Ferdinand Cayeux, unregistered 1942
Iris Class:
Bearded Class:
Tall Bearded
Fall Color:
Standard Color:
Beard Color:
Orange/Deep Yellow
Cayeux F

Full Description

Please note: Per the extensive research done by Catherine Adam, it is clear there there are TWO iris with the name Alcee.  The one that is registered with the name is by Vilmorin-Andrieux et Cie, registered as an IB in 1922. The second one is a TB by Ferdinand Cayeux and was not registered with the AIS but was offered for sale by his son Rene Cayeux by 1942. The Cayeux version was hybridized in 1935, or possibly earlier.

Research on Alcee indicates:
In AIS Bulletin 122 (July 1951) is a 4-page LIST OF VARIETIES OF IRISES FROM 1939 TILL 1949 AND 1950 submitted by Prof. Dr. Ernst Biesalski, Secretary of the German Iris Society. These are irises that were introduced in Europe during WWII and the immediate post-war years–most of them by German breeders (von Zeppelin, Steffen, Schwartz, Dorn (and two from Mazek in Czechoslovakia) AND French varieties from the Cayeux establishment, bred by Rene. At the top of the list is ALCEE 1942. This corroborates Catherine’s excerpt from the 1942 catalog where it is presented as a new introduction. None of the irises presented by Prof. Biesalski for inclusion in the AIS Check List (which didn’t happen) were properly registered with the AIS, the international center for rhizomatous iris nomenclature. Obviously, Alcee would have been rejected as duplicating the Vilmorin iris, but it’s easy to grasp why no continental European irises were registered in that period! 

To my eye (Phil Edinger), the Cayeux Alcee is an obvious derivative of their Evolution which spawned a number of bicolor blends with blue-lavender in the falls. Purple-based foliage is heavy in Evolution as well as in many of its direct children (President Pilkington, Alice Harding, for example). If this Cayeux Alcee is to be shown in the HIPS gallery, it should be noted that it was not registered and that the name duplicates that of an earlier (and dissimilar) Vilmorin cultivar.

So there you have it. This is the Cayeux not Vilmorin Alcee.