970, 'Saddle Shoes' 1971, 'Safari', 'Saigon', 'Sands of Gold', 'Sashay', 'Satan's Choice', 'Scenic', 'Seair', 'Secret Society', 'Secret Storm', 'Shane', 'Ship To Shore', 'Showy Devil', 'Silver Shadows' 1969, 'Sing Along', 'Singing Pines' 1967, 'Sinkiang' 1971, 'Sketch Me', 'Skyline Drive', 'Smithsonian', 'Snow Dove', 'Soft Refrain', 'Son of Star' 1969, 'Songmaker', 'Spice Island', 'Stag Party', 'Starlit River', 'Start The Music', 'Stormy Skies', 'Strange Magic' 1969, 'Straw Fire', 'Study In Black' 1968, 'Sun Country', 'Sun Island', 'Sunrise Rim' 1969, 'Sunsite', 'Suva' 1968, 'Suva Sling', 'Swahili', 'Sweet Lorraine' 1968, 'Sweet One',

Tall Bearded (T-Z): 'Taco Time', 'Talent Show', 'Task Force', 'Tasmanian', 'Taste The Wine', 'Teanaway', 'Tenerello', 'Tenino', 'Tico Tico', 'Tillicum', 'Tolo Dance' 1971, 'Torrid Zone', 'Touch of Eden', 'Touch of Spice', 'Trader's Gold', 'Tres Bien', 'Tres Chic', 'Tribal Dance', 'Triple Play', 'Tropic Blue', 'Tropic Touch' 1968, 'Truly Fair', 'Tulip Time', 'Valverde', 'Vashon' 1967, 'Vegas Bandit', 'Veiled Skies', 'Viet Nam' 1967, 'Warm And Toasty', 'Western Shores', 'Whitestone', 'Wild Monkey', 'Wild Plum', 'Wild Violet', 'Wildways', 'Williwaw', 'Wind Dance', 'Wings of Blue', 'Winner's Circle'.

-- Main.RPries - 2012-01-22
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
1966_01_AIS Gibson and Plough.pdfpdf 1966_01_AIS Gibson and Plough.pdf manage 181 K 05 Nov 2023 - 11:44 Main.dougchyz Plough Hybridizer Medal
EdenRoadIrisGarden.jpgjpg EdenRoadIrisGarden.jpg manage 34 K 09 Jan 2019 - 00:02 Main.davepote AIS Bulletin 162(July 1961): 90. Advertisement
Topic revision: r61 - 05 Nov 2023, dougchyz
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